Daddy Thinks

Breast Feeding and those who can’t

Written by Daddy

Yes i’m a man, but us men think about breastfeeding sometimes so here I am with my views. When I say ‘we’ think about it I obviously don’t mean doing it, that’s weird and more than a little creepy, but as a Dad to four little ones i’ve been there to witness how people tried to force the message that “Breast is best” into my wife’s head.

The fact is they didn’t need to, my wife is an amazing mother and even before our first daughter R she had learned everything she needed to despite suffering from depression – i’m not suggesting that’s a reason that mums-to-be shouldn’t know what to expect, but her mind clearly wasn’t one hundred percent behind the idea of motherhood, although i’m personally convinced her heart was. No number of parenting books can fully prepare you for actually becoming a parent, but she was clued up.

As a spectator I found the people trying to transmit that message to us more and more annoying, and naive. They appeared to bully her, and at times it bordered on what I considered to be emotional blackmail trying to make her feel that she’s a bad mother if she chooses not to breast feed. From the way the same message is still banded around to new mothers today I imagine many women are still being treated the same way now, and it’s wrong.

Breast may well be best in terms of antibodies your newborn baby ‘needs’, and arguably nutrition too but it certainly isn’t essential by any means and if a woman chooses not to for whatever reason, she is no less of a good Mum than those who do breast feed in my opinion. A good Mum should be judged on far more important things – the care and love shown towards their kids to name the most obvious two. Some may argue that choosing to breast feed is one way of showing love and care, but providing your baby is fed, does it really matter where it’s feed comes from?

All too often it’s overlooked that some women would love to breast feed but for various possible reasons they can’t. Just  two examples being baby won’t have it – our daughter R basically refused to co-operate from day one, and medication – Mummy has been on tablets which have made breast feeding a no no. But the pro breast feeding bullies don’t take these things into account and have created a stigma against anyone who does not breast feed from birth, and stick with it.

Personally I feel it’s an over encouraged message anyway. Mummy has wanted to, and tried to breast feed our kids but they have all been on formula earlier than “professionals” would advise and they have all turned out fine, and I refuse to believe they would be any better off now if they had been breast fed for longer.

Frankly, it’s bull****. If you’re a new or expectant Mum, do what you want, not what you’re told. You’re not the baby here.

Mummy has since replied with her post, Breast Feeding Ups and Downs.

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  • Interesting post. You are right that breastmilk is best for babies both in terms of antibodies and nutrition (and health benefits for the mother) but what some people tend to forget is that this doesn’t mean formula is bad for them. I was a formula-fed baby. If I hadn’t been I wouldn’t be here now – formula milk can save babies’ lives.

    As a breastfeeding peer supporter I see so many mums who feel guilty for giving their baby an occasional bottle of formula or for mixed feeding. The demonisation of formula is counter-productive and frankly helps no-one.

    Interestingly my experience is pretty much the polar opposite to yours. I was fortunate that my eldest was extremely easy to feed so by the time my youngest was born with a tongue-tie, lip tie, dreadful latch and CMPI I knew what I needed to do and how it should work. But almost every midwife and health visitor I met told me to put him on formula. Even more peculiar, I had the same advice with my easy-to-feed daughter!

  • I really wanted to successfully breast feed both my boys, as i was a solely breast feed baby. However they were both lazy feeders taking forever & falling asleep. Due to this & i belive the lack of fat in my milk both didn’t gain weight as i would have liked & ended up bottle feeding. I felt a lot of pressure to make it work both from health professionals & myself. And even tho my youngist was really struggling to gain weight they didn’t (couldn’t) suggest bottle feeding. If i ever had another i would probably mix feed from a couple of weeks old.