Then I kept seeing these Insta + blog posts shaming other mom's for formula feeding their babies. And all my fears were becoming a reality. Clearly they were in the right because they have 15K followers, and their words have more meaning than my feelings.. right?
It appears that during WHO’s review last year, the issue of breastfeeding complications weren’t raised as a ‘priority for discussion’. In fact, WHO officials reported that they have not specifically studied the complications from exclusive breastfeeding and have no studies or grants commissioned to monitor complications of the BFHI
We recommend that mothers talk to their midwife or a good lactation consultant if they wish to start combination feeding. When we say a good lactation consultant, we are referring to the vast majority who are open, understanding and respectful of bottle and formula feeding. If you have any lactivist pressure from anyone, report them to their superiors (or governing body) for bullying... because that is what aggressive promotion of breastfeeding is.
We mommies are sometimes faced with tough decisions for the well being of our children. I know what it's like to make a choice that parts of society could rip you apart for.
I often read these public opinions and move on without comment due to the fact that I don’t want to draw more attention to a misinformed, biased piece of writing. I also feel that anyone who is unable to understand or comprehend the reasons, experiences or educated choices women make before using formula, to the point where they are openly writing messages of breastfeeding superiority, are people who are too arrogant to listen to the counter argument.
I still don’t understand why the week can’t be renamed ‘World Infant Feeding Week’. Some of the extreme campaigners for breastfeeding have already tried to explain why this shouldn’t happen, but I’m not having it. World Infant Feeding Week would obviously still contain the extremely valuable and informative message regarding breastfeeding, but it would also include information and education surrounding bottle and formula feeding too.
Let’s go back to this week of breastfeeding focus. I completely agree with a drive to support mothers, but this includes support for formula feeding mums too. We could debate for hours over different studies but ultimately every single mother should be celebrated and encouraged to keep their baby fed, whether that’s breastmilk or formula milk.
Breastfeeding grief is very real. It appears that there are lots of women out there who have developed post-natal depression as a direct result from their struggle/inability to breastfeed.
Ok, so back to breastmilk. No problem, I was dairy free and all, well wait... my supply had dropped. I didn't make enough so time to start all the tricks to start producing more milk, right? It was easy. Teas, water, blessed thistle, brewers yeast, power pumping 3 times a day... except it didn't work.
In those first few weeks as my daughters’ weight dropped further and further below their birth weight, people would encourage me to just keep going and just feed wherever and whenever. Now I recognise that for someone with a milk supply that is even remotely sufficient that this is good advice. But when your milk is trickling out like blood from a stone and you have a hungry baby screaming constantly for food, it’s a horrible, horrible feeling.