I was initially slightly offended by the push for breastfeeding because I, like many moms, struggled to bf my baby and felt incredibly guilty about it. You can ask my hubby, there were several occasions where I was in tears because Connor was sick and I felt like if I had been able to keep bfing, he wouldn't have gotten the cold I brought home from work. Moms are held to extremely high standards these days, and everyone has an opinion about everything and for some reason they think they have the right to tell you everything you're doing "wrong" for your baby. It took me longer than I'd like to admit to tell those people to fuck off. These are my babies and the only people who have a say in how they are raised are the two people directly involved in their creation. Everyone else can suck it.
Now, back on topic. WBW seems to be a very supportive movement to help encourage bfing and bring a focus on lactation consults, tips, advice, and other things to try and help make the whole experience easier and more successful for those that choose it. I think that's great.
Bfing seems like it should be easy. That's what boobs were created for, right? It should come natural and easy for everyone. HA!! Not even kinda true. Yes, for some it's easy. They have an endless supply, their baby latches like a pro, and they never have any bumps in their breastfeeding road. That is not actually the norm. There are at least 100 things that can go wrong and make it hard for a momma to feed her baby from her bosoms. That's ok! Maybe you baby doesn't latch. Maybe your supply doesn't ever come in, or isn't enough to satisfy your babe. Maybe you see your boobs as a fun thing for your partner and the idea of using them to feed someone freaks you out. Maybe you have some other reason and can't or choose not to bf. That's OK!!
Formula was created to fill a need. It's very effective and will help you to raise happy, healthy babies, without a doubt. For decades, doctors pushed formula over breastfeeding, because they believed the science said formula created healthier babies. Now, they say the opposite. Yes, boobs do amazing things, reading the baby's saliva and altering the milk to fight off any antibodies the baby has encountered. That's fantastic. However, not breastfeeding is still a safe, healthy and very valid option. The truth is, without formula, thousands (if not millions) of babies would die every year.
Raise awareness about all the help that's available for the struggling bfing momma, but don't discount those who use formula or diminish their choices because you saw a billboard once that said (in big BOLD letters) that breast is best. Fed is best. How you feed them shouldn't matter as long as they are healthy.
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community