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Breast Feeding & the Guilt Bollocks


When it came to whether I was going to breast or bottle feed Phoenix, I always knew I would be in the 'naughty camp' and bottle feed him from day one and I utterly refuse to feel guilty about it. I hear you say, 'But what about your miracle baby. Your wonderful magical baby boy, who you would do anything for?'

Well, if breast feeding were the only option, of course, that is what I would do. However, we live in an advanced free society where our water is clean and the formula products that are available are fabulous.

Now, I have been known as a face for being Vegan and for Vegetarianism - and personally, I will never eat animals. So there's another argument you could make as to why I should breast feed. However, I will not be enforcing my views about what I eat on to Phoenix and I know this will annoy my veggie/vegan friends. The reason for this is because I really don't want to inflict any of my views on my child. I want him to have independent ideas about the food he eats, his politics, religion and who he wants to be. Of course, when he is older and he asks me why I don't eat meat? I will tell him the truth, as I see it. Then he can decide for himself what his truth is and change his mind and do whatever he needs to do to be happy about who he is. I hope then, he can find out who he is, original and unique. He may be angry with me for not breast feeding him in the future - but tough. In my opinion how a women feeds her baby is her choice and every women should have the right to decide that, without any pressure from anyone else.

It absolutely infuriates me that the government won't let shops like Boots, give customers points if they buy products like First Infant Milk formula - I'm told this is because they want us all to breast feed. Do we live in a dictatorship? What about women who can't breast feed? What if a baby is tongue tied and so it's really difficult and distressing for the mother to breast feed them? Isn't it better for a baby to have a happy mum? Why should these women be penalised in any way? I could rant all day about this. I think it's outrages. The amount of guilt it can place on mothers is not acceptable and women should absolutely stand together, on our right to chose how we feed our children. Whether you breast or bottle feed, you are doing a fucking awesome job.

I will be honest, I knew I would bottle feed Phoenix purely for the sake of vanity.... I am happy to be judged on this, we are all entitled to our own opinions on things. Call me shallow, but I really did not want to risk having 'pitta breads' for boobies. You may call that sad for a women in her forties, but it's because I am in my forties, I don't really give a shit and neither should any one else who's made a decision on how to feed their babies, for whatever reason they have made it.

As is widely known, I have had eating disorders in the past. The thought of having my boobs sag just wasn't an option. I also wanted to be able to get straight back in to some sort of strict eating plan and I really couldn't cope with any more eating for Phoenix's sake. I did that for 9 months while pregnant and it was tough for me to surrender my body that way. The sooner I got back to my own body the better for my mental heath and so much the better for Phoenix. I also felt a bit squeamish about breast feeding. Not very mother earth of me I know, but the thought of whipping my boobs out and having a small human feed off me, made me feel a bit weird.

Finally, and most importantly it turns out I wouldn't have been able to breast feed straight away anyway. I was so ketotic during the birth, my body didn't actually produce any milk until 3 days after I had given birth and even then I never really had to wear breast pads at all, there was very little leakage. Of course I could have sited this as the only reason for not breast feeding and saved myself from a whole world full of criticism and made all of you who judge, feel guilty - haha, but that's not really how I roll. I want to help mothers to not feel guilty or ashamed because of their reasons to feed their babies how they feel most comfortable.

It's funny, I Googled breast feeding, to find images for this blog before I began writing this article tonight and I saw that quite coincidentally, the Daily Mail had posted an article today saying that the wonderful, Save The Children Charity, have announced 'Baby Formula Milk should have cigarette health warnings on them' (please click link to see the article.) I think this is a really irresponsible article - sorry Daily Mail and Save The Children but it's just my opinion. I think it's an ill thought statement, mum's and dad's are made to feel guilty about so much, too much in fact. You never feel good enough anyway. Everything you do, you question. You are not protecting any children if their parents feel bad about themselves. I was bottle fed and every time I go to the Doctors I'm told I must have alien blood as I'm so healthy for my age (I am A Rhesus Negative - but that's another blog). I don't have any fillings, I'm rarely ill and I can still do the splits at 42, so I reckon my mum definitely gave me the best start in life she could. Breast is great - but bottle is great too. The most important thing is that our babies are feeding so they can grow bigger and stronger. So please ladies let's unite and support each other whether we breast or bottle feed. The sisterhood must be strong - we are in this together.

Finally I just want to say how excited I am as I have been short listed for the Mum and Working Blog Awards. Thank you so much for reading my blogs (sometimes rants). It means so much to me to be nominated. So many times in my life people have told me "I'm illiterate". It's true, even though I've got an A level in English Literature, I have no idea about bloody commas and whether, 'a but or an and' can come after a comma. I went to a working class comprehensive school for gawds sake, I know how to muck about and that's about it. This blog is the voice in my heart and it's very helpful for me to let it out. I probably swear too much but what comes out is from my soul and she's just not very well behaved.

If you would like to vote for me. please click on the banner below. Magic to you all.

PS

Since writing this yesterday I have had amazing and informative feedback from my Facebook, it was so fabulous that I felt I should share it with you all. I also have added a comments box at the end of this and all my blogs and pages, so please do feel free to add your comments to here as well as Facebook. I love hearing your views and it is helpful for us all.

First comment was from my friend Suzanne, who's son is my favourite child fan of all time. He has down-syndrome and I fell in love with him when he did 'Snow Angels' on the disco floor with me. Here is her comment..

Suzanne:

Well said. I too struggled when James was born....he couldn't suck because of his very low tone, I did the 'Daisy cow ' as I called it when expressing but it wasn't enough and for his sake and mine (more than enough to cope with the initial guilt of his diagnosis and pnd )he had formula. As parents we do our best for them, we make mistakes and learn from them but they survive and have a full life.

Love you Suzanne for sharing this and yet another reason we should not judge each other.

This is from my lovely friend Catherine, no one told me this and you would think it would be something we would all be told....

Catherine:

Lovely, honest post my dear! My only comment, and the only reason I'm even mentioning it, is because so many people have mentioned it to me, and you mentioned it in this post and it's become obvious to me over the years that people are so misinformed about it - is that your breastmilk doesn't generally 'come in' properly for a several days after giving birth. Thanks to all these blimmin baby books saying you'll start leaking milk at 5 months pregnant, everyone I've ever spoken to seems to think that once you've given birth, you'll have fountains of milk spurting forth! Ha ha! I think that's why so many people find it so hard, because they're unprepared for how little milk there may actually be for the first few days, and how much *painful* sucking the baby will have to do to get things going. Was around 5 days with my 3rd baby. Until then, for me at least, it wasn't even the lovely creamy colostrum all the books rave about - more like a weird gel, that was practically non-existent! Ha ha! Anyway, love your blog, and love your honesty and how you keep things real. xxxx

Love this, thank you so much for sharing this Catherine. We should all be told this!

Anyway, please do keep your comments coming as it helps us all to share.

#breastfeeding #bottlefeeding

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