Yes, I said it we can be an oversensitive bunch, me included.
Last week a Facebook post from Worcestershire Antenatal circulated showing a letter informing the soon to be parents that basically if they chose to formula feed then they would now need to provide the milk instead of expecting it to be available within the hospital. For many the content of the letter was not the issue, with many people agreeing that their local hospitals have already or never had formula milk readily available on the labour and maternity wards.
However, there was a particular term within the letter that has sparked a massive debate – ‘Artificial feeding’ the term that has seen Facebook in uproar with many parents saying that its derogatory and degrading turn of phrase.
But however, I am going to probably be stoned to death here, I can’t see a problem with it at all.
OK, its generic term and has a medical feel to it but formula feeding is effectively ‘artificial feeding’ it’s done through plastic bottles and not the breast and its bought in a can, bottle or carton.
I think it only wise this far in to tell you that 17 years ago when I first became a parent it was common place for mothers to be given a glass bottle with a teat attached and to formula feed their newborns. I was never asked about breastfeeding and although I had a go for a few weeks there was just no support out there that there is now… Fast forward 10 years to my second child and the difference in hospital and even during pregnancy was obvious as I was visited by breastfeeding support workers a week before my baby was born and then days after birth but gave up because it was so damn hard only a couple of months in.
The world has thankfully moved on even further and more is being done to encourage breastfeeding so fast forward 15 years since my first child to my third and final experience and out of all 3 babies Jacob has been the baby I succeeded with to breastfeed the longest … why?
Because people were finally admitting that it hurts, no matter about the latch breastfeeding in the first few weeks is painful and its damn hard work. Our breastfeeding journey came to an earlier than anticipated end at around 8 weeks with the diagnosis of acute reflux and as parents we made the choice to use special reflux milks instead of breast milk. Yes, my breastfeeding journey was cut short but I had eventually enjoyed it and would have continued had we not have been struggling to get him to keep his milk down and gain weight.
So, seeing so many people saying they had be unable to breastfeed so the term artificial is upsetting to them made me think. Which is probably going to get me in trouble.
But for me taking offence at the term ‘artificial feeding’ seems a little oversensitive to be honest …. But then it got me thinking again.
Why would women feel so upset and ‘oversensitive’ about the term? Well I can answer that … because we as parent’s judge.
I just did when I claimed women are being oversensitive with the turn of phrase ‘artificial feeding’
From the moment we become pregnant it is almost like being a parent is a competition, who has the nicest pushchair or car seat, who has the least stretch marks, sickness and stitches.
We compete over who has had the least sleep, most sleep, worse teething baby, best teething baby. Who is back in their pre-pregnancy clothes who put on the most weight…. Everything about being a parent seems to be competition to extremes and why? …
Because each and every one of us is insecure in some way or another and its time we started supporting each other from the choice to breastfeed or not, to rear face the car seat beyond the required time or not to co-sleep or not and trust that as parents we will and do research our decisions before making them and we have to factor more in than just what people may see or hear on Facebook or any other social media channel.
Not one of us will make a decision with our children that we think is wrong, it may turn out there is a better way of doing something but that doesn’t mean we are wrong it just means we have learnt what works for our own unique children and families.
Let’s empower women to feel strong enough to ask for advice not hide in the background feeling guilty over a choice they have made.
Artificially feeding or breastfeeding it’s all still feeding … you did the most magical thing, you became a parent don’t apologise for your choices!