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Feeding Our Babies

With world breastfeeding week coming to a close today I figured it would be a good day to post about this very topic, breastfeeding or more importantly just feeding our babies!
I have 6 children but have only exclusively breastfed 2. I attempted with 2 others but failed miserably at 2 weeks with both of them. Both times ending with mastitis and me switching to formula.
OH NO DID I SAY FORMULA?
Yep. 4 of my babies have had formula and guess what? They are smart, happy and extremely healthy. All 6 of my kids are in fact extremely smart, happy and healthy! I am okay with this, and don’t love some babies more than others, or think some will do better in life than the others…
I am really tired of all the formula feeding vs breastfeeding fights. I am also really tired of the “OMG you are breastfeeding in public? COVER UP!” Comments too. How rude can you be?
I would just like to say on the 9th of this month Justin and I will have hit 11 months. He does eat solids now but that doesn’t stop him from breastfeeding every 3-4 hours still. Yep, you read that right. In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner PLUS snacks during the day… He nurses every 3-4 hours. It’s okay, I feel the e-hugs.
I don’t mind it, I actually am very proud of where we are at and am cherishing this while I can. Jackson quit himself at 14.5 months and although we hit a year and I’m so very proud of that, I wanted to hit 2 years. So, while I may have some experience under my belt I still however am nervous out in public. Even more so now because he rips the blanket off, so I can’t cover up. I do wear layers even in the 80+ degree weather. No one has ever, or can ever see anything at all and Not because I’m worried about what Tom, Dick or Harry has to say but because I’m just a shy person.
It really breaks my heart to see comments I do all over the internet regarding breastfeeding and moms should “cover up when out in public!” What comments? Hmmm..
“I don’t want to see that cover up”
“Go sit in the bathroom to breastfeed!”
“I didn’t come out in public to see your boobs”
“Breastfeeding is bonding, no need to shove it in anyone’s face. Do it in private”
First of all, while in the beginning breastfeeding is huge for bonding yes, and yes it still very much is throughout – but to be very blunt; it’s feeding a baby. Also, I know I don’t breastfeed in public to shove it in anyone’s face, I do it because my baby is hungry and will NOT take a bottle or a sippy cup yet.
How can I put it simply? Breastfeeding has nothing to do with YOU. It’s about that person who is breastfeeding’s child needing to be fed, and possibly comforted. Whatever the reason may be, a breastfeeding mother and child isn’t any harm to you or anyone else so why does it matter? I don’t think I will ever know the answer to that.
I do know that most comments I read, or hear are from other women. Any comments from men are generally sexual, which I won’t even touch on – but other women? That is very, truly sad.
I understand not everyone wants to breastfeed, or if they want to but can’t.. I get that, I really do. But there is no need for anyone to bash breastfeeding or formula feeding either for that matter. As long as a baby is well taken care of, loved, and healthy why does it matter?
I know if I was a young mom with zero support, and just starting out with my family if I heard some of these comments it would most definitely interfere with my breastfeeding relationship with my children, especially out in public. Not everyone has support, and encouragement and not everyone can just brush off the comments or deal with them the same way. If someone were to say these things to me today, I would most definately tell them what I thought but not everyone is like that. It’s a real shame.
My children know breasts are for feeding babies. They did before I breastfed my youngest two. Sure as they get older they will realize they can and do often get used for other things, but there general purpose is breastfeeding. I used to think back when I was without children I wouldn’t ever breastfeed in public or want to see it because “OH MY GOSH WHAT IF MY CHILD or ANOTHER SEES THAT?” Now, I say – oh well, explain that’s what breasts are for and move on…
Isn’t that simple? I think so. Most kids are curious and would ask questions, it would be a great time to educate them properly about breasts.
I decided today was a great day to write this post because of comments I saw to this photo of Olivia Wilde and her gorgeous baby boy, Otis. While I know a lot of people are all “OMG HER BABY IS NAKED IN A DINER!” – note its a photo shoot, and shes really not out to a diner with a naked baby, and focus on the true beauty of the photo.
Photo credit: Glamour magazine – glamour.com
Not everyone has to agree, and not everyone has to “feel” one way or another about breastfeeding or formula feeding.. But, it goes both ways. Formula Feeding and Breastfeeding mothers absolutely hate being labeled, and hate being made to feel bad about their choice. THEIR choice – At the end of the day, feel how you want to feel, own it, but also remember: Feeding ones baby isn’t about you, and your comfort it’s about the baby and the babies comfort. Babies have to eat, from breast or bottle and regardless of how our babies are fed… They are fed. That is truly what matters. So ladies, feed those babies and be proud – you are doing the absolute best you can for that beautiful baby of yours!

Our babies need to eat. Breastfeeding or Bottle Feeding it doesn’t matter. Happy bellies, and healthy babies is all that matters!