I want to personally thank you for dedicating your lives to helping people maintain wellness. You have gone through a lot of schooling and gained a ton of experience to be able to guide people through sickness and to live healthy, fulfilling and long lives. You have literally saved the lives of family members. When I am sick or injured you are the first person I call. We would be in a terrible place without you.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that you are a guide and support. I would like to speak specifically about when you are treating women, children and families. I understand you have worked hard and that we live in a culture where you have gained authority with your degree. However, you are a guide and not the final word in a woman’s decision about her body or a family’s parenting decisions. A woman is the ultimate authority over her body, and a child’s parents are the ultimate authority in their family.
Many of you do so many things right for us. You refer us to lactation consultants when we are struggling to make breastfeeding work. You encourage us to keep going through the rough times. You have gone above and beyond your medical curriculum to educate yourself on information that is not included such as breastfeeding and natural childbirth. You lift us up and make us feel strong. You have faith that our bodies, which have grown a baby all by itself, can also birth this baby and nourish this baby. You encourage the family bed and breastfeeding around the clock.
Unfortunately many of you have gotten your information very wrong. You are wrong that breastmilk loses its nutritional value at 1 year, that a mother struggling to breastfeed automatically needs formula and that a child will have psychological issues if breastfed into toddlerhood. You are wrong that a mother needs to stop breastfeeding at any designated time just because that is your opinion. You are wrong that breastmilk is rotting my child’s teeth. You are wrong that breastfeeding while pregnant is endangering my fetus. You are wrong that sharing a bed with my baby is deadly. You are wrong that my baby should cry alone. You are wrong that homebirth is dangerous. You are wrong that our bodies are not powerful enough to birth our babies without your interference. You are wrong that a baby cannot be heathy without solid foods. You are wrong to make us feel diminished and afraid in our new role. You are wrong to threaten us either outwardly or indirectly on decisions that are none of your business.
I believe it would surprise you to find the amount of things that are none of your business. Your business is what I make it. You are a guide, a support, a resource. It is your job to give me the honest truth, the whole story and all of the information when I ask for it. It is your job to support us and encourage us while we educate ourselves on all of our options and then support us when we have made our final decisions about our bodies and our children.
Thank you for the awesome job you are doing. I hope to hear the same from you at our next visit.