From the time we get pregnant, we are given advice by medical professionals, websites, friends, family and sometimes complete bloody strangers all of whom want us to believe that if we follow their advice, we can guarantee that our children will avoid harm.
To say that breastmilk is more nutritionally and immunologically comprehensive than infant formula milk isn't being rude, or trying to make anyone feel bad, or just being mean. It's true.
I'm extremely blessed to be the mother of a wonderful, exuberant and thriving two-year-old and (in common with mothers everywhere) I'm doing the best I can for my daughter to ensure she has a happy childhood, and a safe and secure future. Sometimes that's OK, but often the journalist will prod, looking for an angle, "How do you deal with the negative view of older parents?"
Attachment parenting doesn't acknowledge capitalism or patriarchy as deities the way mainstream parenting does. Attachment parenting (the practices involved in) supports a woman's right to understand how her body works, how powerful she is in the life of her child and in wider society and how awesome her biology is.
Breastfeeding her child in public had a young woman anonymously labelled a 'tramp'. This in turn led to a number of well attended mass breastfeeding gatherings throughout the UK. A great show of solidarity, women highlighting their right to breastfeed in public.
I have spoken to women who wanted to nurse their babies but couldn't, or decided enough was enough after a few weeks. Many women have perfectly healthy infants and decided right at the start that breastfeeding just wasn't for them, and others are still feeding five-year-olds. I was lucky in that I decided to nurse and, with help, was able to.
So, here's what breastfeeding-advocacy isn't: It isn't anti-formula users. Breastfeeding advocacy is about wanting new parents to have access to ALL the facts about how they feed their babies. This includes the risks of using formula milk as a breastmilk substitute...
Why are we, as a culture, creeped out by the idea of a woman wholeheartedly enjoying breastfeeding? We're uncomfortable at the suggestion that a woman might exercise such autonomy over her body that she breastfeeds beyond infancy and might actually LIKE DOING SO.
The downside of defining different parenting styles is the defensiveness that this can cause. Understandably, when we come across someone who does things differently to us, it can make us either want to defend our own way, or convince the other person to try it out. We all want to feel secure that we're doing the right thing because it's such an emotive issue...
Tantrums are not something we really grow out of. We simply learn to act differently within them. But the solutions remain the same. As adults witnessing tantrums the most loving and spiritual thing we can do is to be a beacon of love and patience.