The B word I am referring to here is not a nasty swear word that is too harsh to write out loud.. b is for breastfeeding. I feel that society has made me too ashamed to talk about it, or rather feel proud that I am still breastfeeding my 8 month old baby, having never chosen to give him even an ounce of formula.
And by society I don’t necessarily mean random strangers, manufacturers or the media, I’m talking about friends, relatives and what the heck even the health visitor patronised me for still wanting to breastfeed! I don’t ram my opinions on breastfeeding versus formula on others, so why is it so normal for people to devalue breastfeeding and openly pass judgement on me! In my experience, the biggest culprits are those who have chosen not to breastfeed.
I often hear others proudly boasting about how easy motherhood is for them, how easily their babies sleep at night, and how they’ve heard breastfeeding gives you saggy boobs (LOL). I usually sit there quietly and nod, but not anymore.. The next person to make a comment in front of me is going to get it.. 😂😂. In reality I wouldn’t say anything, because, well because that’s not me, and also what happened to women supporting each other. Now I understand the realities of motherhood I would never EVER question another mothers choice.
I know how easy my life would be if anyone could give my baby a bottle and I could just swan around like I did before, and I know I’d get more uninterrupted sleep if i gave my baby up formula.. But guess what, I chose to be a mum, so quite frankly I feel it would be selfish of me to deprive my baby of what is 100% natural. I think it’s high time us breastfeeding mums were no longer made to feel like we had to justify our choices.
Don’t get me wrong, I know many mothers who would love to breastfeed but couldn’t, and I also get that some people’s personal situations may impact their decision to breastfeed. So I am in no way trying to offend anybody as I don’t think everybody who doesn’t breastfeed is evil or selfish, I’m just sticking up for me and my choice to give my baby what I feel is the best I can.
Another favourite is being questioned on how long I intend to breastfeed for, well the answer is none of your business! I don’t ask you how long you wish to feed your baby, or what brand of milk you have selected for your baby, so next time someone asks me this, then expect me to ask you an equally stupid question in return.
And yes, I get that me breastfeeding can be an inconvience to people, if it means I can’t attend a certain event, have to leave something early, or provisions have to be made for me. Or if me breastfeeding means I can’t leave him alone with people and you know it’s an inconvience as you’d really like to do things with him too, but here’s another shocker.. I don’t care. I’m happy to miss out on these things, and my babies needs come first and if this means I’m anti social for a couple of years or you have to wait a little longer to get some quality time with my munchkin then so be it.
And I also get how me breastfeeding him makes him more dependant on me. If I can cope with my baby only wanting me there when he sleeps, why can’t you? If another person asks me if they can attempt to put him to sleep/ back to sleep I might explode! He doesn’t want anyone else to do it except me, believe me we have tried! He may be dependant on me, but he is not clingy, he loves strangers and new people, and he is the most content baby I know, so we must be doing something right.
So from now on I am going to be more openly proud of the amazing thing I am doing for my baby. I have fed him in the most natural way for 8 months so far, and it really is a pretty amazing thing.