Disclaimer: This post is in no way intended to offend. Whether you are a proud breastfeeding mother, an exclusive pumper, or you chose formula as your form of feeding, you are NOT a bad mom! You just made a different choice and that’s ok. Here is the deal. Don’t make excuses for your choices, and use those excuses to try and “convince” others that what they are doing is wrong or inappropriate.
So my buddy Brooke over at Determined Momma sent me a link early today entitled “5 Reasons Not to Breastfeed”. I have to say I didn’t WANT to read it. I knew that I was just going to get pissed off when I did, but my curiosity got the best of me, I had to see what she could possibly have to say about the subject. After reading it, I wish I could have taken it all back! In fact it aggravated me so much that it made my boobs hurt! You can find a link to the post here, although I have paraphrased it below for your convenience.
1. “Just because it doesn’t gross you out, doesn’t mean your child won’t be horrified by the thought when they get older.” Apparently the writer had her teenagers take a poll at school of some of their friends and of all the teenage boys that they asked about being breastfed, not one of them would “admit” to it, and only two girls that they asked admitted it. Here is my problem with the logic that these children are horrified about the thought of having their mouth on their mother’s breast. First off, there is a good chance that 15 years ago, these children truly WEREN’T breastfed. My guess is that they weren’t necessarily horrified about the idea, but that they were truly NOT breastfed as children or just didn’t know. I have three boys, with #4 on the way and I can tell you that all of my boys understand that breastfeeding is a good thing. If they were to ever be embarrassed by the idea of having their mouth on my breast as a baby/toddler I would be TRULY shocked!
2. “It’s incredibly unsanitary” Really!?!? The argument that there are zillions of bugs running around your skin and you wouldn’t want to put that into your childs mouth if you couldn’t boil and sterilize it first is really just crazy! Do you have any idea how many ZILLIONS of bugs are swimming around in the water that you are using to make your child’s formula, or how many ZILLIONS of bugs are in the air every time you take a breath? And just you can sterilize and boil bottles and nipples, but unless you are putting them into your babies mouth smoking hot, all of those little bugs are still gonna be there by the time you give it to your baby. At least the little “bugs” crawling around in your breastmilk are sterile and there to HELP your baby thrive.
3. Its not natural any more. God also gave us an appendix? Men have breasts? Ok yes I agree that men have “breasts” and no we no longer need our appendix, but because we don’t “need” them for their purposes they no longer function. Men’s breasts don’t make milk, and our appendixes no longer function in our bodies. If breastfeeding were no longer natural our breasts would not produce milk any longer. As long as after we have a baby our breasts continue to produce milk it will still be natural! And NO just because men have nipples doesn’t mean that they should be used as a pacifier!
4. “No one wants to be in the room with you when you ‘Whip it out’” All I have to say to this is if you don’t want to see then don’t look! If you are sitting across the table from me chances are that I’m not just gonna whip it out on to the table, but I am going to take care of my child’s needs. Most mom’s who nurse in public are fairly discrete about it, we understand that we are in public and having our entire breast exposed (while not illegal) may offend some people. The truth is you probably see more boob on a mom in a low cut shirt feeding her child from a bottle than you do from me when I’m nursing.
5. “Breastfeeding mom’s seem to think that they are doing such a wonderful thing and that everyone should be subjected to it.” She is actually right in her statement, but wrong in theory on this one. Yes we do think that we are doing a wonderful thing, and yes we so no problem with other people being exposed to it. Awareness spreads understanding! I am unaware of a state in the US that states that I am not allowed to have my child on my breast in any public space where the two of us are legally allowed to be. I have just as much right to be there feeding my child from my breast as you do feeding your baby from your no longer sterile bottle. I’m not offended by you bottle feeding your baby, so if you are offended by me breastfeeding mine you are more than welcome to walk away.