As a new mother, one of the biggest decisions you’ll be faced with, almost immediately after you have given birth, is how to feed your precious newborn baby. You’ll likely find yourself surrounded by nurses who’ll all encourage you to breastfeed, but, in reality, not all new mammas are able to breastfeed. For some it takes hours of practice, whilst others aren’t able to at all, for a variety of reasons. Why then, must the age-old debate of whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding is best, continue?
It places additional and unnecessary stress on new moms
Holding your newborn in your arms is such a precious and short lived moment, and as a culture we should be doing everything we can to support our new moms to be able to enjoy this time, and help them feel as minimally stressed as possible. New moms are often most in need of reassurance, support and encouragement, and it doesn’t help if they’re feeling judged for their decisions. Especially ones they may, or may not, have any control over.
Your baby, your choice
At the end of the day, let’s face it, the way you choose to feed your baby is your decision to make. Some moms have this choice made for them, as nature takes its course. But for those who are able to make a conscious decision, let’s remember that new mammas just want the best for their baby, and they’re the ones who know their baby the best. Each baby is unique, and the mom is the best person to make feeding decisions on behalf of the pair. Frankly, outside of your immediate family, it’s actually no-one else’s business!
New mothers need support
New mothers are often adjusting to life with a baby at the same time as learning to cope with very little sleep, and this is a time when they need support, not judgment. We can all play a part in helping make new mommies to feel as comfortable as possible, by reserving our opinions when it comes to the important choices they make for their own baby.
Not all details are public
Sometimes the mommy or the baby may face health challenges that you may not be aware of, and even close friends may be reluctant to discuss such personal details with others. They may have internal feelings of inferiority or as if judgment will be passed, and so may not openly share with you the challenges they may be experiencing when it comes to feeding their baby.
We can contribute to making the circles in which we move a more respectful and friendly place, by drawing from our common experiences, and refraining from criticizing others about the personal decisions they make. Just because some people make a different decision to the one that we have, doesn’t necessarily make their decision right or wrong. As a community, there’s a level of respect that we hope to receive from others, and so the best we can do is to return this favor to those we know and love…and even those we don’t!
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