Sunday, 10 May 2009

The Bullied Breast

Please please STOP spreading this wicked lie that "breast is best."

This is a gross oversimplification. It is damaging mothers and children both.

# Some babies cannot tolerate their own mother's milk. For them, breast is NOT best.

# Some mothers have a virus, or a health condition which they do not want to transmit to their baby. For them breast is NOT best.

# Some mothers just cannot breast feed due to certain types of nipple, or a very hungry baby needing more milk than they can supply. For them breast is NOT best. The agonising struggle forced by “breast is best” bullying blights their introduction to motherhood..

# For mothers after a caesarian, breast feeding can be far too demanding on a body in recovery. For them breast is NOT necessarily best.

# For some mothers the painful aspect of breast feeding many experience, cracked nipples, the acute and intimate demand on a body shattered by a bad birth, the massive drain on their bodies, the exhausting frequency of feeds, all adds up to far too much to handle so breast is NOT best.

# For some families the crucial involvement of the father in bonding to build long term commitment, or where the father is to be the primary parent, means for these families breast is NOT best.

STOP BULLYING about breast feeding. It's driving vulnerable women into depression and lifelong guilt that does NOT enhance their parenting.

By all means campaign to improve support and public tolerance for those families who are willing to breast feed. But the soundbite “breast is best” is bullying, dishonest, and cruel.

Breast is best when a particular family decides it is. Not otherwise.


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