Breastfeeding. Where is the support

Breastfeeding. Where is the support? -Hacking Parenthood

Breastfeeding, where is the support? The struggle is real.

I spent the first 3 months with pain while feeding. 3 months is a long time to feel pain. Was I supposed to give up because it wasn’t working? This is the message I am getting from the media and some professionals. If I didn’t ‘find’ the support, I would probably be formula feeding. Breastfeeding my child doesn’t mean I am judging you. It means I am feeding my child. When the trend of the beautiful tree of life images of breastfed babies and formula fed babies started happening, I thought this is wonderful. Until I read the comments. Mums were getting angry about breastfeeding images because they were formula feeding. What?! The one time there is a trend of something to do with the beauty of breastfeeding and bottle-feeding, people have to get angry.

We shouldn’t be arguing about whether breastmilk or formula is best. Every mum knows the answer. We should be arguing about why there isn’t more support, more information, more media making it visible and acceptable. I’m on the team saying ‘Where’s the Support’? Why are we not getting angry about the lack of support? If we all stood together, we can help the next generation be more aware of the benefits of breastfeeding.

A brown haired woman with her hand on a shoulder of a blond hair woman, portraying support
Me with a fellow breastfeeding supporter, Azaria

Fed is not best, this gives mum the freedom that they can feed their child anything and that they will be ok. If this was the case, then why be so angry about homemade formula. It is fact that breastmilk is the best food for babies, then looking for donor breastmilk would be hopefully your next option. If those options are well and truly exhausted then choosing a formula feed is appropriate. If every mum went through this list. Most babies would be drinking breastmilk. In countries where formula milk is not readily available, 98% of woman are able to breastfeed and do. With regards to donor milk, the argument that ‘having another woman feed your baby’ is irrelevant as most women drink a glass of milk that came from more cows than should be allowed. Eat cheese made from the fat of the milk from different cows. Think about it.

There are many reasons I’ve heard, coming from actual mums that I have spoken to. I have yet to hear a mum say, I was completely unable to give my child breastmilk. The biggest and saddest reason is when a professional recommends formula quite forcibly. This usually happens in hospitals. When the mum is at her lowest point of exhaustion. Of course, she is going to say ok when the doctors and nurses say that ‘if you don’t feed formula now, your baby will die’.  We believe that doctors and health visitors know what they talking about, well, they should. But many have recommended formula as it was easier than dealing with a suffering woman. Let’s cure the symptoms not the problem.

Reasons why choosing formula feeding seems right.

  1. Breastfeeding in public seems gross to many people. The only time it’s acceptable to show your breast is late at night in a club.
  2. The media says so. Billions of pounds are spent on formula advertising to encourage mums to formula feed. It’s a money making game. They have the best teams to produce the most convincing advertising. Media says no to breastfeeding.
  3. Future health is not that important. Have a look anywhere that food is advertised. Meat, eggs and dairy (I am vegan) are always on the menu alongside diabetes, heart disease, obesity, acne, arthritis, dementia, the list goes on. If health was important, then people would be second-guessing animal fats. Any doubt about this, have a look at The China Study
  4. It will be easier. You baby will have a full tummy before bed and you will be able to have a decent amount of hours sleep. This is a myth.

Mums need support, we need to support each other, we need to know that we are here for each other. Ask and talk about all sorts of feeding. Research and think about what we are doing. Learn about what’s best, don’t just pick a side. If you formula feed, that is great. I just hope you had all the breastfeeding support that you could find and read all the information that you could.

Have a look at the real reasons why woman chooses to breastfeed.

Please comment with the struggles you had with breastfeeding and formula feeding. What do you think about donor milk?

Breastfeeding. Where is the support

1 Comment

  • Reply Lucy December 20, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    I find this so interesting and I couldn’t agree more that extra support is so important. It’s a bit of a learning curve with the first – it’s very easy to take advice from paediatricians and midwives as ‘fact’ rather than trusting instincts (I knew a paediatrician that told me to give up if it hurts, as that was her experience with her own daughter. A midwife also told me to pump 40 mins on each side, ‘as much as humanly possible,’ before my milk came in. Oh the pain when my milk came in!!! My body thought I was feeding quadruplets!! It would have been very easy to give up at that stage.)

    Evie was such a big baby that I really struggled to get the latch right if I was holding her, so I didn’t leave the house for more than an hour or so for three months. I remember meeting family at a hotel to show off my 2 week old, lying on the floor of an empty events room, crying with my little bubba absolutely starving and not being able to latch properly. I felt such a failure so many times and attempted formula, but as she didn’t take to the teats immediately I continued with breastfeeding. If there was more support available, or if I knew where to look for it, then I doubt I’d have even considered formula as many times as I did, as breastfeeding was so wonderful once we got the hang of it – the ‘getting the hang of it’ journey was just a bit of a solitary one. 10 days of midwife support doesn’t quite cut the mustard when it comes to breastfeeding your first!

    Loving the photo of you and Azaria btw 😀

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