So it’s National Breastfeeding Week and boy are the claws out.
What is it between breast feeders and bottle feeders that can stir such emotion? Guilt? Jealousy? Smugness?
Forget breastfeeding itself being a taboo subject it’s the question hovering over every mother’s lips at social gatherings and baby groups.
Did you/do you breastfeed?
It seems the people who point blank refuse to breastfeed or try to do so, find it disgusting.
The breast feeders themselves find it natural (it undoubtedly is).
It is the group that I come into who have the biggest identity crisis. The triers. The failures. The mums who tried their utmost best and had every intention to suckle their babies to their breast only to fail/give-up/give in.
I remember national breastfeeding week two years ago when my daughter was six months old and we walked past an information stand in Mothercare. The organisers asked if my baby was breastfed and I burst into tears!!
I tried I promise I tried but I honestly think I was so overwhelmed by this tiny little thing I had to take care of, it just wouldn’t sink in. When the midwife came and I told her I was struggling, little Lizzi latched on at once yet within minutes of said health professional leaving, she was screaming like a starved animal. I didn’t know what else to do.
The mindset of some people is so negative too. Just the other day I heard my husband’s friend (who has four children!!!) laughing and saying how awful it was to see a woman breastfeeding her baby in KFC.
Well at least it was an eating establishment. The other option to women breastfeeding is to go into the so-called designated breastfeeding room in establishments which more often than not is also near the baby change-would you want to eat your dinner smelling someone else’s pooby?
I have not closed my mind to breastfeeding though. If/when I have another baby I will have another go and I totally believe that a second baby may not be as frightening as the first. Surely I will know what I am doing more.
It is all very well saying live and let live to the people who did/didn’t or failed to breastfeed but the sheer venom and one-upmanship (on those that did AND didn’t) can be vicious.
The wrath of the other mother is alive and living amongst us!