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.