Search This Blog

Friday, August 20, 2010

"I wish that Breastfeeding was Normal"

Unfortunately we live in a society where  breastfeeding isn't treated as "Normal". Where a mother nursing her baby in a public place may be harassed.  Where a mother nursing her toddler is almost guaranteed to be harassed.  Where the average doctor doesn't have a clue about breastfeeding but can tell you just about anything you want to know about Formula. Where your mother is very likely to not have ever breastfed and therefore has no advice or experience to help you. Where even most of the so-called lactation consultants have minimal training and may be passing along information that is tainted by lack of experience and education.

How sad is that?  What does it say about our society as a whole that nursing mothers are stared at, made fun of, harassed, and worst of all: left to fend for themselves.  Has there ever been another time in history that mothers have been ridiculed for feeding their children? No, there hasn't been, and I'm sure that if any person from past history could see this future for mothers and children they would be beyond shocked.

I loved this article for it's pointed edge- straight truth, no velvet gloves or rose coloured glasses.

I Wish That Breastfeeding Was Normal by 

Jenny Allen

I wish that breastfeeding wasn’t such a “hot” topic.
I wish that formula feeding wasn’t so common place and normal that people assume that the way a formula fed baby behaves is the way babies should behave. So that long deep sleeps in very small babies were not expected, instead of the hourly feeds, short naps and light sleep that is actually normal baby behaviour. That people knew that vomiting was not normal, that baby poo shouldn’t stink to high heaven and that reflux isn’t to be expected. There’s a big difference between posseting now and then, and regularly chucking back large amounts of milk.
I wish people didn’t think that breastfeeding was the “Gold Standard”, but understood that it is simply the biological norm. What babies are meant to do, what boobs are for, and what gives our babies the things they need to grow up the way they were meant to. Physically, immunologically and emotionally.

I wish people didn’t think it was fair game to pass comment on the health of breastfed babies. Or to take the piss out of breastfeeding mothers. Imagine if a breastfeeding mother passed comment on the health of a non-breastfed baby, or belittled a woman who didn’t breastfeed? That people realised that childhood illnesses are just that, a part of normal, everyday childhood, that all babies and children get colds, and coughs and chicken pox, and that breastfeeding is not a Magical Forcefield which stops your baby ever getting ill, but what it actually does is makes your child able to resist a lot of infections, and means they can fight off the ones they do get. All babies and children get sick, the more contact they have with others the more likely they are to get sick, so a breastfed baby in a nursery will still catch infections, where as a formula fed baby that stays at home won’t be in contact with those infections, and that’s why they seem to get sick less often, not because breastfeeding makes no difference. I wish I didn’t have to defend the fact that I breastfeed. Ever. To anyone....

HERE to read the entire article on Lactivist Network