What I thought about breastfeeding week

If you don’t focus 99% of your internet time on all things baby, you probably didn’t know it was World Breastfeeding Week.  But if you’re me, you did.  It was everywhere – in my Facebook feed, on the Huffington Post, in Glamour Magazine, etc.  And here’s the thing – it kind of made me feel like shit.

I’m 100% pro-breastfeeding.  Both Jason and I were breastfed as babies.  But then when I had my own baby, I just couldn’t do it.  It wasn’t for lack of trying, trust me.  I just had a very low milk supply.  Like negligible.  And after two weeks of driving myself crazy, I stopped trying to make it happen.

But then I read all these articles and blog posts recently about how great breastfeeding is and though I agree, I felt like every single thing I read had this same rationale – it’s better for the baby and it’s totally natural and what you’re supposed to do.  And it probably is.  But when you can’t do it, and you hear other people talking about how they are doing something that’s better for the baby and you aren’t, that’s hard.  When you hear people say that you just have to keep trying and you didn’t, that’s hard too.

It’s also the influx of, “you’re such a good mother for doing this” comments that bother me too.  A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook and I agree.  It’s not always easy and it’s not always natural for everyone.

Not breastfed (and practicing his duckface) but still has a good mother:

Duckface

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9 Responses to What I thought about breastfeeding week

  1. Totally agree with you! I breastfeed Kaylin for 3 1/2 months and I produced JUST enough milk. Well, just enough milk combined with having to pump because I was working was not a pretty combination. I think its absolutely awesome and that everyone should try to do it if they can and WANT to….but formula fed kids can turn out pretty darn well too ;) .

  2. I’m sorry you felt that way. I felt like I saw a lot of posts about World Breastfeeding Week, but thought it was just weird how so many were excited to show various celebs breastfeeding. I didn’t feel that did anything to normalize it, because as someone who did breastfeed… I never had exotic locales in the background nor was I in glamorous clothing/hair/makeup. In fact, I felt like a slob for a year due to breastfeeding.

    I think breastfeeding is great, like you. But I think there is a long way to go to where we are just “Hey, all you moms doing your best to raise your kids… you’re all awesome!” Maybe just NOT having weeks to celebrate one way or the other of doing things?

  3. I had no idea it was World Breastfeeding Week. I’m really, really sorry you are feeling bad. I was a formula fed kid and I think I turned out pretty well. ;-) I think it’s great if you can breastfeed, but if you can’t I don’t think it’s something you should beat yourself up about. Our worth as mothers does not hinge on whether we breastfeed or not. 99.9% of babies won’t remember if they were breastfed or not, right? They will remember if you read to them, laughed with them, cooked for them, tucked them in at night, etc. I hope you can learn to focus on the things you CAN and ARE doing for A. He’s a lucky kid to have you for a mom.

  4. You baby is absolutely adorable!! That is such a sweet picture. I can completely understand the way you are feeling, but try to remember that a lot of social media is like a scrap book. People only post the “good stuff” and things they feel proud of and want to highlight. Just because you don’t match someone else’s “highlight” you should feel badly about yourself. You are a great Mom and Alexander is thriving – feel proud of that!

  5. Whoops – sorry about the typo – that should say you SHOULDN’T feel badly.

  6. Yep, you know I was in the same boat. And it always makes me feel like shit. When people talk about how breastfeeding is “so, SO important!!!!”– I get it. I understand that they’re trying to reach out to people who might not breastfeed otherwise, but might see an article or post and think, “Wow, maybe I should rethink this and try breastfeeding.” At least, that’s who I imagine their audience to be. But what about those of us who WANTED to, tried to, and just couldn’t? Like you, my supply was NOTHING. My breasts didn’t grow in pregnancy. They didn’t grow after pregnancy. My milk just didn’t come in. And as the (amazing) lactation consultant at the hospital told me– “honey, there’s nothing you can do about that.” Hearing that breastfeeding is “important” is what gets me more than anything– because despite my knowing that Lila is fine– great, in fact– in the back of my mind, I can’t help but think “Uh oh…I’ve messed her up somehow. Breastfeeding is *important* and Lila didn’t do it.” I know all of those articles and posts aren’t meant to be “formula shamers”– but that’s exactly what they do for me.

  7. Those darn mommy wars, they make this world an awful place. I have a coworker is so pro breastfeeding that, although I don’t think she realized it, really put down another coworker who’s milk just never came in. Like you stated, the first coworker said “you just got to put in the work, anyone can do it” and the second one really really did but nothing happened. I’m on the side that whatever works best for you and your family is what is best for baby.

  8. Whenever I see people spouting off about how everyone should breastfeed I just think about those moms who can’t. It makes me mad- you’re not any less of a mom if you don’t breastfeed (whether by choice or by nature). I certainly don’t think that all of the pro-breastfeeding moms set out to hurt anyone’s feelings, but perhaps they should think about that before coming off like they’re better than other moms who don’t/can’t breastfeed.

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