Why Breastfeeding has turned into such a controversial topic, I will never know. And why people think they get some sort of “say” on how they think someone should feed their child is beyond me. Since starting my page Breastfeeding Mama Talk, almost a year and a half ago, lets just say I have pretty much heard every negative thing in the book that people say about breastfeeding. When I first joined the breastfeeding advocacy world I never knew the extent of the negative stigma that surrounds breastfeeding. I thought I would start a page to maybe help educate woman about the benefits of breastmilk and that would be it. But to think that the support page I created truly has become a place where woman from all over the world got confidence to nurse in public where they didn’t have the confidence before all because of something said on Breastfeeding Mama Talk is such an amazing feeling to me. It’s a bittersweet. Of course, I’m happy that we were able to provide them confidence, but sad that they ever felt that uncomfortable to not nurse in public, at all or stay home just to avoid nursing in public.
Okay so let me get to the point now. I just thought it was necessary for people to see that woman truly do need a good POSITIVE support system in breastfeeding. One of the main reasons is because of the negativity that surrounds it. Some of the common negative phrases nursing mothers hear:
~Shouldn’t you use a cover? If you are someone who has ever said that or thought that please read this. First and foremost you should never place YOUR conditions onto someone else, especially over how they feed their child. Second, most woman I have talked to, not that they need a reason, but they say they don’t use a cover because baby doesn’t like it and will instead fight with the cover rather than nursing. I want you to try something for me. Get a drink, put a blanket over your head, and drink with it over your head for ten minutes. See how that makes you feel and how comfortable it is. Because, that is exactly how it will feel for the baby nursing. I actually did try it for ten minutes and I was in my AIR-CONDITIONED home and by the time I took the LIGHT weight cover off I was dripping sweat, I felt hot, and the whole time it was over me I felt in the dark, and just extremely uncomfortable. So why in the hell would I expect a cute little baby to drink that way any time baby is out on public?
~But if you don’t cover what if there is children around that could see? And? What if there is children around that could see? Saying that implies that what the nursing mother is doing is wrong. Nursing their child is not wrong. If you’re that worried about your children seeing one of the most natural acts a mother can do for her child then that is YOU with the problem it doesn’t mean it’s the mother nursing her child that is the problem. So I would suggest you move some place else. Or, you can use it as a teaching experience to teach your kids how babies were meant to eat and that just because formula and bottles exist there is still another method the Original method in which a baby consumes their milk.
~Sex is natural too, but I bet you wouldn’t condone that in public. Really?! Comparing sex to breastfeeding is like comparing apples to oranges. Yes they’re both natural, but they couldn’t be more different from each other. The fact that people even try to put breastfeeding in public in the same category as having sex in public is absurd and straight out idiotic. I think people pull that argument out when they literally have no other basis to back their side up. People have sex to make babies and for pleasure and wouldn’t have a DIRECT NEED to fornicate in public, whereas a baby cannot control their need to eat and must do so wherever they happen to be at the moment. Having sex is a want, a mother breastfeeding her child is a NEED, get the difference now?
~Breastfeeding past age one or two is gross, if they are old enough to ask for their milk or drink from a cup they shouldn’t breastfeed, especially from the tap! Here at breastfeeding Mama Talk that is one we hear A LOT. A baby, toddler, or child never stops the need for nutrition. So just because they start talking, have a birthday, and can drink other liquids from a cup doesn’t change ANY of the benefits breastmilk gives to the child. The World Health Organization (WHO) Recommends breastfeeding until the age of two OR BEYOND. The only thing wrong about a kid breastfeeding past age two are all the people who speak their negative opinions about it.
~Okay so I get you still want your child past age two to get breastmilk, but why can’t you just pump it out and give it to them in a cup? I honestly don’t think people who ask that are intentionally trying to offend, well at least I hope not, but that is actually quite offensive to a breastfeeding mother. Saying that also implies that she is doing something wrong by not pumping out the milk and giving to the child in a cup. Just because that might make YOU feel uncomfortable or just because YOU don’t think it’s right that is just YOUR opinion. As I have stated above the WHO does not even put an age limit on when they would recommend a mother to stop. The only two people that should be concerned about when to stop breastfeeding is the mother and the child. I won’t even justify why a mother would choose to breastfeed a five year old because whatever the reason that is the business of the mother and the child. I personally don’t ever see MYSELF breastfeeding my five year old, but I fully support a mothers right to choose to breastfeed, however, wherever, and for however long, so whatever the reason she and child chooses is not my concern, nor should it be yours.
~Formula and breastmilk are the same thing. Formula and breastmilk are NOT the same at all. I could write a whole blog on the differences between the two, but since that isn’t the point of this specific blog I will just list the main differences. One of the amazing things about breast milk is that your milk is specially formulated to have the right composition for your baby, and to contain exactly the right amounts of nutrients. Formula-fed babies receive the exact same nutrients every time they eat. Breast milk, on the other hand, continually changes in composition so that your baby gets what he or she needs at any age. Breast milk contains more than 100 ingredients that the formula industry simply can’t duplicate. More on the differences found here.
If you have ever said any of the six examples above then you were not being fully supportive of a woman’s right to breastfeed and came off ignorant. Placing your conditions or stipulations onto someone else especially, in regards to parenting, isn’t supportive at all and is actually quite ignorant and rude. If breastfeeding is really something you want to shield your kids from seeing that is YOUR problem and If seeing a woman breastfeeding her five year old is not appealing to YOU that is YOUR problem, it is not the mother who simply wants to nurse her child’s problem nor should it be her concern either. Saying things like, “Formula and Breastmilk are the same” is probably the most ignorant out of all six examples. Before you’re so quick to place judgments on someone else or something else, especially about their parenting, maybe educate yourself a bit further on the matter.
~Kristy Kemp (Creator of Breastfeeding Mama Talk)