Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Breast vs Bottle assertiveness training

They should really incorporate some assertiveness training into ante-natal classes. For the waitress asking you to leave for breastfeeding, "I will take my business elsewhere AFTER I have finished breastfeeding my baby AND I will advise my 2000 friends on Facebook to do the same, thank you." OR, for the Nana who objects to your bottle feeding at the shopping mall, "Thank you, it's not easy being a new Mum. Whip it out Grandma, he's all yours for the next 20 minutes."

Honestly, where do people ~ or the media ~ get off, telling you day after day, how to raise your children? One day the headline reads, "Bottle Mum Abused". The next day, "Breastfeeding Mum Banned From Cafe." What's a Mum to think???

I've been trying to ignore the on-going and relentless media coverage of the whole breast vs bottle issue that has completely spiraled out of control here in New Zealand. As a Mum who desperately tried to breastfeed both of my babies (and failed miserably according to the breastfeeding brigade simply couldn't produce enough milk), I stand by my decision to bottle feed. I have to.

Without any breastmilk available to buy, or anyone available to breastfeed my babies for me (bring back the wet nurse!), it was the only choice to keep my kids alive...and boy did they thrive. And guess what, they are still thriving and are the healthiest and smartest kids amongst their peers. Guilt Schmilt.

If you are reading this you know the secret that is healthy, homemade baby food and already know this: while breast or bottle is simply a means to survival for the first few months of a baby's life, the food your baby eats will nourish and nurture them for the rest of their lives.

Max and Isobel have been fed healthy, homemade food from starting solids to this present day. Not substandard, vitamin- and nutrient-deficient slop from the baby aisle that has a 2+ year shelf-life. Well, we mostly eat healthy, homemade food :) I'm not going to kid you and say we never have take-out or fast food or pasta sauce from a jar as opposed to my usual 3 hour simmering stove-top masterpiece. Everyone has fast food sometimes. But the fact that some Mums feed their babies fast food 3 times a day (ie: out of a jar or a BPA-lined tin can) should be the real cause for concern.

If you are either breast OR bottle feeding, it is entirely your decision and no one has the right to tell you otherwise or make you feel guilty, EVER. It's hard enough being a new Mum in a supportive and loving environment, let alone having a waitress asking you to leave the cafe for breastfeeding or the Nana who simply can't keep her opinions to herself in the shopping mall telling you not to bottle feed.

So it seems, you're damned if you do AND damned if you don't these days. Hang in there sister, whatever stage our babies are at, we are all in this together. You're doing a great job! Have a good look in the mirror and tell that beautiful woman she's a fabulous Mum... as often as you can :)

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