They say opinions are like a$$holes. Well, we all have them but few topics will illicit such strong debating as how to feed your baby. Across social media, more and more mothers are now trying to take a stand and #normalizebreastfeeding or put an end to the shame that moms everywhere are put under for bottle feeding. And the worst part is that most of the mean comments and shaming comes from fellow moms.
I think we all remember that time model Coco Rocha was bombarded by messages and mean comments on her Instagram account after posting a photo of her 6-month old daughter, Ioni, drinking formula from a bottle. Rocha and her family were vacationing in Oahu when she shared a screenshot of a text message conversation she had with a virtual assistant service called GoButler. In the message, she asks where she can find formula for her six-month-old daughter, Ioni, and they promise to have a can of Similac delivered to the front desk of her hotel in 30 minutes.
Luckily, Rocha is a badass and fired back with the best response to these mom-shamers:
I love Coco’s attitude about parenting and her confidence to stand up and fight her rights as a mom, which is pretty rare to see in new, and especially famous moms. Her prompt, bold take-down of people who question her choices is inspiring, and frankly, I think more moms should adopt her attitude.
Here we are with one bold sommelier mamma of a 10-months old baby boy who talks breastfeeding and mom-shamers openly and who wishes, just like me, that more moms would mind their own ethereal, life-changing experiences of the magical breastfeeding and stop blaming others for not doing it.
“If you don’t breastfeed, you’re not a mother. Yeah, sure! If the absolute essence of the experience of motherhood consists in breastfeeding, I assure you that 99% of women would choose not to have kids. Or a big part of them would not be ‘real moms’.
Being a mother is something unique and does not depend on bloody nipples or traumatized boobs. Being a mother does not or should not transform you into am milk machine and nothing else. Indeed, after the first days of settling in and with a little luck of understanding how to make it work, breastfeeding is a beautiful thing and gives you a special connection with your baby. But let’s be serious, ladies! Being a huge, sleepless, stressed milk bottle is no easy thing. Is it healthier, yes it is. Is it recommended, yes it is. But if by any reason you can’t do it, it isn’t such a big drama. It’s a pity, but should not be subject of accusation or conviction by others from the outside. The way you give birth and feed your baby is strictly your decision, as the mother of your child.
Taking myself as an example now – I tried to do this breastfeeding thing. I had consultants over, even managed to do it couple of times, and was more attached to my pump than to my bra in the first weeks. But there was simply no milk. If there ain’t milk, there ain’t milk. And spare me the comments like : ” African women have nothing to eat but still produce milk for three years!” Well, I’m not in Africa and still couldn’t breastfeed despite my efforts. Even though it wasn’t my choice, I have to admit, in a selfish way, that this gave me great freedom. Don’t crucify me, please!
Then, the bond between me and my son is a different story. I feel him deep inside my bones anyway, and our bond is no weaker than a breastfeeding mom’s. But it’s prettier and more joyful because when I made peace with the fact that I had no milk, I could only enjoy my baby and be happy and relaxed – things that many mothers lack in the first months.
This is 2016; formula milk is now thought really well through, and often better quality than breastmilk if the mom is sick or stressed or if she can’t feed herself well. I’ve been told hundreds of times that if you nurse, the baby will be healthier. In return I have numerous examples with really sickly kids that were exclusively breastfed, and others that got ill twice in 9 years that had formula.
So many moms are tempted to sacrifice themselves and risk starving the baby in their desperate will to breastfeed. Others switch directly to formula out of comfort and the wish to be free. I’m not recommending any of these two options. But I just wish fellow moms would stop judging our decisions before they walk in our shoes. Motherhood is more than breastfeeding. It’s about every single worry, beautiful moment, feeling, and experience you go through. What matters most is to enjoy them all and be there for your baby every step of the way. ”
Story Credits: Irina M.