Yes – okay, I DO believe breast milk is best for baby. But that is not ‘my issue’ today.
I have found that the first thing people ask me when they see me with my baby for the first time is: ‘Do you breast feed?’
Now, I DO NOT mind if my friends ask me this question, they are just interested in my life. I do, however, find it extremely offensive when complete strangers who see me for the first time ask me this question. I cannot tell you how many times this happen. ‘Ahhh – how cute! Do you breast feed?’ What on earth does this have to do with someone I do not know? No doubt they are asking this question with a hammer hanging over your head… should you answer ‘yes’, you get a smile, a ‘breast is best’ and the hammer gets put away. Should you say ‘no’, their eyes grow big and the hammer comes down. Okay perhaps the analogy of a hammer is a bit extreme, but imagine any kind of image of judgement… I can see a platform opening and someone getting hanged…
Just for the record – I do breast feed. I give our baby both breast milk and formula. But what about those women who have made the decision not to breast feed? It should not be embarrassing to say ‘No, I use formula.’ I constantly find myself relieved that I do breast feed, because I don’t have to tell anyone that I am using formula. Surely this kind of pressure is not right?
There is so much pressure on new moms – supporting them does not mean telling them what they are doing wrong. Let us new moms do our thing and wait for us to ask for help. Rather encourage us – we need to hear that we are doing a great job. And please don’t hint at what you think I should do: ‘Oh mommy, he is crying because he has a wet diaper! Ah mommy he has a wind.’ If you think he has a wind, don’t ‘skimp’ that I should be burping him – then do it if you think it needs doing!By the way – have you new moms ever noticed how, when someone ‘baby wise’ holds your baby and they can’t get him to stop crying, the response is: ‘Oh he must be hungry!’ Surely it’s not them not being able to comfort your baby. It’s you failing to realise your baby is hungry!
Sorry – I just needed to do some venting! I am not sure WHAT I want to say… perhaps just this: give me an opportunity to calm my baby myself, without taking him from me and showing me how it’s done. Encourage me, tell me I am doing a great job and that all babies cry – maybe then I will relax and baby will stop crying.
Ps: To all my dear friends whom have taken my baby from me while he is crying, I love you for caring. But believe me, I will give my baby to you when I feel I cannot manage. Help me to do it myself. When my baby gets taken from me, I don’t feel like his mommy☹