Nicolette Writes

Professional Freelance Writer and Stay-at-Home Mom

Breast is Best… and other new-mommy issues!

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…

Ek hou van my melkie! Borsmelkie of blikkie-melkie!

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!

Help me to do it myself

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☹

I need to feel like a mother…


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12 thoughts on “Breast is Best… and other new-mommy issues!

  1. Dominique on said:

    You have written exactly what I have been thinking and feeling!!

  2. Hi Dominique! So glad to hear that! I was worried that I might have been too harsh… 🙂

  3. Nicolette's husband on said:

    And spare a thought for new dads. I often get the following accusatory question (mostly from pseudo feminist types): Do you help with the baby?

    No I don’t help, I sit sucking beer from a kegg and shout at the wife… WOMAN! get into that kitchen and make me some pie, NOW woman. And keep that kid quiet while you’re at it.

    Of course I help with the baby…

    and no offense meant to true feminists!

  4. This is soooo true. Same goes for all other issues: do you rock baby to sleep vs letting him go to sleep on his own, do you feed 4-hourly or let him nurse on demand, do you co-sleep or put him in his own room… Etc! I agree that new moms need nothing except encouragement. They need to be empowered to be the best mommies they can be. We need the confidence! 🙂

    • Yah! Thanks Karien for your comment! I got a raised eyebrow this week when I told someone that Alex shares our room and sometimes our bed! What’s that saying about ‘it takes all sorts to make the world go round’?! Hehe – I guess we are one of those ‘sorts’! Aren’t we all?!

      • Thankfully even the stuffy old (mostly men) of the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends having your baby in your room for at least the 1st 6 months, so all of us who can’t bear to have the baby sleep so far away can breathe a sigh of relief, we are out of trouble at last 🙂 (and at the same time, we’re halving the risk of SIDS when we keep them close…)

        Love your post – good for me as someone who works with mums to read!

  5. damenade on said:

    So true!! They are just trying to help.. but we are new mommies and full with emotions!

  6. Donna Meredith on said:

    Hi Nicolette, I could not agree with you more I also breast and formula feed at the end of the day we are doing what’s best for our babies and no one knows them better than their mommies. 🙂

  7. No Circ is Whole Son! on said:

    Breast isn’t best for your baby. to say that implies Formula Feed is normal. Breastfeeding is what is normal for your baby whether it be your human breastmilk of the breastmilk of another human via a milk sharing network. Anything other than breastmilk given to a baby is abnormal or substandard.

    • Hi ‘No Circ is Whole Son’!

      I am really sorry for only replying now! Alex has been keeping me busy:-)
      I was at a talk last weekend and the speaker once again confirmed the good qualities of breast milk. She said that breast milk builds a strong immune system in babies for their adult lives.
      But breastfeeding can be tough… I hope I manage to give Alex breast milk for as long as possible. I am mixing formula and breast milk, as he doesn’t want to drink the breast milk on its own!
      Sweet tooth;-)


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