Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Throwing the baby out with the bath water

Groan: a mum who believes formula feeding mums get a bad deal has posted on a forum - entitled to her opinion, but why is the post titled MY LETTER TO THE ABA? 

And criticizing our wording in seeking lovely breastfeeding photos for a breastfeeding calendar to fund raise for a breastfeeding organisation!

I've said before: our support network was started by six women to promote and support breastfeeding. Want your own support group - then follow their example! Put in the 45 years of solid volunteer effort that took them from a group of six to a membership base of many thousands.

Now, if you are in a group of women who spend all their time criticising and judging each other's actions as mothers - can I suggest you seek new friends? Seriously, what are you gaining from interacting with such people?

All mothers of young children have the impression strangers are judging their actions in public places - when in fact, they are frowning because they cannot remember if they need to buy toilet paper or not! While you think they disapprove of you bottle feeding your baby, on the other side of the food court, another mum thinks they are disapproving of her breastfeeding in public, while another mother thinks they disapprove of how she is handling a toddler tantrum! It is your own self-doubt and uncertainty that you are picking up, not the thoughts of others.

I don't judge people for turning to formula when breastfeeding doesn't work out. I get angry - but not with the mother. I get angry at a society that still thinks breastfeeding women should do so discreetly, limiting women's birthright of learning how breastfeeding works by watching it happen as they grow up. I get angry with a health system that does not permit new mums to stay in the sanctuary of a hospital bed while they work through initial breastfeeding problems.  I get angry that postnatal services are disjointed and reliant of mothers needing to visit multiple facilities for ongoing help, instead of having a single, skilled caregiver guiding them from the first breastfeed minutes after birth to the point where they are enjoying a successful, satisfying breastfeeding relationship.

So why am I venting here and not replying to her post? Because I just don't have the energy to explain once again, that promoting breastfeeding is NOT criticising formula feeding.


Morgan said...

That _protecting_ breastfeeding, is not criticising formula feeding, surely? ;-)

Jo said...

Well said Yvette, I get frustrated when they say how BF mothers make the Bottle Feeders feel bad. No one can make you feel anything, it's your own thoughts that create your feelings not the thoughts of others.

Amanda said...

Well said Yvette.
A quote comes to mind:
"Nobody can make you feel bad without your permission."