Bestbaby Calls for Responsible Breastfeeding July 15, 2015 16:57

Oh that's a controversial statement isn't it? World Breastfeeding Week 2015 is coming up and I'm thrilled and excited - today I want to touch on the mindset of breastfeeding mothers. I felt a personal call to write this and as you read on you will find out more.

In our experience speaking to customers and also being in touch with the community, breastfeeding mothers fall into 3 categories when it comes to breastfeeding:

  • It's breastfeed-way or the highway. I will convert the world to agree and support me. 
  • I'm a closet breastfeeder. I feel guilty being able to do it, so I'll be silent even though I am overjoyed! I mean, what would others feel?
  • I really don't care what you do, I will make my informed decision and do what I want to do.  

The problem with the first and second approach is that it creates an environment of negative emotions - there's perceived bullying, there's cliques, there's judgement and there's guilt and constant fear of offending others. In an environment like this, there's little support without feeling judged. As you read this, many of you will relate. I have the benefit of having personally spoken to my clients both as a coach and as a web-store owner and the science behind the psychology to hack it. 

At Bestbaby and as a mother myself, we truly believe the best position to take is the last position. I am saddened by the emotionally charged debates and worse off, the guilt trips mothers go on from the entire debate. I am an advocate to breastfeeding, but I call it Responsible Breastfeeding. We are all mothers and we all want the best for our child. There's a host of different studies that says different ideas and proven facts - and even after someone takes the time to read through all of that, the forming of an opinion can still be different among different women. Anyone heard of the story of the Blind Men and the Elephant?

So what's Responsible Breastfeeding? It's has 3 steps to it:

  • Educate yourself. Speak to experts in the field, read credible sources. I am going to say it again because it is that important - read credible sources! Just because it's on the internet doesn't make it the truth. Take everything with a pinch of salt. It is your responsibility to feed your mind with quality materials. 
  • Make a decision. Everyone has this unique and empowering ability to make a decision. Your decision is yours to make, in some cases it's a joint decision with your husband. Ultimately once you make it, then focus only on how to make that the best decision in your life. Breastfeed vs. Formula Feed vs. Mixed Feed? Direct latch vs. Exclusive Pumping? Create your state of mind by deciding as when you decide for yourself, you will feel alive and in charge. 
  • Live and let live. Here's where the responsible part comes in - just as you have done your research and made your decision, let's assume the mother next to you has done the same. Let's assume how she chooses to feed her child is her vision of the best she can provide for her child. As long as there's no harm to the child (feeding poison for example!) then there is no moral obligation to intervene or worse - judge! Responsible Breastfeeding simply means "I respect you mama, whatever your choice is. You go and be awesome! I will too!" As a community of mothers, we should support each other. We are mothers above all rest.

For those mothers still trying to shake off the guilt trip - get some help. The community is great to share your feelings and get the hug of support, there's always comfort in numbers. However if you are serious about actually taking charge, speak to someone who will whip you into the mental gladiator you need to be. That can be a friend who says it as it is or a paid coach - my clientele from Epiphany Coaching have consistently raved about the value the tools I teach them to self coach and to break their disempowering patterns. 

To the mothers who are guilt-tripping others out there - Live and Let Live! Imagine how you feel when you are criticised and judged. We judge others by their behaviours but ourselves by our intention. By that same token, pro-formula companies / mothers have a good intention too and they believe it in. Remember - there's a difference in educating / sharing facts and telling someone 'you should do this / do that'. Your words have the power to create and the power to destroy - will you be a positive force or a negative force?

Bestbaby has recently launched our pro-breastfeeding rompers to raise the awareness about breastfeeding and to normalise breastfeeding. We want mothers who breastfeed to breastfeed proudly, just as a mother for formula feeds should do so proudly. Be proud of your choices, whichever it is :)

Founder of Bestbaby & Epiphany Coaching

* This advert by Similac is so hilariously spot on, that this is a must watch for every mother and parent.