I am sick and tired of the breastfeeding wars. My child is a teenager now and people are still passing judgement about her baby years and how she was fed.
There is a lot of pressure for mothers to breastfeed (but do it in hiding “heavy sarcasm”) and a lot of propaganda about how it will affect your child’s health. In the maternity ward, I received a lot of pressure for breastfeeding. Because of my breast reduction, I wasn’t physically able to breastfeed. The nurses at the hospital still attempted to convince me I should try for my daughter’s sake, that I should be ashamed for opting for formula milk. The milk canals were cut, there are no options here. Regardless of the medical reason why I couldn’t breastfeed, I still resented that my choices as a woman weren’t being respected.
People who saw me bottle feed my daughter felt entitled to tell me I was endangering my daughter. I find it funny how at every doctor’s appointment my daughter was the healthiest kid there. How about mind your own bloody business.
On the other hand, I know for a fact that women are told they are disgusting when breastfeeding and some have even been arrested for indecency, which is absolutely ridiculous. In this world, it is okay to bare all for marketing and sexual enjoyment of others, but not to feed a child. Once again, it’s completely ridiculous.
People are being more passionate about this than they are about corruption in politics, war, poverty, climate change and the homeless. The worst part is they feel entitled to police strangers according to their own crooked values.
Breastfeeding or bottle feeding isn’t about making a statement. It’s about feeding a child. This should not be made more challenging than it already can be some times.
Breasts are literally designed to do feed children, so it shouldn’t even be debatable if women can or cannot feed their child in public. You don’t like it, then look away, it’s that simple. If you are worried about the kids, it’s an excellent opportunity to have a conversation about biology and consent. We’re not obligated to look and don’t have a right to gawk just because a woman is feeding her child.
I dream of a world where breastfeed or formula feed doesn’t matter as we unite together to raise healthy children. You make the choices that are best for you and your child. The only choices we have control over are our own. It is so much better to treat people kindly and with respect rather than to go straight to a place of judgement. We should be supporting women’s decisions instead of critiquing them and making snap judgements based on limited knowledge and bad information.
I know that we are all passionate about our beliefs. I know that we all want what is best for your children. That being said, we can never allow our choices to become dogma and thus cloud our views and treatment of others.
“There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children… What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply…” – Elder M. Russel Ballard.