On social media I have been trying quite a lot to spread the word about certain things. Personally that's how I learn and I find it interesting to read things I don't know much about. I don't necessarily agree with everything I see, but sometimes I can simply learn why other people hold their own point of view etc.
I have recently been sharing posts about breastfeeding after watching a TV program highlighted the low rates in the UK and that mostly being due to a lack of support or sometimes knowledge. How will we ever learn though if we don't read about these things? How will we receive support if we don't support each other?
Unfortunately these supportive posts often seem to have to opposite effect than how they are intended and are actually offending people rather than helping anyone. When I say I'm not judging you that's no lie. Both of my kids have drank formula milk at some point. Sometimes I couldn't be there when they needed feeding and pumping is HARD work. I don't feel any guilt about that! I made that choice, nobody made that decision for me and it's my body and my baby. I really do not have anything against formula or mums who choose that for their babies.
I genuinely understand if you don't want to breastfeed and you read 'Breast is best' that could be interpreted that you are not doing the best. Remember who is saying that though! It is not me. It is the poster on the wall in the hospital or doctors. It's on the formula adverts. I have never once spread that message. I also do not believe it is always the best option for every family as there is far more to take into consideration than the basic points. What if you are on medication you cannot stop taking? What if your mental health would be negatively affected? What if you are actually an adoptive parent? You are doing your best and that *is* the best.
Mostly it is women not who have failed themselves, but who have been failed. By the system. Women who wanted, but couldn't continue or even begin for whatever reason. Those are the women who should come forward. You need to stand up and spread the word about how you wanted to, but didn't receive the support, information, encouragement. You should never feel like you have failed, because I promise that you didn't. Your journey may have ended, but nobody is judging you for trying your best.
The women that have tried and hated it or found it too much hard work or too painful. You have not failed either. That is your decision to make for you and your baby.
The women who do not like the idea of breastfeeding and have no interest in it. You have not failed because that is your choice to make and nobody else's business.
The women who ARE judging people: you are the ones failing, but not for how you fed or feed your baby- for not supporting fellow mothers in their choices. This is where the failure lies. How others do things is none of your business and the only thing you should ever offer is support, never ever any negativity or judgement.
Anyway why am I so angry? Well I just read an article about how women are using #worldbreastfeedingweek to promote formula, judge people for breastfeeding, spread negativity, sell products not relating to breastfeeding and just generally abusing the whole concept.
The whole aim is to show our support to each other, educate people who are interested to learn, highlight the lack of support, find solutions, spread love, talk about these issues. Women supporting women. If you formula feed why are you so offended by people who primarily breastfeed?! All we are trying to do is help people who want help. We are not judging you. So next time you see a post sharing some breastfeeding love, why not show some support?! Spread the love not the hate. Maybe it isn't for you, but I promise it's not breastfeeding mothers judging you.