I drafted this post a few days ago when I was feeling particularly enraged. Thankfully, I decided not to publish immediately and was unsure whether to publish at all to save myself getting worked up with the sheer hopelessness of it all. Only after speaking to a few Twitter friends and some lovely supportive ladies today have I decided that I need to get it off my chest and I am glad I took the time to re-draft and write a more rounded article containing less capital letters and exclamation marks :D
Anyway, here goes…
I love Twitter and the whole Social Networking scene in general. It has opened a new world to me and I have had contact with some genuinely lovely, interesting people through their tweets and blogs. There is a real little community living in my phone! Before starting my blog, I signed up to Twitter but didn’t actually get round to tweeting. It was completely alien to me and I didn’t have a purpose. I could have followed all the celebrities but I really didn’t know where to start or how it all worked. I was also living in my own little breastfeeding bubble.
I breastfed Spud until 7 months and he had the occasional bottle of formula before I was given shocking ‘advice’ from a so-called Health Professional and I had to give up.
I have attended my local breastfeeding support group for over 2 years and I still go with Pooh Bear.
Incidentally, Pooh Bear has never had a drop of formula and he is now 9 months old.
As far as I am concerned, what I feed my babies is absolutely nobody’s business but my own. A little older and a little wiser since having Spud, I have chosen, with the support of Scatty Dad, never to give formula to Pooh Bear.
This is a personal choice I have made based on personal experiences and beliefs. This does not mean, that I judge anyone who decides to do things their own way. I do in fact applaud this.
If you have visited my blog before, you will know that I am a Breastfeeding Advocate and volunteer my time for a number of projects which support breastfeeding Mums. I very strongly believe that every woman who wants to breastfeed should receive total support from all quarters. The media and other camps don’t always make it easy for us, the minority, to breastfeed with confidence. This is why I am writing this post.
In the UK, most women DON’T breastfeed so why is there a small number of self-appointed ‘Breastfeeding Police’ who continue to judge and push guilt on the Mums who do.
There is still a part of me which is regretful that I couldn’t feed Spud for longer especially since I am now armed with the information which would have seen me continue. I also wish he hadn’t had the odd bottle of formula and wonder how much is my own guilt and how much is due to general comments made within breastfeeding circles.
We are having a hard enough time encouraging more Mums to give breastfeeding a go without them feeling like they have to penetrate an ‘elite’ group. A group which has it’s own secret rules of which I am pretty sure I am only aware of half of. I am not going to list the usual bones of contention since I would be here all day but the fact that they exist only confuses Mums further and unless they seek proper support, they give up or struggle on when they could find a better, perhaps, ‘frowned upon’ solution.
Can we just get back to the simple fact that we are just feeding our babies. We are doing this in a way which we feel comfortable. I am not suggesting that we stop educating for fear of making women feel bad about how they might have done it previously but that it is done in a sensitive, supportive, non-judgemental way to ensure they feel confident and content with their choices.
Am I the only one who feels this way?