Many Push That Breast is Best, But Where’s the Support?
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Breast is best, but not in public. (Wait, what?)
Fed is best, but only if it’s breastmilk. (Come again?)
In our modern world, mothers face a never-ending stream of confusing and contrasting beliefs surrounding infant feeding. While so many boundaries have been pushed for women’s rights, the hypocrisy of feeding our babies remains a significant source of confusion and judgment.
Society’s Top Contradicting Beliefs About Breastfeeding
You’re doomed if you do; you’re doomed if you don’t. What’s a mom to do?
The Pressure to Breastfeed
Breastfeeding is often touted as the best way to feed a baby, but not all mothers can breastfeed. Whether due to medical reasons or personal choice, mothers who cannot or choose not to breastfeed are often judged and shamed by society. In this case, fed is best.
The pressure to breastfeed can leave mothers feeling guilty and like they are failing their children. This pressure can also cause unnecessary stress and anxiety, negatively impacting the mother and child.
Feeding in Public
The controversy surrounding feeding in public has been unnecessary and misguided. The idea that mothers should have to hide away while they feed their babies has been outdated and offensive to many, who argue that breastfeeding is a normal, natural thing and should be accepted as such.
Feeding in public can be difficult and uncomfortable for some, but it doesn’t have to be. With modern nursing clothes and covers, women can comfortably breastfeed wherever they are without worrying about offending anyone (although they should worry anyways if they don’t have a cover)). It’s time for the negative stigma surrounding breastfeeding in public to come to an end. Mothers deserve the support they need when it comes to nourishing their children, regardless of where they are or who’s around them.
The Judgment of Formula Feeding
Formula feeding has been stigmatized as an inferior way of feeding a baby. Mothers who formula feed are often judged and criticized for their choice, despite formula being a safe and nutritionally complete alternative to breastmilk when needed.
Mothers who formula feed may feel they must defend their choice or justify their reasons for not breastfeeding. The same goes for mixed feeding (combining breastmilk, pumping, and/or formula). Again, this judgment can cause unnecessary stress and guilt, negatively impacting a mother’s mental health.
A Society Filled with Skin
The social media, entertainment, and clothing industry is dominated by skin. Tight pants (or no pants) and low-cut shirts (or topless) are commonplace all around us. Yet, women are expected to cover up while breastfeeding in public. Talk about a contradiction.
The objectification of women’s breasts has made it difficult for mothers to feel comfortable and confident while breastfeeding in public.
Despite the fact that breasts are meant to feed babies, some people in society have made it a taboo topic and mothers who choose to breastfeed in public often face negative reactions or even harassment. This double standard leaves mothers feeling confused and ashamed, wondering if they should cover up or not breastfeed publicly.
Moms Should Choose What’s Best for Them
In a world full of conflicting beliefs and opinions, it can be challenging for mothers to know what to do when it comes to feeding their children. Ultimately, the most important thing is for mothers to choose what is best for them and their children, whether that be breastfeeding, formula feeding, or a combination of both.
Mothers should not feel pressured to breastfeed if it is not possible or desired, and they should not feel judged or shamed for choosing to formula feed. Mothers should also feel empowered to breastfeed in public if they choose to, without fear of judgment or harassment.
Moms Need Support
The hypocrisy of feeding our babies in our modern world is a significant source of confusion and judgment for mothers. From the objectification of breasts to the pressure to breastfeed and the judgment of formula feeding, mothers face a never-ending stream of conflicting beliefs and opinions.
We need to create a more supportive and accepting environment for all mothers, regardless of their feeding choices, so they can feel confident and empowered in their decisions.
What ridicule or judgment have you faced yourself? Or what have you seen other mom’s face?
This article was originally published on Mom Blog Life.