Feeding by Means of Breast.

I can’t help it, I have to write a post about breastfeeding after the utter outcry exhibited by disgruntled women up and down the land …

Not that I am right about everything. But after breastfeeding 4 babies, twice successfully, and twice unsuccessfully, I definitely feel I have earned an opinion on the matter, for what its worth.

First of all, Breast is best.

Suck it up sisters! … must we pretend this isn’t the case? really? are we all that sensitive?

This is classic UK attitude at play. Again.

(We don’t want a nanny state, but we need and expect to be nannied : We want our government to provide us with the facts. But we cant handle the facts once they are presented.)

And when a MAN – a flaming breastless and wombless man who has never given birth, sits there with his penis and dares to have an opinion on public health and all hell breaks lose.

Apparently, on this occasion, he is ‘butting in’ and it is ‘not his job’ to advise on Breastfeeding. As a father, he is not entitled to an opinion.

But his personal life aside, lets look at Jamie Olivers campaign work thus far:

Sorting out shocking school dinners. Lets see now, that seems to be fine with everyone. We don’t mind blaming the schools and/or government for making our children fatter than ever at age 4+. We don’t mind pointing the finger elsewhere and talking about the diabetes pandemic threatening to blow so big that it may wipe out our NHS … oh sure Jamie, Please DO ‘butt in’. Knock yourself out. On this occasion we need a strong national treasure to bring us back from our turkey twizzler brink.  Thank you.

Hmm. okay. So far so good.

Next. Sugar tax to help our children’s diets and teeth. That’s fine too, lets point some more fingers at the corporate giants force-feeding us all sugar against our will. We love him. He is a legend.

But then, oh gosh, then he wants discuss how our nations children might be fed at the beginning of their lives involving talk of …

*braces my chair* …. here goes: breasts?

BREASTS?? WHOA!

hold your horses there Jamie, back the f*** up … You clueless, misogynistic beast, you.

Everyone knows – you can’t talk about breasts unless you have them.

You can’t objectify them.

You absolutely can’t admire them (even if they are on show a little bit)

And you certainly cant suggest that they should be used for breastfeeding.

(Oh, and Jamie, word to the wise – Its only fair game to talk about children’s heath once they reach school age. Otherwise it makes you an arsehole. You silly!)

Oh do behave!

This outcry is making all of us look bad. And a tad daft too.

He simply stated that breastfeeding in this nation is in a bit of a state. With too little support at community level to help support and trouble shoot problems with breastfeeding as they arise, a fair amount of ignorance and a shocking public attitude towards breastfeeding in public, isn’t he simply highlighting an incredibly important issue countless mums have been saying about for years?

For example, my Facebook feed is literally littered with memes such as this:

image

and this

image

I’ve lost count of the amount of blogs I’ve read written by women who have had a negative experience nursing their children. So ladies, whats our message here? what do we want? do we want support or not? isn’t Jamie Oliver merely offering up his help in an area of public health which needs a little modern light shon upon?

But, oh right. Because he’s a man, he’s being offensive.

This is double standards.

Woman are basically being IN YOUR FACE sexist suggesting that as a father of four, who is married to a person in receipt of breasts, he is unwelcome to assert an opinion based on his own experience and detailed research. Well, If this isn’t Misandry, I don’t know what is.

My story.

I breast fed successfully twice, It was an utterly perfect feeding system which worked like a dream. kind of.

I happily sacrificed myself for the process. And despite going through mastitis countless times; feeling completely broken as I bled and cried my way through feeds … tired, exhausted and depleted beyond words; An hourly task which can only be described as like having a ravenous, motorized little jaw of superhero strength suck shards of glass through my nipples was tough going at times. Sure. But, I soldiered on. Because it was my job. And personally, I felt that it was the very first and most amazing gift I could give my babies at the start of their lives. Nothing would stop me from feeding them the best option available. Nothing. I had tons of milk and I was going to let me children have it.

Did I feel like a deserved a medal for breastfeeding two of my babies exclusively until they were 12 & 18 months old? er, yeah, I was a trooper for doing it through all of the problems. I could have given up; I could have thrown in the towel at each hurdle. But I didn’t.

And then there were the two times when it didn’t go so well.

I had to stop feeding during those times by 12 weeks as I had no milk. And despite trying everything to boost milk supply, it just wasn’t happening. My babies were going hungry and I had to move them on to Formula milk.

I was absolutely devastated. Of course I was. But what could I do? not much really.

Did I feel like a failure? a bit.

But it was what it was. It wasn’t anyone’s fault and I simply can’t understand the over sensitive mentality. Sometimes nursing goes well, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Breast will always be best … and such a statement is not interfering with personal choice, Parental rights, Womans rights nor personal health implications which affect how we might choose to feed our babies.

That statement didn’t adversely affect me whilst I successfully nursed, and it didn’t offend me when I couldn’t nurse – It was just a fact. It still remains a fact whether you can/can’t/want to/hate the idea/love wine too much/on medication etc. etc.

To conclude -and with my usual sarcasm aside -Personally, I would like to thank Jamie Oliver for doing what he does best. I admire him immensely for what he does for this country, He doesn’t have to campaign for the sugar tax. He doesn’t have to remain a UK tax payer and employ thousands of UK residents. But he does so, I believe, out of a huge loyalty to our country.

I just wish we had more public figures like him. (also, my sister works for him and says he is the best boss in the world!)

 

What do you think? were you offended by Mr Olivers comments? Am I missing the point here? Because if I am, feel free to enlighten me … Much like a man (or woman) in orthopaedic shoes, I will always stand corrected if I need to

🙂

Thank you for reading

Anna x

 

 

8 comments on Feeding by Means of Breast.

  • MrsF

    Hmmm.

    I’m inclined to agree that breast feeding feels likely to be best for babies. It’s the natural feeding solution, therefore to replace with something less natural feels like, well, less…

    For me, with some pain, a few instances of mastitis, a lot of nipple cream, and more than a few sleepless nights, breast feeding was possible and certainly fulfilling. But for good friends that, for numerous reasons, were unable to breast feed, I felt their pain and their guilt. I felt so sorry for a friend who spoke to health visitors about her baby who fed every 40 minutes (day and night) for MONTHS only to be told to “carry on”, ” it’s for the baby’s health” etc.

    I get that Jamie Oliver is only trying to help, and perhaps the good that he will do will outweigh the additional guilt piled on the poor mums who simply can’t. And from your article you’ve said you were unable to feed for 2 out of 4 children. Perhaps if your lack of success had been for all 4 children your attitude might be slightly less pragmatic and less welcoming of external viewpoints.

    (And also he’s a man.)

    • Anna (author)

      From one Mrs F to another, thank you for your comment!

      I suppose I am in a bit of a rare position of balance. I’ve experienced most breast/bottle scenarios, and I’ve had lovely helpful health visitors, and truly horrid ones too!
      Ultimately, we are all just trying to do our best.
      Thank you for reading 🙂

  • Jaime Oliver

    I don’t think Jamie said anything that wasn’t true or genuine

    As a mum of 3, with the first 2 babies I had no support and gave up breastfeeding within the first few weeks. As my third child is 6.5 weeks I am still feeding but my milk has never really come in like it did with the others so i am topping up with formula

    My biggest angst is boob warriors that go all out to belittle and beat down anyone that dares makes an alternative choice, it certainly doesn’t help build confidence and support instead it destoys

    Roll out the support for breastfeeding mums but let’s also role out acceptance of choice whatever the reasons behind the choice

    Normalising breastfeeding means making it normal not special and more important

    Sorry .. I will climb down off my soap box

    My

    • Anna (author)

      No, don’t climb down from your soap box! Its good, and as someone who is going through this RIGHT NOW with baby number three, you in a perfect position to comment.

      Good luck with baby number 3, you are doing a grand job. Plus, the upside of topping up is that its so useful to ask someone else to do a feed when you’re busy with your other children. At least, that’s what I found anyway.
      When you have a big family, the logistics of sitting and feeding the new baby on demand all day long just don’t quite measure up to family life, do they?
      Anna x

  • Ziggy Mondus

    If women, as seen here, at any rate, cannot agree amongst themselves about whether men ought ‘to be allowed’ have an opinion about kids and breast feeding, it seems to democratically allow that men (and women) can have the choice. That is, if women (or men) are split on, whatever issue comes up, then I go with the side that allows the choice, every time!
    For those who don’t think like that, look to see if, outside of Zeitmygeist, Jamie Oliver actually DOES help the debate. If he doesn’t, you can castigate him for not having succeeded, but ought not to for his right to try. If he does, dare you change your minds?
    That’s your choice.
    On the subject itself, most women want to do the right thing for them and their children. I would choose to leave them to make their own choices – as I did with the mother of my children (my first wife, that is).
    My kids have grown up very well on that choice. We didn’t know they would at the time, but they did.
    Genuine thanks to my first wife for her (and her continuing) successes.

    • Anna (author)

      Hi Ziggy,
      ‘Agree among ourselves’ … oh that comment has made me laugh 🙂
      I think this is a discussion that all people are involved in: men and women. And we will all, as always, agree and disagree in equal measures.

      I’ll be sure to have a word with ALL WOMEN though as see if we cant strike up some form of a collective opinion 🙂 he he..
      thank you for reading, and for your comment.
      Anna

  • Heather

    Breast feeding is not best. It is simply one alternative. No mum should be told that she should breastfeed if she does not want to. I have 3 children and have never breastfed and what I gave my children to drink/eat was not worse than breast milk. The health benefits of breast milk are NOT proven to be greater than formula milk. Babies need love, calm, safety and a steady supply of milk. I am so so sick of hearing breast is best. It is not, period. It is simply one option which mothers and fathers have.

    • Anna (author)

      Hi Heather,
      Thank you for commenting.
      I absolutely agree – a mother should not be made to feel that she has to breastfeed if she doesn’t want to, or if its not appropriate for her or her family’s circumstances.

      However, I don’t agree that breast milk -when compared to formula- isn’t the better option out of the two (if we were to compare them scientifically).

      A number of clinical trials have compared breast milk to formula -whilst formula is very close – it simply does not contain the anti-bodies then that of breast milk (if the milk has come from a healthy mother not on medication, obviously). Even formula companies are required by law to state that they are simply a great “alternative”. Also, many clinical trials have concluded that ‘suckling’ on the breast, rather than a bottle, produce countless merits to mother and baby too.

      My point to the post is this though : This is just a scientific fact presented to us, the nation, by experts. Its not a judgement. And I believe that we must stop being so sensitive. Of course everyone is different.

      I’m really not wishing to be antagonistic here, and I certainly not that ‘earth mother’ type pushing my high and mighty opinions on anyone. Or slinging mud for that matter at anyone who chooses the bottle (of which, I was one. Twice.). Not at all, I’m just sticking to my guns on this one – A fact is a fact is a fact. Its not a loaded fact. And Its not a personal attack on me, you, or anyone.
      Anna x

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