Why when it comes to feeding our children is there such a competitive atmosphere? We all know about the debate between breast and formula, but even within those, there is more competition. I've been interrogated (I saw that as I felt I was being questioned by the feeding police) about my choice of feeding in the past and it made me feel rubbish.
I chose to formula feed Lily. I am one of those mothers who had no inclination to breastfeed their child. The majority of people I know formula fed their children, so it was something I was comfortable with. I also didn't like the 100% pressure on myself for feeding if I chose breastfeeding.
I have no objection to other people breastfeeding, it just isn't for me, but I had stages of my pregnancy where even my midwife tried to bully me out of formula feeding. As any new mother will know, when you have a question, you ask your midwife or health visitor hoping to get help or guidance. When I asked my midwife what I would definitely need to buy for formula feeding, she told me she wasn't allowed to help me as it was "against NHS guidelines"! I was shocked. How can that be a thing? Surely NHS midwives are there to support everyone in every situation.
From that day on, she would ask me overtime I saw her if I was going to breastfeed. I would say no, then have to listen to her lecture me for the rest of the appointment. At 19 years old, I found that really intimidating from a women who (I can only guess) was in her 40s.
After all of this, I was even questioned at a baby and parent group as to why I was formula feeding the way I was. I had no idea what this mother meant until she highlighted the bottle I was using. Apparently if you formula feed you HAVE to have the top brand, highest price, anti-colic bottle known to man. She wasn't impressed.
Why does any of it matter? Surely as long as your child is fed and healthy, it doesn't matter?
I read a fabulous blog today by Maddy at The Speed Bump relating to the news that Jamie Oliver now wants to become some kind of champion for breastfeeding (take a look here, it's hilarious!).
This is a debate which seems to never want to go away. Hopefully a day will come where parents can go to "feeding groups" as opposed to "breastfeeding groups" and that we can all just get on with being mothers.
Rant over really!