Something has been on my mind for a while and it’s something that, as a woman, a mother and as a person who has a pair of breasts, is very important to me.
Saying “I support formula feeding IF” is just as bad as saying “I support breastfeeding BUT”.
I breastfeed my children because I CAN and because I CHOOSE to.
I’ve breastfed my son for 3 years and I’m currently breastfeeding my 2 year old.
So, as some people may imagine, I’m no stranger to people (even people I don’t know) telling me what I can and can’t do with my own breasts. People, on occasion, have felt they’re entitled to tell me when I should stop breastfeeding my children.
Here’s a quick thing to remember when you’re talking about someone else breastfeeding – THEY’RE NOT YOUR BREASTS.
This applies to howling about breastfeeding in public, breastfeeding beyond infancy or babies who are not breastfed at all.
Yes, breastfeeding is optimal.
Yes, breastfeeding is natural.
Yes, 100 years ago women didn’t have a choice. But let’s not base a woman’s rights to choose what she does or doesn’t do with her own body on the rights women had (or didn’t have) 100 years ago.
“I support formula feeding IF…” is just as bad as “I support breastfeeding BUT…”
“I support formula feeding IF the mother is absolutely unable to breastfeed.” NO!
“I support formula feeding IF the mother has to go back to work.” NO!
“I support formula feeding IF the mother is unable to breastfeed and she cannot source donor breast milk.” NO!
“I support formula feeding IF…” JUST STOP!
It doesn’t matter if a woman’s reasons for not breastfeeding are good enough for you, because her reasons are none of your business.
It’s not always a choice, some women can’t breastfeed, but even if it is a choice, it’s still her choice to make and nobody is owed an explanation.
In a country with access to clean water, quality formula and education for parents about how to correctly and safely make up a bottle, formula is a perfectly valid option.
For ANY mother.
For WHATEVER reason.