Breastfeeding: mind your own tits

In the past few weeks breastfeeding, more specifically breastfeeding bullies, have gained a lot of media attention. I read an article last week about a woman who went to a breastfeeding room to bottle feed her son as it was a quiet space with a chair and was told by another Mom she had to leave because the room was JUST for breastfeeding Moms. As if she was such a low life that she was not even worthy of a chair in their presence. And she literally sat on the floor outside the breastfeeding room to feed her son.

Picture this: You are a carnivore (aka you eat meat) and you walk into a vegetarian restaurant. Suddenly, someone screams at you to leave because they know you are not a vegetarian. Now that you have been publicly shamed you carefully consider their screams you decide that kind stranger is  correct, you should be a vegetarian. And then you become one and you live happily ever after.

NO.

When in the history of every has bullying  and publicly shaming someone into doing something actually worked? Being a parent is hard, especially a brand new parent so please give us a break. Here are 5 very worthy considerations for everyone to keep their judgements to themselves about how parents choose to feed their children:

  1. Grandparents, step parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, caregivers, guardians, single fathers, etc. They generally do not have breast milk but they can be great parents still and have a really healthy child.
  2. Mechanical difficulties: Poor latch, tongue tie, inverted nipples, breast reduction surgery, poor positioning, it all matters. These difficulties require all of the right support people to be able to overcome those difficulties and they are not always available. I had my son at 10:30 on a Friday night and had my first consult with a lactation nurse bright and early at 8 am on Monday morning. That is a lot of hours without help when it feels more like you’re feeding a shark and there are blood and tears everywhere.
  3. Medication: Ever read the label of prescription medications or over the counter medications and notice that almost all of them are not appropriate for breastfeeding? There are a lot of reasons why new Mom’s need to start a new medication or resume a medication they stopped just so they could become pregnant. Research shows approximately 13% of new moms have clinically diagnosed postpartum depression and some of those Mom’s may need medication and have to discontinue breastfeeding. Picture yourself judging a Mom who formula feeds her child only because she had overwhelming levels of anxiety and depression postpartum. I bet you feel like a real asshole.
  4. Working Moms: Surprisingly not everyone has a year off from work and not all jobs allow you to break every couple of hours to get your pump on.
  5. Poor milk supply: This one is debated hard on the inter web and Dr. Jack Newman would absolutely tell me that poor milk supply is an urban myth. I call bull shit. If Dr. Jack Newman wants to hang out with new Mom’s at 3 am who are faced with a hungry and screaming baby, all the power to him to prove me wrong. But I am a firm believer that not all Mom’s produce enough milk and that leaves you with one unhappy baby which in turn leaves one unhappy Momma.

If you feel extremely passionate about breastfeeding, here are 3 causes to fight for instead of trying to take on Mom’s one at a time:

  1. Lobby government to improving access to lactation nurses (read: more money and more hiring)
  2. Ask some of your local shopping and community centres to create breastfeeding friendly
    rooms
  3. Try contributing to empowering women instead of tearing them down.

#fedisbest #mindyourowntits

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5 thoughts on “Breastfeeding: mind your own tits

  1. Thank you for this!! I was a non-breast feeding mom. With my first child I returned to school weeks after her birth and with my son my milk never came in. The pressure to breast feed my son was so great I almost starved him to death, so that Dr who says lack of milk is a myth can kiss the fattest part of my ass! And you know what… even without breastfeeding I managed to raise two kind, compassionate human beings who contribute to society daily – imagine that! As women and mothers we should support one another. You want/can breastfeed your baby – great! You choose to use formula – great! The only thing anyone should say to a new parent is “congratulations on your new baby” – and then stop talking! And for the record my babies are 30 and 23 years old (not months, years) and the hateful comments people made still stick in my mind today so thank you again for such a well written article.

    1. I am so glad to hear that there are other Mom’s out there who take major comfort in hearing that thing cannot always go by the book but those kids still turn out so well!! Kudos to you going back to school with a new born, those are the details people don’t know when they see a Mom bottle feed. Thanks so much for tuning in and joining our fed is best army!

  2. A great rant about a subject that has frustrated me since forever! My first son was adopted & my second son had a cleft lip/palate. Two special babies that grew into awesome young men! For a number of reasons, bottle feeding ensured my babies were FED, in my arms, their dad’s arms, grandparents etc. But guilt was heaped on me by the buckets for not preparing to breast feed my first son & not persisting in trying with second son regardless of difficulties. “Breast is best” is a nice slogan, but I much prefer “fed is best”, so let’s just create “baby stations in stores & restaurants, not breastfeeding stations that seem to exclude other moms! Keep up the great work ladies!

    1. Thanks so much for providing your own examples of babies who breast was not best for. There is so much pressure (especially for those of us in health care!) but I am guessing those kids turned out damn good if they are anything like their momma!

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