Here is something I have often found myself wondering since I became a mum, why do parents argue with other parents about how they feed their babies? I mean, why do people feel the need to pass comment on how others decide to feed their child? I have tried my best to bite my tongue on the whole breast v bottle debate as I do not like arguments and, unfortunately, baby feeding seems to cause A LOT of arguments. I can’t keep quiet any longer though, I am sick of seeing mums online having a go at each other, judging each other and being pretty damn rude to each other over something as trivial as where a baby gets it’s milk from.
Please, can we stop arguing about how we feed our babies?
I am sure I am not the only mum out there who is tired of seeing the same old comments like ‘why would she even give her baby formula? She is obviously too lazy to breastfeed’ or ‘I never understand why breastfeeding mums don’t just feed at home so we don’t have to see them get their boobs out in public’ or even ‘don’t these formula feeding mums realise how bad that milk is for their child? They clearly don’t care about their babies health!’. There is so much judgement and negativity thrown around when it comes to the ever so sensitive topic of baby feeding and I just wish it would stop.
If you regularly read my blog then you will know that I am a breastfeeding mama, I fed my eldest son until he was 10 months and am currently feeding my 6 month old baby boy. A breastfeeding mama I may be, a breastfeeding nazi I am most definitely not. It makes me sad that there is even such a term as breastfeeding nazi , or the breastfeeding brigade, but unfortunately there are mums out there who breastfeed and feel the need to preach to the masses the power of breastmilk and condemn those who dare allow their baby to drink formula from an evil bottle. I totally understand that it is important to inform new mums about all the benefits of breastfeeding but, ultimately, how each mother decides to feed their baby is up to them.
When a breastfeeding mum decides to have a go at a bottle feeding mum online what exactly is she hoping to achieve? That mum is clearly bottle feeding for a reason, maybe she had trouble getting her baby to latch on, perhaps she had issues with milk supply or maybe she simply just wanted to bottle feed. A nasty remark from a breastfeeding mum telling her that, because of her choice of feeding method, her baby will grow up with loads of health and emotional problems and that she is a terrible mum for formula feeding isn’t going to make her start breastfeeding. That mum has made her decision, maybe she regrets it or maybe she is totally happy with it, and all that comment is going to do is make her feel like shit.
This argument works both ways, there are judgemental mums occupying both sides of the coin. Why when a mum wants to share a picture of her newborn nursing must she have to do so in the sad knowledge that someone will probably have something unkind to say? Why can’t a mum feel confident to feed her baby in public and not be stressed about what her bottle feeding counterparts might have been thinking? There is no need for anyone to say anything horrible to a feeding mum, she’s just feeding her baby. I really think motherhood would be a much less stressful and anxiety filled place in our lives if other parents would stop with this judgemental behaviour.
We did it.. 6 whole months of breastfeeding! If you had told me when Alex was 5 days old and I was in agony feeding him that we’d still be going strong after 6 months I wouldn’t have believed you. Here we are though, 6 months in to feeding and things are going great. Yes it’s tiring at times and sometimes I find myself wishing Oli had boobs too so he coild take over but I am so proud of Alex and I for sticking with it. Seeing how much Alex grown all thanks to me makes me kind of feel like super mum. Chatting all about my feelings on reaching 6 months of breastfeeding on the blog today in my latest breastfeeding diary entry.
Recently I posted a photo of me feeding Alex on Instagram; I got loads of lovely comments congratulating me on feeding my baby for 6 months but one mum felt the need to take the time out of her day to leave me a negative comment. I was accused of searching for praise, I wasn’t, and for trying to glorify breastfeeding, I wasn’t. What I was doing was celebrating the fact that, after a shaky start, I was still feeding Alex myself. I was proud of making it through 6 months of breastfeeding and I wanted to share that feeling with others, not because I wanted a pat on the back but just because I was feeling amazing and couldn’t help but shout about it. I can’t help but feel if that Instagram post had been about me celebrating 6 months as a mum of 2 or the fact I have managed to move Alex into his own room with no problems then no hurtful comments would have been made. Seriously, what is it about feeding that makes so many of us turn into judgmental, thoughtless people who think it’s ok to make others feel rubbish through the unnecessary hurt they hurl from their laptop keyboards? Breastfeeding mum or bottle feeding mum, we are all mums! Can we please stop fighting over milk, it is just ridiculous and a waste of our precious time and energy.
I guess I just want to say, if you bottle feed your baby you’re doing an amazing job, I don’t think you’re a worse mother than breastfeeding mums. If you see me feeding my baby in the coffee shop while you’re warming up your baby’s bottle, don’t think I’m sitting on my high horse judging you because I’m not. I will likewise try not to worry about you judging me for sitting and feeding my baby in a public place or for the fact I’ve continued to breastfeed after 6 months. Breastfeeding mums, I think you are doing an equally amazing job – all us parents are doing the best we can for our little ones.
Can we please just be kind to each other, in real life and online? Bringing up a baby is hard , let’s not make it more difficult for each other by fighting over how we feed our babies. Our babies, our say, our decision. It’s not up to anyone else to say how you should feed your baby or how you should feel and people need to stop feeling the need to judge others for their parenting choices. I’m sure everyone has more important things to worry about. Breast or bottle, formula or breastmilk, it’s all just a way of keeping our little people alive and, after all, isn’t that the most important thing?
What do you think? Are you fed up of the whole breastfeeding/bottle feeding debate too? I would love to hear your thoughts and for goodness sake please don’t all start ripping into each other in my comments section, pretty please? Eeep, I’m scared about hitting publish!
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