I have just seen a video on Youtube which I love and wanted to share
I completely agree with the sentiment behind this video, made by a breastfeeding mother, it is a strange world when people feel they can not feed their babies in the most natural way for fear of others reactions and bad attitudes.
When I was pregnant with Jake I was 18 years old, I hadn't really given much thought to how I was going to feed my baby, yet when I gave birth I really wanted to give breastfeeding ago, I am not sure if it was my stubborn mentality or the fact I was just lucky, but I stuck at it despite the lack of help or support from any medical profession or my family, and we happily breastfed with very few hic ups.
I do however remember my midwives being shocked at my choice instead of supportive, I remember my own Mum buying me formula and bottles and never really understanding why I would want to breastfeed, and constantly asking when I would be stopping, but I never did open the formula.
Instead over the years I became some what of an lactivist, I wanted to share the message that breastfeeding didn't need to be hidden or an embarrassment, I wanted to help people understand that in fact babies can happily sustain themselves on breast milk, and it really isn't necessary to top up with formula to get through a growth spurt,that the womens body is amazing, all things which I learnt struggling through by myself.
I regrettably weaned my eldest two off the breast around 9 months of age, looking back I wish I had continued for a bit longer, but the 'are you STILL doing THAT' comments just got too much, the 'they need something more' took their toll.
However with Mikey I stood firm, older perhaps, certainly wiser and he self weaned around 20 months of age.
I breastfed in public, in fact I breastfed everywhere, I never hid in toilets, or even in baby rooms, I was however very discreet and I doubt anyone even noticed when I was feeding, certainly not in the early months.
It saddens me to think that many many women however, don't feel they can do that, and crumble much before they try.
The statistics for breastfeeding are shockingly low, money is tight yet people spend on formula, which should not really be needed, in a well educated society people choose to not listen to the facts.
But more than the simple lack of women willing to stick it out, what frustrates me most is the hushing of the women who actually manage to successfully breastfeed.
It frustrates me to think that society as a whole have made it such that people don't feel they can openly discuss breastfeeding. Those who breastfeed for longer than a few weeks get hushed so much that they don't like to even mention feeding their babies, yet formula feeders openly reach for their bottles.
A breastfeeder slips away to feed, not wanting to offend, not only via showing her chest, but offend other mothers who chose not to, for fear of upsetting them.
Over the years I noticed more and more that any mention of breastfeeding became a source of heated debate, that any positive mention was shouted down, that formula feeding mothers stuck together to defend their parenting decision and perhaps unknowingly, made it harder and harder for breastfeeding mothers to mention the positives.
Even me who was proud of my success, with the years of breastfeeding behind me, found it strangely difficult to give encouragement to a new mum, to defend breastfeeding when surrounded by mothers who shouted about how it was not wrong to bottle feed, mothers who wanted to ensure they were not guilty for taking second best, mothers who did not want to hear how breastmilk is so so much superior, how formula milk is a money making product, not one which is in the best interest of the baby. Instead I found myself reassuring these formula feeding mothers that indeed it is OK to bottlefeed, I found myself comforting new mothers saying that they did not need to stick at breastfeeding and that frustrates me so much. We should be able to discuss the positives and encourage breastfeeding for what it is - the best natural food for baby.
Breastfeeding isn't always easy, in fact its painful and hard work those first few weeks physically painful, the next months emotionally difficult, constantly defending your decision and worrying what others might think should they notice.
It is however hugely hugely rewarding, and something that needs to be talked about.
Thats why I hope everyone listens to the words in this video and if you know a new mother who is breastfeeding give her some support, encouragement and let her know shes doing a fantastic job, no matter how you chose to feed your own baby, if you have a daughter no matter what the age make breastfeeding normal, tell her mothers feed their babys from their breasts, and hopefully one day the statistics for breastfeeding will rise.