I think it’s fair to say that wherever in the world you have your children, the benefits of breastfeeding are constantly put to you. This can therefore make it very difficult if you are unable to breast feed or choose not to. I know some mothers have felt as though they are failure if they can’t produce enough milk or can’t get the hang of it altogether.
I have recently joined a Facebook group where mums can pose all their weird and wonderful questions and other mums can respond with their experiences, suggestions and top tips. It’s a remarkable support network. This morning, someone asked for help with retorts to The Question “are you feeding him/her?” (Which means “are you breastfeeding him/her”, but in some places folk drop the word breast for fear of causing a chuckle!!). The lady who posted this question has said she found it really difficult to respond to people when they were almost looking down their nose at her expecting her to say “of course”. The responses that some of the mothers gave did make me titer, yes, pun intended:
“Of course not, we have a wet nurse”
“I actually don’t have nipples, it’s the weirdest thing”
“His father is taking care of that”
“Feeding him? Am I supposed to that?”
“Yes I am, when she’s hungry I give her a bottle of awesomeness”
I thought some of these responses were great and moreover it’s nice to see the support for this lady who has chosen (for whatever reason) not to breastfeed.
I am a massive supporter of breastfeeding; I am astounded daily at the ability of our body to make such an incredibly nutritious meal and all the long-term benefits never cease to amaze me. I could read and learn about breast milk all day long, and I feel incredibly lucky that it worked out for me (perhaps a pay off for not getting the birth I wanted?). But, with all that said I think we need to lay off the pressure some what. Some women choose not to breast feed, others can’t, whatever their reasons, we should try to support each other in any way we can. After all, if we can love and nurture our child, that’s all that matters.