Infant Feeding & Early Parenting, Food For Thought...
Are You A Breastfeeding Bully? Stop The Bressure! TAKE 2
Although this was written late 2015, I only had the joy of it appearing on my timeline today. The entry at "fabworkingmomlife" starts ok:
"Breastfeeding can be a beautiful, wonderful thing. But it isn't for everyone, and that perfectly fine. Some women choose to breastfeed while others choose not to, and those are simply two ways to feed a baby. Unfortunately, there are people who make women feel guilty for the choices they make. Well I'm here to say let’s put an end to the bullying and stop the bressure. Some people might not even realize they are being breastfeeding bullies, so I have put together this little quiz to help identify what makes a bully.
I concur, well for the most part - personally I think it would be fairer to give a nod to the pumpers, the mix-feeders rather than conclude there are only two ways to feed a baby. Furthermore it's probably not massively accurate to infer they''re two equal choices, but whohooo a quiz!
I became confused at the last part though - to me a "breastfeeding bully" means you bully mums who breastfeed. I therefore edited the quiz a tad :)
Are You a Breastfeeding Bully?
Yeah, I added the pic for interest...
Do you judge other moms for not breastfeeding? (Don’t be so judgy!)
Do you confront moms who are bottle feeding breastfeeding their child and try to tell them that bottlefeeding is better more convenient and acceptable in public? (Ever heard of MYOB?)
Do you call formula breastfeeding “poison” or “garbage” "gross" or say "ew"? Do you think mums should express or wear a cover? (Oh, so you never eat food from the supermarket? If you don’t grow all your food and say this, you are being a hypocrite Hey have you ever tried to feed a baby under a cover?)
Do you stop being friends with someone if they formula feed breastfeed their child past the age you consider acceptable? (Some friend you are. She is better off not being friends with you anyway.)
Do you think recognise that if you had an easy a hard time breastfeeding, then it should be easy for everyone else the women you see breastfeeding might have faced problems too? (Seriously, everyone’s different and have different challenges.)
Do you give others dirty looks while you’re whilst they're breastfeeding your their child publicly? (I’ve seen it.and think "that’s not feeding your baby, that’s making a statement.")
If you answer yes to two one or more of that list, you’re a breastfeeding bully. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself to stop the bressure. (And also learn to mind your own business, because you don’t know someone’s situation and shouldn't try to push your own beliefs on them.)There is a difference between lactivist and being kind and being a bully. A breastfeeding advocate kind person raises awareness and supports mothers. Bullies just judge and shame others. It is no secret that I am a supporter of breastfeeding and yet I am struggling with it and having to supplement with formula. It isn't for everyone – not everyone can breastfeed, and not everyone wants to breastfeed – and that is OK! It doesn't mean you love your child any less and it doesn't mean your child will suffer for it (although unless she has a crystal ball, I'm not entirely sure she can predict whether that particular baby will suffer as a result of not receiving human milk?). Your baby will thrive and grow into a successful adult not because of how you fed him or her, but depending on how you parented and raised him or her.
I'd also like to add:
Similarly we need to recognise mothers are shamed for breastfeeding their babies and yet not being "modest" enough and judged for feeding longer than the first few weeks or months. We need to acknowledge mothers can feel unsupported and self conscious breastfeeding in public, concerned someone may embarrass them for feeding their child. We need to recognise the fundamental problem goes far deeper than how a mother feeds her baby, it stems from a society that encourages social competition between women based mainly on aesthetics; who is the most beautiful, desirable, sexy, nipped, tucked, lifted and waxed? Providing of course a woman is revealing her body for advertising or seduction or to appeal - it's a different story if she chooses to use her body to feed her baby, then we have this almost 1950's style mock coyness about a glimpse of flesh. It's all about control, and we need to look further than other mothers.