Friday, 4 May 2018

Breastfeeding and why women can do better

We live in a time when women are again proudly declaring that they're feminists, men are trash and they're going to fight the patriarchy so why oh why are we judging one another over what we decide to feed our babies and do with our boobs?
Breastfeeding and why women can do better

 
I was keen to get out and about pretty soon after having Freddie and when he was 4 days old my Mum and I went for a little waddle to the nearest Costa, I got comfortable and it was soon time for Freddie to have a bottle - I'm very lucky that Freddie prefers his milk at room temperature which means I don't have to faff around with heating bottles so I can easily whip out a bottle of sterilised water and pot of powder mix them together and hey presto - Freddie has some lunch. As a first time Mum to a 4 day old baby I was feeling pretty proud to have my sh*t together enough to be able to not only leave the house but also confidently feed my baby in the public (you may applaud me) I was just getting his bottle ready when two Mummies strolled in and sat at a table next to me, I noticed them looking at Freddie's bottle and formula on the table and muttering to one another and it made me feel uneasy, in the next moment they'd both whipped their boobs out and fed their babies whilst looking smug and giving me disapproving looks. For a split second I felt like crap, I felt like they were doing it properly and I should hurry my baby away and waddle home but then I felt disgusted with them...how dare they judge me, how dare they look at me and my baby that way. I popped open the pot of powder, poured in the bottle and mixed that formula like a flamenco dancer. I think I proved my point as the mummies stopped glaring and focussed on their own children. This instance as well as the numerous women who messaged me asking why I wasn't breast feeding on social media got me thinking about how to tackle this unacceptable judgemental behaviour. 

We need to stop excusing ourselves 


I've seen so many influencers feel the need to create posts, videos and stories explaining why they're no longer or not at all breast feeding to appease the angry commenters bombarding them with passive aggressive questions filled with judgement and I've faced it in person, people have said "why aren't you breast feeding" or, "oh, is he on the bottle" my response for the first few days was always "I tried breast feeding but it didn't work out blah blah blah" which is true and was often followed by and understanding response but also by a snide remarks like "well it does take time" and "you have to stick at it for it to work" I soon got tired of explaining myself and it wasn't until I heard one of Luke's Xbox mates ask why Freddie was being bottle fed and Luke respond with "because she didn't want to" that I realised that that was enough of an explanation. It's not your business what I feed my baby or why, it's not your place to judge or imply I'm not giving my child the best because I am doing my best and it is enough. The more we explain ourselves and try and justify our behaviour the 'guiltier' we come across and that leaves us more open to judgement from unkind people. Don't allow people to make snide comments or demand an in-depth reason - don't allow someone to make you feel like crap. 

Breastfeeding and why women can do better
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We need to stop asking 


We all have our opinions on what is best to feed babies and that's perfectly fine - informed opinions are what help us make our parenting choices but that's exactly it, our parenting choices for our children. If you're the kind of person that judges women for bottle feeding you need to staaaahp and concentrate on your own parenting, don't worry yourself with what other people are doing with theirs, if the bottle was that bad it wouldn't be an option. We need to stop asking one another what we're feeding babies unless it is without judgement. If looking down on someone who bottle feeds because you breast feed makes you feel like a 'better' parent then you need re-evaluate your parenting, if you're new to baby chat and think it's ok to ask someone why they aren't breast feeding...it isn't. 

We need to do better 


We need to stop the competing, the judging and the comparing. We all have different styles and follow different paths, Freddie is bottle fed, he'll be traditionally weened, he started potty training from birth, and won't be following a vegan diet, he sleeps in his crib next to me and he sleeps through the night...he's happy, healthy and thriving. I honestly couldn't give a damn how someone else is bringing up their baby because I'm too busy focussing on mine. Do the same.

Breastfeeding and why women can do better

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12 comments

  1. Gorgeous! I’m due in two weeks and won’t be breastfeeding, due to numerous reasons but from now on I’ll be taking my reasons down to just one, I don’t want to.

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  2. YES GIRL, don't let anyone make you feel like crap xx

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  3. Yaaaaaas love this post !! I am breastfeeding and it was honestly a tough few days to start with but I have the hang of it now - but I don't think it's fair how people/even some nurses/midwives turn their noses up at formula feeding. A fed baby is best - no matter how it's done. The most important thing is your baby is happy - and Freddie definitely is a happy little chap!

    Saira
    sairasays.co.uk xxx

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  4. Yaaaaas! Absolutely love this post. I decided to bottle feed both my children and the amount of judgement I got was ridiculous. But it was my decision and my choice. I have 2 very happy and healthy children and that’s all that matters.
    Ps Freddie is so cute! Hope you’re enjoying motherhood.

    Heather xo

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  5. Damn straight! I say this as a breastfeeding mum too. I really struggled to get started, took months for my milk supply to settle and I think the only reasons I've stuck with it are that I worked so hard to get it right, and that I'm lazy. But honestly, if we have another child, I'm tempted to use formula. Breastfeeding is awful, it hurts, you have to wear stupid bras, it puts a huge burden on me to do all night feeds as my son won't take milk from a bottle... If he didn't find it comforting (and it is a huge comfort to him) I'd have given up long before now. All respect to you for your choice and for having your formula knowledge together so early on too, the boiled water and powder stuff always put my head in a spin! x

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  6. Yess Issy! I got asked this many times and I find it so rude. It’s no one else’s business but yours what you feed your baby. I tried breastfeeding with Alfie for a few days but it got too much and he soon was getting formula instead which was much easier. Harrison was bottle fed too, and this bubba will be too. There’s nothing wrong with it, as long as they’re happy and h but healthy x

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  7. FED IS BEST! I’m not saying anything more Lol x X

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  8. I don't have a baby but I've never understood this level of judging that other mums do.
    I gave my poor parents endless amounts of stress because I wouldn't breast feed as a baby. I'm the oldest of four children and the younger three all breast fed fine. And guess what we all grew up fed and happy even though they were breastfed and I wasn't. I'm no expert but it seems obvious to me that every baby is different and what works for one doesn't work for the other. Seems like you're doing brilliantly to me 💕

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  9. ⬆️⬆️ agree! Your little man is loved, thriving, gorgeous and fed, anyone who thinks down on you for that needs to re evaluate their views...xx

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  10. Yes yes yes yes yes! I'm sure you've read my post on breastfeeding, now we're in a groove and Joshua is very happy and thriving on soya milk I wish I hadn't focused on it so much. He was fed and that's what was important, not where it came from xx

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  11. Hello, I've just found your blog and I LOVED this (I wrote a very similar post myself last year). It took me a long time to get over not being able to breastfeed and eventually I got sick of excusing my son's formula, even though he was thriving on it. I get so sick of various mummy groups because it's like they can't respect the choice to formula feed, but kick off if it's the other way?? You're doing great mama x

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  12. I am a firm believer of whatever option equals Mum Mental Health happy + Baby growing and srong = best outcome. The biggest issue with new mums is the guilt, and it seems no matter what we do we feel guilty for it - so there should be no stigma coming from anywhere else. LOVE YOU GUYS!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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