Ducky Diaries: Eliminating the 'shame game'

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Eliminating the 'shame game'

I often hear how formula feeding women are made to feel ashamed of the choices they make, but what I don't hear is the other side.   Which must be because it doesn't exist. Or does it?   What if I told you I am a breastfeeding mother and am often 'shamed' or bullied, sometimes even by my own family?   

Well I am.  

The bullying is not cruel, and not even seen as bullying.  It is seen as love, and advice to help me.  However it doesn't 'help' me.  It makes me feel defeated, frustrated, and as though I'm doing something wrong.   I live in a society that is vastly misinformed about breastfeeding.  Even my own husband is ..... ignorant.....    He sees breastfeeding as something my child is 'addicted' to and needs to have taken from her.    I hear often how she needs "broken from the boob" and how I'll learn my lesson when she gets teeth. 

I have even had an incidence in public when walking through a store feeding my daughter under a nursing cover where two grown men followed me around attempting to somehow magically see through or around my cover.  

I often hear disgust in voices when people realize I breastfeed....  Most of the time it is accompanied by the reason they don't. Even though I never ask. 

Family sees the hard work I put into a constant cycle of pumping and feeding and lovingly push me towards formula rather than support me in my decision.  Yes, breastfeeding is hard, but it is MY choice and I do still have a choice, right? 

Don't we all have a choice?  To feed and raise our children in the ways we see fit?  So long as we are not bringing them harm and are feeding them healthy, fortified meals? 

Why is there not a balance? Why are we not given all the information and allowed to make decisions we see as the best ones we can make?  Why are we not accepting of both sides.  I have plenty of friends that have chosen to formula feed and I love them. They are fantastic, loving parents.  Who am I to say one negative thing to them?   I  also have many friends that support my breastfeeding and think I am a fantastic, loving parent. 

I don't understand why we bash one another.  Or make either side of the formula vs. breastfeeding feel as though they should feel ashamed.  It's ignorant.  Completely.  

In my opinion, we're all doing the best we can to raise our children into healthy, functional, caring adults. 

Enough Said....

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