Question: I wanted to ask you, since you are clearly in favor of breastfeeding, what you think about women who put down other women for not breastfeeding? Also, do you think there’s a limit (please say yes) to how much information should be shared by other moms in a conversation regarding breastfeeding and child birth.
I almost answered this question privately, as really it doesn’t have to do with babies as much as motherhood and manners. But then I went back to my own early days as a mother. . .even during my pre-mothering days when I was pregnant. I remember those women who felt very uninhibited in their information sharing. So I thought better of it and decided to address the question publicly.
The Breastmilk Bully
You’ve obviously been reading this blog or at least perusing it at length. Yes, one could definitely say I’m a breastfeeding advocate. However, I would personally prefer the idea that I’m an advocate for families. . .more so than for breastfeeding.
As an advocate for families, I wholeheartedly support, encourage, and actively promote breastfeeding. Yes, I think everyone should do it. I even support hospitals that have stopped giving free formula except with a doctor’s note. Breastfeeding is really, really good for your baby and doesn’t even come close to formula. Dare I say that anyone who suggests that formula is as healthy for babies as breast milk, hasn’t done their research.
BUT (and notice the big capital, bold letters there) giving information on a large scale to readers vs dealing with someone individually is completely different. I said I’m an advocate for families. I have helped many mothers on this site and in person with breastfeeding questions. However, as an advocate for families, that means I’m on mom’s side–always. Healthy and happy mommies make for healthy and happy babies–always. I’m not interested in being associated with the type of woman that puts others down. Those women grow from, “I have so much milk my baby’s just thriving,” to “My Joey can say his entire alphabet; what can your baby do?” Suffice it to say, formula feeding women are safe around me.
Talking About Birth and Breastfeeding
Here I sit on the fence. I would not talk about breastfeeding at a restaurant or in a casual conversation in great detail. I think bodily fluids is generally an inappropriate topic for discussion whether it be birthing, breastfeeding or anything else. However, when asked, I’m happy to share, in detail if need be, as much as I know. I think women need to feel supported and sometimes in order to do that, we have to talk about the details of birthing, sex, breastfeeding and the rest. What can I say? It’s a messy topic that has nothing on Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs!
But rest assured, if we were happened to meet at a store, I would not start sharing unsolicited opinion and/or conversation on any of the above and neither do I think other women should.
You might also want to read a response to another reader: Are you anti-formula?