The good old breast feeding versus bottle feeding debate is rearing it’s head again and without the intention of ranting (although I may!) I thought I would throw my two pennies worth into the mix. It’s all over the Internet and TV again. It’s buzzing round Twitter.
I don’t have any opinions to state about whether breast feeding is better than bottle feeding or whether you should do either one of those things. I don’t feel the need to tell you. I can tell you what happened to me which was I had a 10lb 6oz baby and he was very very hungry. I breast fed for a week. About the 3rd day in while I was in hospital one of the midwives bottle fed Little Man while I was in the shower because she didn’t want me to latch on (excuse the pun) to the idea of bottle feeding as I was struggling with breast feeding him. I carried on when I got home but in the end he was too hungry, I was too sore and we were both upset. After advice from my midwife we swapped to formula. That’s what happened to me.
I don’t feel the need when someone tells me whether they are breast or bottle feeding to tell them whether I disagree or not. They are parents, they are more than capable of making a decision that works for their baby, their family and for themselves. There are many many decisions that we have to make with our newborns; baby led weaning or purees, co-sleeping or sleeping in the cot, dummy or no dummy, the list goes on. But none of these decisions are met with the same media backlash as this debate.
As I said, I don’t have any opinion to share as to what I think about breast or bottle.
What I do want to say is this.
Debates are healthy in our society, we need to see both sides of an argument to work out what the best decision is for us. What I can’t stand is the nastiness and the forced opinions that seem to come with the breast or bottle argument. In the long run whether the lady down the road or the woman at your baby group breastfeeds their baby or not is not our concern, it makes a difference to their family and whatever works works. Social media and the media in general is not there for slanging matches or to make people feel crap for the choices that they make. It is there to broadcast and present peoples opinions in a responsible and respectable way.
There is no need to be nasty.
People are more than entitled to make their own decisions about their child and shouldn’t be made to feel bad about it. We don’t need to make people feel rubbish by using our opinion. If our opinion is going to make people feel good then go ahead and shout it from the rooftops, stick it all over Twitter.
Whether you have breast fed or bottle fed your baby, you have made a decision that is right for you and your child. That is enough.
Now, go and spread some love please! New parents have a hard enough time as it is, lets stand with them rather than questioning their choices.
Have a lovely day.
Ps, head over to Channel Mum to watch some videos about how this sort of thing makes real mums feel. These are the sorts of campaigns we should be getting behind not the type that single people out!