Letter: Breastfeeding isn’t the only way

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Thank you for your cover story on breastfeeding support in and around Asheville [“Go With the Flow: Asheville and Buncombe County Seek Breastfeeding-friendly Designation,” July 31, Xpress].

I’d ask you and your readers to also consider that while breastfeeding is certainly the ideal, it does not work out for all women. The personal costs of breastfeeding can be extremely high — from lost work hours to chronic physical issues with plugged ducts and mastitis to low breast storage (where a child must constantly be nursed to be satisfied even months after birth, as was the case for me).

While the awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding is — thankfully — high these days, the awareness of how hard and possibly untenable it can be for some women is starkly lagging in our community. In my own experience, this led to guilt and deep postpartum depression as I tried to live up to standards that just weren’t working for my body, my baby or my life.

Because I’ve heard from so many other women who have had similar experiences, I feel it is important to highlight and share.

— Jodi Goldenbaum
Asheville

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