I am usually one to read and then not reply to the ongoing breast VS bottle debate. Recently you’ll have seen your social media feeds filled with the tree of life images it made me want to jump down from my fence and write this post.
The tree of life images essentially show breast feeding muma’s doing their thing in an arty way – they look cool, they do I like them and this isn’t directed at those images personally, it is just seeing them that sparked my need to write.
I am all for breast feeding out and proud. Never should a mother be made to feel they can’t feed their baby in public, never should anyone feel embarrassed over something so natural. Totally all for the breast feeding.
What I am not for is how these kinds of pictures, posts or memes we see day to day make non breast feeding mothers feel. I see posts popping up from bottle feeding parents almost justifying their choice, giving the reasons behind why they chose to bottle feed.
We live in a day where we have the choice; we have safe products to feed our babies that will see them grow into the crazy little toddlers running around our ankles and causing absolute mayhem.
I feel as though I can impartially write this post as a parent of three who has done both. I have bottle fed (Maisy), I have breast fed (Lottie) and I even had a go at combination feeding(Bella). I chose to bottle feed Maisy, I don’t really know why, at the time I was 18 and I just decided that’s what I wanted to do – so I did.
I’ve felt guilt on occasion for my choice. I’ve been made to feel I did my daughter a disservice for not breast feeding her. By who? Fellow parents; other mothers I’ve met at play groups, other parents online. I feel sad each and every time I see a parent defending their own decision on how to feed their baby for fear of what may be said about it.
Parenthood is a tough journey – that at least every parent seems to agree. Although it’s the most magical and rewarding thing you will experience, it is full of ups and downs for every single one of us so why – WHY do we insist on questioning each others choices through an already testing time. Why do we have to prove how much we love our children by sharing how we feed them and it doesn’t stop at breast feeding this is an on going battle with other topics too such as discipline, weaning, even how we carry our babies.
So what if one mum is a baby wearing, organic food growing breast feeder and another is a push chair hoarding, coffee lover who bottle feeds at the end of the day we are all finding our own path. We get things wrong, we get things right, we learn and we grow and develop as parents as much as our children are growing and developing as people.
I guess the point I am trying to make is parents should be uniting, respecting each others decisions and just bigging each other up – it shouldn’t be a competition when at the end we all have the same goal – happy and healthy children.