Good morning!! I hope you will watch this clip of a very honest discussion about breast feeding. I like that it shows opposing views and each party is respectful in their exchange.
Breast feeding is one of the most divisive and controversial topics in parenting today. Growing up I don’t remember it being such an issue. I remember being curious about it as a kid and my mother explaining to me that’s how some moms feed their babies. Notice she didn’t say all moms. She left room for other moms, like herself, who formula fed. She was a working mom and if she had wanted to breast feed she would have. But, no one questioned her or shamed her for her choice.
I have steered clear of this topic until now because it can be so alienating to some moms. Myself included. I wasn’t able to breast feed my babies and most people think it is because I have twins. I know several twin moms who breast feed successfully and for over a year! Unfortunately, I couldn’t feed my babies because my milk supply never came in. I was ready and prepared to breast feed them. I felt a truly deep despair when it couldn’t happen. I felt like a failure before I even left the hospital five days after giving birth. So, for the first year I had to feed my babies formula.
It took me nearly three years to get over that feeling of guilt. I felt like it was my biggest failure as a mom. Not only was that because of the pressure I put on myself, but also because of the pressure of “breast is best.” Since I couldn’t give my kids the “best” I had failed. I stood quietly in the middle of the mommy war hearing judgments from both camps. I’ve met the finger wagers who spout statistics about health benefits of breast milk. I’ve met the moms who are too ashamed to feed their babies in public so they let them cry out, or hide themselves away. I’ve met the moms who participate in breast feed-ins and feed their babies openly in defiance. I’ve also met moms who have said breast feeding is not for me and boldly choose formula.
Here’s the thing… moms just want to feed their kids. Why is this deserving of media coverage, argument and a division? Why are we (moms included) relegating motherhood to the peripheral? Not only are breast feeding moms expected to remove themselves from view, but so are moms who have kids melting down in public, or moms who have “too many kids.” Why is motherhood so marginalized and minimized? Doesn’t it take a village to raise a child? So, why is my village sending me away and shaming me for my choices? Every family is different so why are we trying to put each other into a box that makes other people’s parenting a more acceptable and palatable experience for ourselves?
Here’s to the moms who choose to put their baby’s nutritional needs first- whether you choose formula, or breast milk you are making the right choice for your child. No one can ask for more than that! 😉
The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.
Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy
What a great post! Whether a mom wants to breast or formula feed (I have done both) it shouldn’t matter as long as she is there for her kids.
I was so nervous to read this when I saw the topic… And I’m pleasently surprised!!! Every blog I read about breastfeeding is all about #normalizebreastfeeding and it drives me crazy. Breast milk is great, we get it… But don’t push so hard that you’re making other mom’s that can’t (or don’t want to!) breastfeed feel like failures! Great read! 🙂
I don’t understand what’s all the buzz over this very natural matter. Millions of women breastfeed their babies on the other side of the world and it’s nobody’s business whether when or when they want to do that. The different though with what Alyssa did, these women they don’t feel the need to expose their breastfeeding moment to the whole world. Anyway, this is very thoughtful post!
This is so interesting, really, to read that as a mother you see motherhood being marginalized. It’s interesting because, as a not-mom (by choice), motherhood seems to be anything but marginal- or minimalized. Just goes to show the different perspectives from looking out and looking in, right?
Frankly, I thought Wendy Williams was absolutely ridiculous in that clip and I can’t tell if she is genuinely that ignorant or if she was just playing devil’s advocate.
I never felt that way before I became a parent either. I always respected a moms role. But, you would be surprised by the comments I received when I decided to stay home with my kids. I was told I was “wasting” my college education. I left a career I’d never get back (which is OK, I kind of like this new one). I was told that “sexism” is alive in my household (however, if I made more money than my husband he would have quit his job). Other moms have said, “I could never stay home with my kids I’d be too bored.” As if my job as a mother is so mindless. (I admit now that the kids are 5 I am starting to get bored with routine, but this is the first year I’ve felt this way!). The list goes on. Meanwhile I’ve started my own charity, run my own business, and started a whole new writing career (all while juggling twins and a household). I agree, it depends on which side of the story you are in. 😉
I completely agree with you, mums can choose what is best for their babies and other people shouldn’t comment on what they have chosen to do 🙂
It is the mums body and child and therefore she should have the choice to make her own decisions. Some people are so judgemental.
I have to agree with you. It’s up to each mother and what they want to do. Really loved reading your post!
It’s up to each mother and what they want to do. I have to agree with you too! Really loved reading your post!
ppl act like its so bad and it blows my mind !!!!! I much rather see a pretty mom breast feeding instead of a 1/2 dressed woman !! good for you Laci @ sequinsinthesouth.com
I think, in recent years particularly, that people are just too aware of what others do, instead of just taking care of their business. The world has become very hostile, but well in order for that to change we need start with evaluating ourselves.
I think is very ridiculous to question what a mother does to their children, how she feeds them and raises them. The majority of the mothers, if not all, just want the best for their kids. I did not generalized to all because there are always the exception of the rule. But well said.
To breastfeed or not should be a mother’s choice. Plus, there are some that want to but their breasts just don’t produce milk so they can’t. In conclusion, people should mind their own business haha.
I will never understand why this is such an issue. Breast feed/bottle feed who cares as long as you are taking care of your baby!
I nerver really get it when this comes up as being so controversial.
Great post! I was expecting a whole different blog post! But I’m glad you mentioned what you did and I totally agree with you! xo
I’m glad you got over it. Guild is an absolutely useless emotion that doesn’t do anyone any good.
I was expecting a completely different post, but I’m glad I was wrong. I wholeheartedly agree with you!
I’m 3-ish months away from having my first child and, I must admit, breastfeeding is more intimidating to me than actual child birth. There IS a lot of pressure and with that comes a lot of frustrations (from what I’ve heard and read). I’m trying to educate myself, decide what feels right for me & baby, and let the judgements go in one ear and out the other. Thanks for the post!
Good luck! You will know exactly what the right choice is for you and your baby when the time comes!! Either way you decide you’ll be a great mom!
I actually saw that clip prior to reading your post and was like Go Alyssa!!! I think society has completely lost sight of what is important and needs to refocus!
I completely agree with you. We all have to do what’s right for ourselves and our children. No one else can make that decision for us and it’s disappointing when others try to judge us for our choices.
I’m Team Feed Your Baby so to me, all the drama is unnecessary. That being said, I love Alyssa Milano and what she’s doing to normalize breastfeeding.
I chose to nurse my daughter and I loved my choice. It was the right choice from me but I’m fine if people choose not to.
Breastfeeding is definitely the healthy way to go. As long as the mom is caring for her child that all that should matter.
There’s been a lot of talk about this in the media lately and while I don’t have any children or experience with this, I totally respect the decisions you’ve made!
I couldn’t agree more. I just don’t understand, at all, why feeding your kid is a divisive issue.
Why is such a big deal about breastfeeding? Breast milk is best for babies. Some don’t understand that because some mothers are only concerned about their figures. If I had enough breast milk, I will continue breastfeeding my daughter ’til my milk is gone. I envy the moms who have lots of milk to provide for their babies.
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Thanks for reading and for sharing!