No matter how you feed your baby, people will have an opinion. No matter how comfortable you are with your choice, there is likely to be at least be instance of you feeling judged while feeding.
Breastfeeders…ugh, you’re feeding your child naturally, in public? Put your breast away, we don’t want to see their real purpose! Put a muslin over your baby’s head or go feed elsewhere please.
Bottle feeders…you’re feeding your child what? Put that bottle down, stop poisoning your child. You’re giving your baby expressed milk? It isn’t as effective as breastfeeding. Oh wait, hang on, don’t start breastfeeding them instead, cover your baby up!
Ok…we’ll feed them by magic then…
It’s ridiculous. Does it really matter how you feed your baby? Is it anyone else’s business? No.
However, as Mums, we end up defending our decision or justifying our choices. Why? Because lots of people are incredibly judgemental – look up weaning on any forum and you’ll see how opinionated anonymous people can be. I’ve seen posts asking for advice that specifically state that they aren’t asking for judgement or to be told they’re doing it wrong, just a bit of help. No mum should need to say that. Who are others to push their choices as the only way?
We are feeding our children and doing our best. Nothing else matters (unless you’re feeding your 2 month old a burger…don’t do that!).
As you know, we have been trying to get Sam to take a bottle for weeks. Although he won’t yet take a full feed, he will happily accept a bottle or sippy cup. Progress! I’m still breastfeeding as well, since he needs both milk and formula, but that may change if his bottle feeding improves.
We’ve had a long and difficult road with breastfeeding and I’m proud that we are still going at 22 weeks (whether it’s my choice or not…!). I’m also proud that through a lot of patience and perseverance Sam is getting better with the bottle, just like he did with the breast at the start.
So why, when I bottle feed in public, do I feel the need (if someone speaks to me) to point out that I also breastfeed.
Because it feels like people are looking. Judging.
News flash to myself….they probably aren’t.
In fact, if I looked around, I would likely see that most mums are bottle feeding, especially if their babies are a few months old. This also makes me sad. It’s all very conflicted in my head!
I am entirely comfortable with breastfeeding while out – more so than I ever thought I would be – I will feed Sam pretty much anywhere, but I’m sure other mums lack the confidence or feel they ‘ought’ to cover up. There has been so much in the media recently, perhaps too much. It’s the way women have always fed their babies, I fail to understand what the fuss is about.
There is no right or wrong, just women feeding their babies however they can.