Breastfeeding Mothers VS Formula Feeding Mothers: Why Are We At War?

Breastfeeding Mothers VS Formula Feeding Mothers: Why Are We At War?

 Breastfeeding Mothers VS Formula feeding mothers? The war is real.

Yes, moms are more and more on a war footing:
-those who are breastfeeding feel discriminated and often ridiculed, targeted by all those who consider breastfeeding inopportune, “not so great” and weird, especially once the child reaches 6 months age.
-those who give artificial milk feel equally attacked by those who constantly tell them how important and amazing breast milk is.

As a breastfeeding mother myself, for some time now I have been wondering why mothers who have not nursed their babies feel offended when they hear or read about breastfeeding.

I am aware that this post of mine will unleash a tussle of no small amount but I truly want to understand what happens in the mothers who experience such negative feelings.
Following a couple of recent posts of mine,these last few weeks I received messages and comments (especially on social media) of mothers defending their choice to formula feed ( even if their choice was NOT attacked by me in the first place).
As if just by writing about breastfeeding my intent ( and those of others that do the same), was to blame those who could not breastfeed.
Far from me!
So I ask myself: What happens to mothers who have not nursed their babies? Why do you feel so guilty? Why do you always feel like your feeding choices are called in question? Why are you offended? And why are you so angry against nursing mothers? Against us.
My intent is not, I repeat, to offend or hurt the mothers who have not nursed.
Whether you believe it or not, I despise judgment in any shape or form, I believe in support rather than war.
What is this battle really about?
Should we not be the first supporters of ourselves? Should we not be empowering each other instead of tearing each other apart?
And I wonder: why if I, or any one else writes that artificial milk is deficient compared to the maternal one ( FACT), we are being crucified by those who accuse us of offending and insulting formula feeding mothers?
Basically, as soon as anyone talks about breastfeeding, here comes the army of those who wrongly translate every word you say into a threat, an offense towards those who did not breastfeed.

 

There are mothers who choose not to breastfeed and they do it with awareness. If you did not breastfeed and it was your choice, why do you hold it against me?

I believe in spreading correct information on breastfeeding, in encouraging the creation of a breastfeeding culture and in making it easier for mothers and families to breastfeed.
How does that affect those that make different choices? What does it take away from them? What exactly?

If a mother breastfeeds her child, she is not lucky or a genius or a myth. It is simply a mother who had the correct information or a mother who had a strong motivation and wanted to breastfeed. It is, perhaps, a mother who has been supported and helped by well-trained breastfeeding consultants or midwives.
Because, while it is true that breastfeeding is a natural thing, nowadays there are so many external interferences (artificial milks, pacifiers, baby bottles and multinationals that try to speculate) that yes, sometimes succeeding in breastfeeding is almost an act of heroism .
I know mothers who have failed to breastfeed and feel guilty. They feel at fault for failing. And I get that. I was almost one. I had a glimpse of what if feels like.
Mothers that at the time of delivery may have felt alone and abandoned by everyone. Not surprisingly, one of the reasons why most mothers do not breastfeed is precisely the lack of support and help from healthcare facilities.
Considering this, I can empathize with the way these mothers react, I can also understand it.
But what about all the others? Those who chose not to breastfeed, or who chose to stop breastfeeding?
Why do these mothers feel threatened by articles or speeches about breastfeeding?
There are mothers who choose not to breastfeed and they do it with awareness. If you did not breastfeed it was your choice, why do you hold it against me? What troubles you when I talk about breastfeeding?
Is it pressure? – we have them too!

Mothers who do not breastfeed say they are tired of being subjected to external pressure by those who consider them to be inexperienced or unnatural mothers or selfish. Do we want to talk about the pressure I suffer from nursing my children?

-If you nurse on the street you’re a shameless woman who shows her boobs to everyone.
-If you nurse to natural term you are a fanatic or a weirdo.
-If you are nursing you’re old-fashioned and you do not understand anything. You are a mother who wants to raise a “dependent” child.
-If you breastfeed beyond the year of life, your child could have serious problems.
-If you refuse to wean your child according to the pediatrician’s instructions, you are crazy.

In short, it does not seem to me that the life of breastfeeding mothers are full of people who compliment you and tell you good.
On the contrary: If you bottle-feed in public no one feels offended by your gesture. Nobody takes you away from the post office and the Minister does not have to make a law specifically for you.
For us, yes, because we are not free! If you feed your baby with a bottle, you’re a cutting-edge mother. Your child will not be a mama boy but will have a good chance of being a “normal” child. My son no! If you bottle-feed you might get a chance to do some shopping, hairdressing, jogging. Not me. I’m chained with my son in tow! I go to the hairdresser with him attached to the breast. But then I get criticized: “If you do not learn to take your space you will become a slave to him!”

So dear mothers who have not nursed, try to understand, it is not a war between us. It is not a war against you. We need solidarity between mothers, not people who are offended and blame each other. Let’s help each other. We are always and always will be mothers. Only in this way  we can live in a world free of prejudice!

 

We can all make mistakes because it is normal to have uncertainties and fragility, especially when it comes to raising another human being.

Us breastfeeding mothers often talk about the “magic” of breastfeeding, and the “magic” bond that it creates.
But I also believe, no, actually I know for a fact, that bottle feeding mothers have their magic too, same as strong and powerful. And I would never dream of stating the contrary.
After the birth of my first child, due to injury I was prescribed strong medication when he was only a few weeks old. I had to stop breastfeeding for 10 days. I was devastated. But the bond and the magic I had found during the first days when he first latched on to my breast weren’t lost. I was the exact same mom, holding my baby. I couldn’t be any less.

Matter of fact is, both of us are often on the defensive because there is always someone who judges us. Add to this a whole range of feelings of guilt and insecurities deriving from the new role of mom and crazy hormones (which are not certainly to be underestimated) that force you to deal with yourself, with your priorities, your frailties.
Being continually challenged and criticized generates arrogance and frustration, which many, unable to go out and alone at home with their child, vent in arguments and long sterile discussions on social networks and various moms forums.
The simple truth is, we all want only the best for our children and we can all make mistakes because it is normal to have uncertainties and fragility, especially when it comes to raising another human being that we love immeasurably.
We need to be understood and supported, whatever the choice we make, not being criticized. We need to be accepted, embraced and cuddled, something that often our companions and husbands and all those close to us forget to do, perhaps too busy with every day’s struggles. We need to feel appreciated, important and not isolated and alone.

We also need more solidarity and understanding among us mothers. Because? Because the perfect mother does not exist.
Perhaps, the time has come to suspend the judgment, towards ourselves and towards others. The time to listen, really listen before voicing our thoughts and opinions not only to others, but first of all to ourselves.

Whatever your choice, your circumstance, your situation. Whatever it is that leads to your feeding choice, you are a mother just like me. You are not perfect, I am not perfect. But we give 100% to our children, we are raising little humans, that is not joke, not for me neither for you. We demand respect and appreciation from others for that.

But how about we respect and appreciate each other first, just a little bit more?

<MsW>

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