Those smug breastfeeders

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The problem with breastfeeding is, you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.  Formula feeders are forever lamenting that they're judged negatively and unfairly, yet I've been a formula feeder and other than online, I never once felt judged in real life, rather I was conforming to what was for all intent purposes the societal 'norm'.  I never felt victimised or scrutinized whilst formula feeding.  I never had to justify my reasoning for formula feeding be it for how long or where.

If you're a breastfeeder people either disagree with it (how can you 'disagree' with feeding your baby the most biologically appropriate food?) or else feel fit to regale you with tales of how and why they don't breastfeed.

Breastfeeding is hard.  It's hard physically at first as well as emotionally and mentally.  It's a work in progress.  A learning curve.  It may be natural and instinctive, yet that doesn't mean it doesn't take an incredible amount of effort, perseverance and dedication  with many practical, societal and cultural obstacles along the way.

If a woman breastfeeds in public, she isn't making a political statement.  She isn't attention seeking.  She isn't trying to make those who don't breastfeed feel bad or guilty.  She is merely feeding her hungry child.  Yes, it's that simple.   It genuinely isn't about you.  It's about her baby.

You've just given birth, you've been asked throughout your pregnancy if you'll breastfeed.  You're coerced into doing it in hospital.  Yet, if you do, do it, if you keep doing it it's then a completely different ball game.  No longer are people obsessed with if you will breastfeed, they're now obsessed with when you'll stop.  you really can't win.

If a breastfeeder is proud of breastfeeding, this doesn't make her smug.  Why shouldn't she be proud?  it's an achievement.

So next time you think of a breastfeeder as being 'one of those smug breastfeeding types' remember, that statement says far more about you than it ever will about her.

8 comments:

  1. If there was a 'like' button on here I'd like this xx

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  2. I love this post. I had a mom tell me that she felt guilty for not breastfeeding. I told her not to feel guilty or bad because her baby was happy. I told her if she did breastfeed she would have gotten comments or suggestions as well. It is a damned if you do or damned if you don't situation.

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  3. Love this. :-) I have formula fed, and have gotten a couple of snotty comments IRL. I quickly smacked them down, though. I agree; you're damned either way!

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  4. Twenty million LIKES Mrs. Breastfeeding is just breastfeeding it happens, I do it, other people do it. It's not anyone else's business and if they choose to have an opinion I'd rather not hear it. I find it just as weird to be congratulated as to be considered smug though...:). Where I live seems to be 90% formula feeders and no one has ever said anything negative to me, but there has been a lot of telling me why they didn't/couldn't feed. To be honest I don't care, it's their baby not mine - I don't need to know their life story. Anyway - awesome post. More please :D!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for reading and for leaving such a positive comment!

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  5. I love this. I have just come across it. I have 2 children and both have been bottle fed. It's not a supply issue. I had gallons of the stuff. The issue was I can't stand having my nipples handled or sucked. The sensation makes me physically sick. I've never experienced any judgement from anyone. Only from the overzealous breastfeeding advocate midwife I had at the birth of my daughter. She soon learned to back away slowly after trying to manhandle my boobs and my daughter. If you can breastfeed, more power to ya. But if you cant or don't want to. Just remember formula is not poison in a tin. And for anyone to suggest it is, obviously don't know why it was engineered in the first place.

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