This is a subject I have been thinking about a lot, on and off, over the last year. World Breastfeeding Week starts on Friday and I’m aiming to try and blog every day about breastfeeding, but here is something I wanted to write first.
To the mama who chose to not try to breastfeed, I support you.
I am not your mother, your doctor, your teacher, your counsellor, your partner. I have no clue what lay behind your choice. I do know that often it is complex, messy and that, quite possibly, you would not be able to explain it all even if you were ever given the chance.
To the mama who wanted to breastfeed but didn’t, couldn’t, I support you.
My heart bleeds for you mama. I don’t know your story, but I have seen the grief, the fear that comes from feeling that you have no choice, that you are somehow failing your baby. Hell, I have been that mama.
If you want to rage at how bloody unfair it is, if you want to cry because your heart is breaking, I will hold you in my heart. If you tell me that you can’t do anymore, I will tell you that this is not your fault. That you are not failing your baby. And because of you, I will fight harder to support other mamas so they don’t get to that place.
I cannot tell you that formula feeding is free from risk, but I can reassure you that we are lucky to have choices in infant feeding. Clean water. Money to buy proper infant formula. Doctors, medicines and hospitals if a baby did get sick.
I can help you to get the help you might need, whether that’s finding a postnatal doula to nurture you or accompanying you to the “breastfeeding drop-in” for support with baby’s tongue tie.
I can be the one to bring you a drink, bring you food, look after your children, so that you can be the one to feed your baby in your arms.
I can tell you that you can still feed your baby with love.
And if you want to talk to me about “brottle” feeding or relactation or feeding another baby, I’m here.
To the mama who feeds her baby formula, you’re doing a great job in a messed up world
And I Support You