Breastfeeding Backlash

Some of you may have seen my tweets the other day about a photo I sent my friends and the comments that they replied with.

Here we are just incase you missed it:

I had always just assumed my friends were OK with breastfeeding, I mean I do it infront of them without even thinking, but maybe not? I hadn’t even really registered that I was feeding before I sent the picture, I saw me having snuggles with my son, and I expected oohs and awws now ewws, and their comments both shocked and upset me.

Since seeing that I was upset by it one of my friends has apologised and said that it was only a joke and taking the mick. I get that, don’t get me wrong, I do still have a sense of humour, I promise! And I knew right from the start that some of the comments were exaggerations on a point, but, and I think this is the crux of my argument, the point was still there! The point that my friends saw boob, that that was what shone out of that picture instead of my son snuggling with his mummy.

At what point scrolling down the following pictures does your mindset change from ‘aww natural’ to ‘hehe boob’ or maybe worst of all ‘eww put it away’.

Image from TheBovine.Wordpress.com

Image from SheKnows.com

I was terrified to breastfeed to start with. I wasn’t scared of the pain (though I should have been to start with!) I was scared of what people would think, where they would look and what they would say, where I should do it, and who I should do it infront of.

I went out of the room to latch him on (and then come back once he was on) for the first month or so – more because he had latching issues and I waved my boob around for 20 minutes each time – yes, if I wasn’t in pain and frustrated I would probably have thought ‘hehe boob’ at that point! But as soon as he got the hang of that I was able to latch him on and feed him in the same room as people, often feeding him for a long time before anyone even noticed!

I took lots of pictures of me feeding him to start with – it was new and exciting and I wanted to show it off and remember it, but as it has become more normal for us I take less photos – I have found the same with weaning – I no longer take photos of every meal!

20140809_122652wpid-20140906_080934.jpg wpid-20140824_045710-1.jpg IMG_0797

I am now at a stage where I don’t even think about it any more. I am surrounded by breastfeeding mum friends and we all just do it like its normal, and as long as baby isn’t playing silly beggers it’s so slick that noone sees anything!

I am slightly wary doing it infront of young children I don’t know, not wanting to cause awkward questions for bottlefeeding mummys, and more sadly infront of the older generation, who I worry might want to put a blanket over my head! That said, I may turn away, but I won’t move away. But I generally assume that my generation is OK with it, that it’s almost normal now, the way it should be, like a cow feeding its calf, but maybe I was wrong in thinking that other people think the same as me, maybe I am forcing it on other people and maybe they would rather I didn’t do it infront of them. Maybe I should think harder about who I feed infront of?
I see it as a perfectly natural thing to do, and have always been determined to do it, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be upset if I was confronted about it. I suppose that the older Jackson gets the more unusual it is for me to still be breastfeeding him, so maybe the more odd looks and comments I will get, but I have also grown in confidence and met some amazing and supportive people along my breastfeeding journey.

I wouldn’t change my decision to breastfeed for the world, and would encourage any new mums to atleast try. I know its hard and it doesn’t suit everyone, but there are so many benefits to it that it is totally worth everything, but unfortunately there are people out there that will challenge you, that will think its wrong, that will make you feel awkward and upset you, but as one of my friends on Facebook said to me:
“I make milk, what’s your superpower?!”

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2 Comments

  1. I’m not surprised you were shocked at some of the comments, joking or not. I can’t remember when we went from a society where people supported each other, to one where people mocked, judged or criticised each other. I don’t have children and have been told that I probably never will, but I don’t find breastfeeding threatening, disgusting, insulting, unusual or anything other than completely normal.

    Likewise, I do get annoyed with the very evangelical breastfeeders who bang on and on and on about it and seem to judge any woman who doesn’t. I totally agree with you to try and perservere in so far as you can, but I know two people for whom it simply wasn’t possible. Their children are now 10, 8, 7 and 5 and all of them doing absolutely fine. We need to go back to supporting, to helping and guiding. Being a Mum is hard enough! (he’s totally gorgeous by the way!) X

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    • Thank you. Yes I was totally shocked by their attitudes!
      I thankfully had a fairly easy route to breastfeeding, but I know a couple of mums have said to me that they really wanted to but it just didn’t work for them and I get that, there are so many things to consider in people’s decisions, I hate it when people tell parents they’re doing it wrong (Give this a watch, explains it powerfully! – http://youtu.be/l4LSfZasYP4 ) we are all just trying to do the best for our kids with what we have!
      Thank you! I think he’s gorgeous too! Hehe!

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