I recently came across a Facebook post. The topic was breastfeeding and how a mother squirted breast milk at a woman who told her to cover up or nurse in private.
Look, YES is was wrong for the woman to shame the mom who was only trying to feed her child. But the mother feeding her child allegedly telling the woman to eff of and squirted breast milk at her was ALSO WRONG. Who does that? What happened to ignore and move on? YES – she has every right to nurse her baby where ever and whenever the need arises. It’s legal to do so here in the US as well as her home country of the UK. But in my opinion her reaction was uncalled for. Escalating the issue will only potentially put you and the baby in danger.
But that’s not what this post is about – It’s about the comments in the thread. Most laughed and said she got what she deserved. But then I got to this comment:
“Personally- I think it’s gross to see formula. A fake lab-made synthetic wannabe breast milk.”
Excuse me? What the actual fuck? You are pissed that someone is offended at a breastfeeding mom but you decide to shame the parents who choose to – or physically cannot – breastfeed by telling them their formula is gross?
No. Just no.
Some women choose not to breastfeed. No matter what the reason that is their decision to make and NOT yours. But some women – approximately 2% of new moms – physically cannot nurse. And how do I know this?
I am part of that 2%.
While my friends and sisters had little to no problem producing milk, getting their child to latch, and feeding their child without much issue I was sitting alone in my room trying to get my twins to latch, trying to pump, and crying my eyes out because I felt like a failure. I had already felt less of a woman because I couldn’t get pregnant naturally (I did IVF) but now adding the fact that I produced maybe 1/2 an ounce in a 12 hour period while pumping every hour on the hour I felt worthless. I could barely have my children and now I couldn’t even feed them as a new mother should. What kind of sick joke is that? I was supposed to be able to do this…
This is a guilt that I have carried for 9 years now.
Yes I tried everything. I tried supplements. I tried special teas. I tried a lactation expert. I got the best of the best breast pump. I tried everything. Nothing worked. Nothing happened. I was forced to formula feed and I was forced to see the judging looks from cashiers and well-meaning women that said I wasn’t trying hard enough as they cocked their heads to the side in a shoddy attempt at sympathy. I tried – and cried – for 12 weeks straight until I just couldn’t do it anymore.
To see this reaction on my Facebook feed fueled the anger and shame and guilt I had 9 years ago when my littles were little. To see people saying “bravo” to a woman who threw bodily fluids at someone and in the same breath say “I’m offended by formula feeding” is not only ridiculous – it’s downright hypocritical.
Parents should be supporting each other and their decisions in raising their child as long as it is in the best interest of the child and the family. Parents shouldn’t be shaming others for choosing to do one thing over another. Don’t tell me you are all for public breastfeeding and then talk down to mothers who formula feed.
We have enough mom guilt without the shaming. It’s not a this-or-that thing. Most of us who formula fed aren’t grossed out by public nursing, you shouldn’t be offended if we whip out a bottle when our child needs to eat.