If you woke up one morning to find your legs didn’t work, would you go out and buy a wheelchair immediately? Or would you seek medical attention?
If the first doctor told you there’s nothing you can do and to just go buy a wheelchair, would you listen? Would you expect some exploration into why your legs aren’t working properly before being encouraged to accept your fate of never walking again? Would you seek a second opinion? Would you go find someone who was an expert or specialist? Would you accept the advice of a general practitioner, knowing there are other professionals who dedicate their entire career to legs, the way they work and conditions that affect them? Would you want to see someone with a track record of helping people like you get walking again?
We have two legs and physical infrastructure, like nerves and muscles. Our bodies are designed to walk. If your body isn’t working the way it’s been designed to, shouldn’t you expect medical professionals to be concerned about that, rather than simply pointing you towards the most basic way of working around the problem?
If your legs weren’t working, would you expect friends and family to be concerned and to encourage you to get you back up on your feet? If they said to you “Walking is hard anyway. Using a wheelchair is much more convenient” how would that make you feel? People might tell you that wheelchairs are more convenient, but that feels like a dirty big lie. They are expensive, and signify an ongoing cost that you wouldn’t otherwise have had. If you want to travel somewhere it will be inconvenient to take a wheelchair with you. Not only that, but an inability to walk exposes you consequential health risks.
Wheelchairs are a fantastic invention. Lots of people live wonderful lives without being able to walk. You aren’t against wheelchairs, and you aren’t making assumptions about people who are happy to use them. But you REALLY WANT TO WALK! You don’t want to rely on a wheelchair, you want your body to work the way it should. It’s important to you, and people encouraging you to quit and telling you that you’ll be fine without walking upsets and confuses you.
If your breasts aren’t feeding the way they should, you deserve to be treated in the same manner as if any other part of your body was not functioning properly. You deserve support and encouragement. If there is a genuine medical issue preventing your breasts from working properly, then you deserve help to get them working as closely to normal as possible, or at the very least, for someone experienced and knowledgeable to explain why.
We need to stop dismissing women with breastfeeding problems by simply encouraging them to quit. We need to stop being untruthful when we say there’s nothing that can be done when there are specialists they can be referred to. We need to stop insulting them by telling them it doesn’t matter how their baby is fed. For the woman who desperately wants to breastfeed, it matters a lot.