Most of my friends are breast-feeders, it's true, and with the recent relocation to south-central Indiana, I'm seeking out women who breastfeed to try to make new friends here. Why?
Well, it's not because I don't like women who formula feed. This isn't some kind of exclusive club by any means, but it's much easier to be a part of a group of women where your choice to breastfeed is just what's normal. It's easier to be myself with other women who have breastfed or are breastfeeding their kids. I don't face any questions, I don't face any judgement, I don't face unspoken guilt from a mom who failed at breastfeeding and now feels threatened by my breastfeeding relationship. I can even gripe about my nursling's latest annoying nursing habit with women who won't cringe if I say "nipple." I like feeling normal in a society where breastfeeding simply isn't normal (much as we are all trying to change that). It's a starting point for friendships, a way to find common ground and like-minded mothers to spend time with.
I also seek out doulas and other birth-workers because we share a common interest. Not all of them are breast-feeders, but we still build relationships on the basis of a common interest. If you don't share that interest, you wouldn't want to come and have coffee with me and a doula girlfriend because we are probably going to talk about birthy stuff in details you may find grotesque! I'll admit to having a hard time socializing with people who don't have kids...it's not because I don't like them, but as a stay at home mom, the things I have to talk about have to do with kids, my home, and my husband. A woman who works and has no children would probably grow bored of my babble quickly and we would struggle to find something to talk about. This is just how society works, we seek out like-minded people, people who share some interests with us, and we go from there. It's not because others are not perfectly nice people, it's just that we don't have a good common interest to keep a friendship together.
So don't think we are being exclusionary by seeking out other breastfeeding mothers. Formula feeders are the majority in this society, they always feel normal (except, of course if they are are hanging out with a room full of me and my breastfeeding buddies right?!) but breastfeeding mothers need to actively seek out others for their support network and community.
We're not haters. I promise.