"The American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirms its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months."
"WHO recommends mothers worldwide to exclusively breastfeed infants for the child's first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health."
"[CDC] Healthy People 2020 objectives for exclusive breastfeeding through 3 and 6 months of age are 46.2% and 25.5%, respectively."Dear government and medical organizations: Screw you.
I am a committed breastfeeder. Bug nursed until he was almost two. Tatoe will probably do the same. And neither of my children was 'exclusively breastfed' until six months.
Tatoe is now 5 months and 1 week old. I just gave him a large baby helping of sweet potatoes, from my lunchtime soup. (He cried when they were gone.) Why? Because he grabs our food and tries to put it in his mouth, and when I gave him steamed apple last week, he almost fell out of his chair with joy. Five months, six months, who cares?
Bug got applesauce and oatmeal when he was four months old. He would not, not not not, take a bottle. Dr. S was home with him all day three days a week. So we agreed to feed him a little real food and then, sometimes, he would also eat milk. So the choices were: divorce; quit job; hungry screaming baby; applesauce. Let's see. Which seems best to YOU?
So I'm a failure in their statistics- even though I will almost certainly nurse both children well past 12 months- and my children will clearly never "achieve optimal growth, development and health". (If you've seen my children, you realize this is a joke. They are large.) The choosing of cutoffs for statistically-determined screenings is its own mini-branch of statistics; choosing cutoffs for 'soft' guidelines is much harder. They have to draw the line somewhere. And yet, it seems that no child-related guideline ever manages to be expressed in an inoffensive way. In trying to fit people into best practice guidelines, they manage to piss off even the people who wanted to do it that way.