You know when you read something that really winds you up?!
That’s what happened to me last night. I was looking on my phone just before I went to bed and stumbled across a link which to be perfectly honest I wish I hadn’t clicked on as I spent a good hour tossing and turning in bed unable to sleep afterwards.
The link led to a blog post about breastfeeding and was full of things I personally disagree with which is fine because we are all entitled to our own opinions but there was one part I couldn’t ignore. They were words that I was shocked beyond belief to have come out of the mouth of a mother, I honestly believed the only people to say this were men who like to ogle over page three or the newspaper that publishes page three.
I certainly never thought that someone who has given birth to a baby and knows how important it is to you know, KEEP THEM ALIVE BY FEEDING THEM could make the comparison.
The part I am talking about basically went along the lines of breastfeeding being natural just like going to the toilet but people don’t do that in public.
That one sentence fills me with equal measures of sadness and rage. Going to the toilet is unhygienic and a process that needs to happen to expel waste from your body. For women who exclusively breastfeed the act of doing so keeps their baby alive. How are those two things the same in any way?!
Every woman has the right to choose how to feed her baby and every woman should be allowed to make that decision without being made to feel uncomfortable about it. No-one should make bottle-feeding mums feel bad about their choice and no-one should make breastfeeding mums feel bad about their choice, there doesn’t have to be such a big divide on how you choose to feed you baby, they should be treated equally but how can that happen when so many people believe that one is fine to do in public but the other isn’t?
I am aware that no matter what I say I won’t be able to change the views of some people, that’s not my aim. I just feel like as bloggers we have a certain responsibility in what we write and for new mums who are planning to breastfeed reading an overly negative article by a blogger they like might put even more pressure on them when feeding in public or even question their decision altogether.
Which is why I feel like I need to write this. I’ve had lovely comments on my breastfeeding posts from people who have said I’d helped them feel more confident about feeding in public and that is why I feel like I always need to write something positive to follow up a negative despite the fact I’m not breastfeeding myself anymore.
I never had any problems breastfeeding in public and I spent two and a half years of my life doing so. I never went to sit in rooms that offered more privacy, if I go out to eat with my friends / family I’m not going to go and sit in a quiet room by myself for most of the meal! Babies have the right to eat at the dinner table like everyone else.
I never took bottles out to make other people feel happier, Cherry never took one and I never even tried with Tiger because I didn’t see the point. I know some people think that giving a bottle is an option for all babies, it’s not.
And as Mr C always said, would people prefer to spend their meal listening to a baby screaming?!
The law covers us to breastfeed anywhere and that’s the only important thing, that law doesn’t come with ridiculous clauses like needing to put a tablecloth over your head or going to sit in a corner on your own to stop other people and their weird views on feeding a baby feeling uncomfortable.
I’m breastfeeding in both these photos, would you ever know that?!
I personally would never wear a low cut top revealing my cleavage (not that I have one!) but I wouldn’t try and stop anyone else doing it, I would never write a blog post making people who do choose to do it feel bad about their choice nor would I expect them to go and eat their meal in a corner.
If I didn’t like it, I just wouldn’t look.
Here are some of my other breastfeeding posts…
I wrote a post about my top breastfeeding tips.
The story of how I stopped breastfeeding Tiger.