It's all about the breast!

Firstly, let me state that I am breastfeeding. I have breastfed Hattie since birth, 3 months ago. I also breastfed my two boys until 10 months and 12 months respectively. I did this because it was my choice and because I was able to. End of! I enjoy it actually and I am not afraid to admit that.

Goodness me, why on earth do mums have to explain themselves all the time?! I have read so many comments and articles recently about what women should or shouldn't do to feed their babies. If Hattie was my first baby, I feel sure I'd feel dreadfully confused and insecure.

As most of you know, Jamie Oliver has waded into the breast feeding debate, clearly thinking that (as a dad of 4, nearly 5) he is qualified to pass comment on breastfeeding. Nope - sorry, much as I like your cooking, I can't agree with some of the comments you've made. Choosing to breastfeed is not the 'easy and convenient' option for all.

In my opinion, it boils down to a lack of compassionate support for women, specifically new mums. Isn't it hard enough that we've just brought a new human into the world? Why then are we faced with an onslaught of opinions about what is best for us and our baby?

Some women choose not to breastfeed and we should be fine with that. Some cannot and have the 'choice' removed. Of course, lots of mums choose to breastfeed...also OK. What is missing from the equation is acceptance and support for our sisterhood. What is one person's choice may not suit another. That is OK but we don't have the right to expect people to justify their choice. They own it - it's theirs and their reasons are personal.  

Just as I support those who do not breastfeed and fully respect their 'choice', I also support fellow BF mums. I loathe the fact that the media scaremongers and makes many new mothers feel uncomfortable about our society's shaky acceptance of breastfeeding. The news often shows mothers who have been asked to leave, or cover up when feeding their baby. No wonder many mums end up moving to bottle feeding. 

However a baby is being fed, it shouldn't matter. Surely what is important is that we are ensuring our little one's primal needs are met. Perhaps those who feel the need to pass judgement haven't experienced holding a screaming, wriggling little human who WANTS HIS MILK NOW!

Where are the stories showing a balanced view? Where are the health care professionals telling mothers that whatever they choose is OK? Mums need a break - we are all doing our best and we should not feel the need to clarify our choices every step of the way. 

When we have just given birth, we need understanding. We need people around us to support us, to offer us kindness and solicitude. We also need reassurance, for others to show they trust in the decisions we make and to accept that the reasons we have are ours, not for others to debate. 



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