If you enjoyed “Letters From A Frustrated Mother” https://yummymummysblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/letters-from-frustrated-mother/ here’s the sequel…”Letters From A Breast Feeding Mother”
This isn’t a breast-feeding promotion post, it has been a large part of my motherhood journey, but it’s my personal choice, woman should be empowered to choose whether they want to breastfeed or formula feed, without shame or judgement.
To the man in my local coffee shop
On my first outing with my eldest son Jack when he was just 11 weeks old, he weighed 5lb 13oz. When you leaned across with a grin on your face, I thought you’d be a kind stranger asking question…well I was half right. Your first words were “Have you just come out of the hospital with that baby?”, patronising at best. My response, a simple, “No, he’s 11 weeks old” I felt no need to explain further. With a grimace you shrugged, realising he was premature, then as Jack began to cry I pulled out his bottle and he happily lapped up the milk. As you pulled your coat on, I thought I’d escaped any more comments from a rude older man, yet before you parted you decided to come over one more time and tell me “I’ve known people have premature babies before, he’s too small to be out he should be in hospital, plus you’re meant to breast feed babies that small to give them the nutrients they need, my wife breast-fed all of our children, that’s the problem with ‘you youngsters’ today, too selfish to do the best for your baby, you should be ashamed of yourself”. As I sat open-mouthed with shock at your ignorance and rudeness, you turned on your heel and left, not realising the Depression I’d overcome and battled throughout my previous failed pregnancies was now spiralling once again.
To the person who reported my ‘Brelfie’ on Facebook
For those who aren’t familiar, a Brelfie is a Breast Feeding Selfie, so basically a picture of you breast-feeding. I’ve never really been one for Selfie’s, I’ve always feel too insecure to take a picture of my self ‘looking good’ and posting it on-line. Yet seeing celebrities posting Brelfies and news stories about the stigma that comes with Breast Feeding, I took a photo and posted it, you see I’m proud of breast-feeding my son, as I’ve said previously I could never directly breast feed Jack, so this was a success for me. As I got notifications of people ‘Liking’ my photo, I felt proud. Then it popped up…“Your photo has been reported to Facebook for Containing Nudity” Seriously? Nudity? I’m sure on your news feed that Saturday night there was a picture of a girl with their cleavage in your face on a night out, yet I’m showing nudity? My response…Posting another picture the next day with the caption “To the person who reported my photo yesterday, I hope the back of my son’s head doesn’t offend you too much”. I never found out who reported my photo, I just hope for their sake, they never open page 3 of a newspaper.
To the young girl who said Breast Feeding is disgusting
I know you don’t understand, you’re only 18, not that other 18 year old’s wouldn’t, but I’d categorise you as a ‘young 18 year old’, not that there’s anything wrong with that, enjoy your youth while you can. But for you to look at me whilst I’m discreetly breast-feeding my son and tell your friends “That’s disgusting, this is the 21st century, hasn’t breast-feeding been outdated by the bottle now”.Your ignorant comment, shows your immaturity, I just hope you don’t have to experience being a premature mother, where giving your baby breast milk can be the difference between life and death.
To the stranger who came up to me in the street
I sat on a bench on a cold December day, wrapped up and feeding my son, as usual I get ‘the look’ from passing strangers. Sat with my mum I became nervous as a man started walking over to me, ready for the usual bashing, he put his hand on my shoulder and tells me “If anyone comes over to you and gives you a hard time about what you are doing, just tell me, it’s the most natural thing in the world and you should be proud being such a young girl that you are giving your baby the best start in life”. He then gave me £1 as a reward, it was a lovely gesture, then as my fella comes over to ask what he wanted, I told him, his response?...”You should sit here with your boobs out all day, you could make a fortune!” Need I even continue?
To my Breast Feeding Star Buddy in NICU
At first I found you too full on, I thought you were forcing breast-feeding on me, I felt completely pressured. By day 3 when I woke up sporting a milk induced boob job, I needed your help. You helped me to be able to use the electric breast pump with ease and by the time my son was 5 weeks old he was trying to latch onto the breast, when I tried to exclusively breast feed him but he lost 150g in one day, I was devastated, all along you had pushed me to get him to feed, you knew I wanted it and you enabled me, but I’d failed. You came in holding a certificate and a bottle, the certificate was a congratulations for how long I’d managed to breast feed so far and the bottle, you explained was to put breast milk and Premature baby formula in to help him put on weight. You looked me in the eyes and told me “You have stressed yourself out trying to give him the best start in life, this is the next part now, just like he needed oxygen to help him breath, he needs this milk to help him put on weight, you don’t need to stress about whether you will be a good mother, you’ve already made it”. You said this as a passing comment, but as a first time mum and mum to a preemie, you made me realise…I can do this! You will never know how much that meant to me.