This is a very emotive subject as so many women have such a personal journey when it comes to feeding their baby. I fear a minority of readers were completely missing the point of my previous post, Breast Brigade and more worryingly, misinterpreting my comments as an attack on breastfeeding.
Let’s very quickly set the record straight;
- Breast milk is the best nutrition for your baby (unless they are allergic/intolerant)
- Breastfeeders should feel empowered to feed their baby whenever and wherever they choose.
- Support for breastfeeding mums is so very important and should be encouraged.
- Education, information and guidance is also vital for any struggling breastfeeder.
- I acknowledge that successful breastfeeders can have a torrid time too and they should be celebrated in their achievement.
I also feel that the same support and encouragement should be given for people who choose to bottle feed their baby. Hence my last post. It wasn’t a dig, it wasn’t an act of jealously… It was simply a personal story and a message to bottle feeding mums that they are not alone, they shouldn’t feel guilty for their method of feeding and they shouldn’t be judged. I listed potential reasons mums may physically not be able to breastfeed. I was told that I shouldn’t focus on the minority and that messages like mine could ruin a breastfeeders journey.
How on earth could I do that? I didn’t write anything that would convince mothers to give up breastfeeding. I simply acknowledged that’s it’s ok if they do. I’m also focusing on the minority of women who can’t breastfeed because I’m one of them! It’s therefore completely relevant to me and women like me!! I can certainly say that I would have loved to read supportive messages during my bottle feeding journey. And funnily enough, so have many other women who the post was designed for.
I’ve experienced the ‘why can’t you breastfeed?’ questions. I’ve experienced the looks of other women when I got my bottle out in a restaurant, not my breast. I’ve experienced the ‘it’s such a shame you couldn’t pass on your antibodies’ comments. There is judgement out there.
My sole purpose of the post ‘Breast Brigade’ was to try and comfort others who have been in my shoes. I certainly didn’t write it for sympathy, for an anti-breast agenda or to be mocked by other mums online.
Some of the responses have been so personally insulting that I was going to let this topic drop, brush it under the carpet and move on… then I re-read some of the heartfelt messages thanking me for speaking out.
So… I’m now going to encourage women to share their fantastically beautiful photos of them bottle feeding their baby. They should be proud that they have chosen a method of providing nutrition in a way that suits them and their baby. Post your photos on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter – anywhere! Make sure you use the hashtag #dontjudgejustfeed
*Please note: I’m not discriminating against breastfeeders by starting this drive. There isn’t anything like this for bottle feeders and there are already weeks dedicated to encouraging breastfeeders to upload their photos.*
And for anyone reading this who is going to try and misquote me or rain on my parade, just remember this statement:
We are on the same side. A side that provides the best nutrition we can give our babies.
Ultimately, we are all just doing our best, breast or bottle.
Please also remember this:
This is intended to be a positive post to liberate bottle feeding mums. Negative comments on my website or Facebook page will not be acknowledged and will be deleted as soon as I see them.