When I was in the shop yesterday, I noticed on the front page of one of the newspapers was a photo of a celebrity breastfeeding with the headline ‘exclusive shock pics’. The article that followed is one of pro-breastfeeding, saying it is normal and natural. However, does the headline shock pictures not portray it as not being normal? Why is a woman breastfeeding shocking? It is the reason women have breasts, it is the most natural thing in the world.
I breastfeed and I love that I have been lucky enough to be able to but I don’t feel the need to push it in front of people. I say I am lucky, because it isn’t easy at the beginning, it was painful to begin with and I was constantly worrying Lucas wasn’t getting enough, I cried to D that I couldn’t do it, I had a breastfeeding support network woman come round and as soon as she walked in the door I burst out crying but with support, I persisted and it’s now second nature to Lucas and I.
It isn’t that simple for everyone though and it seems to be turning into a battle between bottle and breast, instead of supporting each other at a time when we are on an emotional rollercoaster, we are forcing opinions on each other.
Some women desperately want to breastfeed but can’t, whether that is because the baby won’t latch on, complications during labour forcing mother and baby to be away from each other or one of the many other reasons and it doesn’t seem fair that they have to have breastfeeding rammed down their throats or other mums looking at them when they get the bottle out during a baby group.
The same goes for those that choose not to breastfeed, I went to aquanatal with a lady who wouldn’t even consider breastfeeding, she said she couldn’t think of anything worse than a baby being stuck to her. That may be right for her but it wouldn’t be fair to expect breastfeeding mothers to not breastfeed when out with their baby.
Whether bottle or breastfed, baby’s should be fed when they are hungry, being in a public place shouldn’t effect this. Nobody should be made to feel awkward for feeding their baby and we should be embracing our different parenting styles rather than being judgemental. The most important thing is that our babies are fed, loved and nurtured x