Don’t worry, this one doesn’t involve your boob hanging out for the world to see…
Breastfeeding + Controversy
Let’s start with some facts. Breastfeeding is quite literally the most natural thing a woman can do. It is the very reason we have boobs. That’s right guys, our boobs serve a purpose other than being there for your sheer pleasure and enjoyment. You might think that something as amazing as feeding your baby should be well respected and normal thing. Well you would be thinking wrong.
It’s been tested and proven that we live in a society where it is more acceptable to have your boobs hang out in a low cut shirt than it is to feed your baby. Don’t believe me? Watch this video. That my dears is just one of many examples I could give you.
Now, I understand people feeling a bit uncomfortable when a mom whips her boob out clear as day and you can see just as much as you would in a Game of Thrones episode. I get that, I do. But the majority of us are covered up and you couldn’t see our boob even if you tried. So why on earth do we still get the dirty looks and snarky comments? I’ll dive into my thoughts on the why shortly.
Breast vs. Formula
A tale as old time… okay not really but you get the point. The most obnoxious debate to date: breastfeeding vs formula feeding. Join any mom group and I guarantee you will see at least one post a day where a first time mom asks for information on either but in the comments an entire civil war breaks out over which is best. The constant fighting has led to the phrase of “fed is best” which is a pretty obvious statement, one would think anyway. But the truth is, it’s just not true and I believe its a damaging phrase that is turning new moms off to breastfeeding because they truly think formula is just the same.
The problem isn’t whether to use formula, breast, or both, but rather a lack of education and resources. Breastfeeding advocates are quick to shout “Breast is best” but not nearly quick enough to offer help and resources for those who need it. Instead of acknowledging the serious lack of help given to moms after birth and even before, they create movements encouraging women to whip out there boob for the whole grocery store (or wherever you are) to see. That does nothing to solve the problem.
Covered or Not Covered?
I’ll be the first to say that my little girl absolutely hates to be covered while eating. It’s not a pleasant experience for either of us. I’ll also be the first to say that no, you don’t have to smother your baby with a blanket while trying to feed him/her in public. It is so easy to keep covered with what you’re already wearing and how you position your baby that a person walking by would have to try really hard (and invade your personal space) to get a glimpse of your actual boob.
I’ll tell you a quick story of the time I worked at Gymboree. I was at the register and a lady came in to shop with her whole family. Several kids and the grandparents were tagging along while she shopped. When it came time for her to check out, the baby was crying so the grandma handed her over to mom. As I’m ringing up all the clothes, she pulls her shirt down and BAM her entire boob is just chillin’ there. Mind you I was pregnant at the time and already knew I would be breastfeeding. And still, it was kind of awkward because her boob was just… there. It wasn’t necessarily awkward for me per se, but I just felt the air in the store change and could tell the other customers were surprised.
The thing is, boobs are boobs. There will always be teenage boys and men who are going to look when they can. Yes, breastfeeding is natural and beautiful. Yes, it absolutely should not be sexualized. But it is, because no matter what we do, there will always be perverts in this world and I for one, do not want to give them something to look at.
I’ve lightly covered the topic of breast vs. formula before (you can read it here), and if you’ve read that post then you know that I in no way shape or form have anything against moms who formula feed. Yes, I am an advocate for breastfeeding. No, I don’t think those who breastfeed are better than those who formula feed. Every person’s situation is different, and breast is not always best for everyone.
I do think that the “fed is best” movement is counterproductive and not helping anyone. It should be “informed is best” because it’s true! Breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for your baby to give them the very best start at life. Mothers should be making their decisions based on knowledge and facts, not a popular phrase floating around every mom group on Facebook.
To the breastfeeding advocates, get off your high horse and stop putting down mothers who don’t breastfeed. Formula feeding mothers, know that you are not any less of a mom and stop making every single “have you thought about breastfeeding” comment into a “oh you think you’re better than us” war.
Please, to all my mamas out there, join me in spreading the Informed is Best movement and start educating instead of tearing down! Much love as always!