I Don’t Give A Shit How You Feed Your Baby, As Long As You Feed Your Baby.
Here’s the thing about Moms. They (We) are the craziest, most passionate and stubborn group of people out there. And it’s because we love our kids so much and want to give them every chance to succeed in life.
In this generation of Mothers, one of the hot topics is breastfeeding. We have come to accept fairly consistently that “Breast is Best”. We fight for our right to breastfeed our children anywhere they need to be fed. We have interest groups like the La Leche League who try to support women and help them breastfeed. We have “Breastfeeding Awareness Week”or some other special recognition to help educate women about the benefits of breastfeeding.
And there have been numerous studies done that show how much better breastfed babies do in life when it comes to IQ and education.
Well. Guess what?
There is now ANOTHER study ( read this article) that has been done that factors in things like socioeconomic status and IT shows that breastfeeding isn’t necessarily best. It is barely statistically significantly better than formula. That it is marginally better at most.
One of the things I found interesting is that families that are more educated and have a higher socioeconomic status are more likely to breastfeed. I find that super weird because formula is fucking expensive. You would think somebody that is close to the poverty line would be more likely to breastfeed, but I suppose they also have a lack of resources and education to help them through it.
Anyway, this is what I think:
I don’t give a shit how you feed your baby, as long as you feed your baby.
Seriously. It’s really that simple.
Why on earth is something so personal and beautiful as the relationship between a mother and her baby up for debate?
And why are people assholes sometimes about shit that doesn’t affect their life?
Let me be clear: I love the idea of breastfeeding. I think it is what nature intended. I believe in and stick up for a mother’s right to breastfeed anywhere her baby is hungry. I think it has many benefits besides just nutrition and antibodies. I think it is a beautiful thing.
Until it isn’t.
So many women, ( myself included) tried really hard to breastfeed their children. I wanted so desperately to have that experience. With my first, no milk came in. With my second, it came in and my boobs simply did not work. I had nurses and lactation people come over every day. We tried to hook up tubes to my nipples. We tried everything and it just didn’t work. And then I felt like a big fat failure.
So here’s the thing: When people advocate for something, regardless of the specific nature of the topic, they need to be very careful that their advocacy doesn’t turn into a statement of superiority.
Is breastfeeding really best? For some I’m sure it is.
But I can tell you that all the “pro-breastfeeding” information also served (unintentionally) to make people like myself feel like they were failing their kids right from the start. So you have to be careful that your positive experience with something doesn’t serve to cut someone else down for having to make another choice. A choice that now appears as though it is just as beneficial for their child.
And that’s the key. THEIR CHILD.
I think what happens is that people take their own experiences and love them so much that they want everyone else to have them too. We can’t understand how something so wonderful in our experience could ever be hard or shitty for someone else. It truly starts out with the best of intentions, but we need to learn to accept that everyone has different circumstances and their choices need respecting too. I have seen moms want so desperately to have an experience with breastfeeding that is all unicorns and rainbows that their baby almost starves in the first few weeks because they can’t accept that it isn’t working.
We get so caught up on what should be, that we can’t accept what is.
So yes. I support breastfeeding. And I support formula feeding. I support all moms who love their babies, and I don’t think we need any more studies about how much smarter or prettier breastfeeding your child will or not will make them. Because in the end, I don’t think that should or will have an impact on the choice a mother has to make.
I think it’s ok to share your experiences, but it needs to be an exchange. Just trading war stories, you know? It might make someone know that there are options for them, but it should never make someone feel like shit for doing the best they can with the situation given to them.
So go feed your babies,Bitches, and leave my titties alone.