When breastfeeding began, I had the same thoughts that I imagine a lot of women had: Is she getting enough? Am I doing this right? Is she still hungry? Will I know if she's still hungry? I wasn't thinking these thoughts maniacally but like all new things, you wonder how you're doing at it.
This is not about photos. This is not about who has it worse. This is not even about breastfeeding and formula-feeding anymore. It's about how we view motherhood as a competition, how the powers that be monopolize on this competition and how the media loves to encourage it
How about when you see me breastfeeding, you don't stare or look disgusted? How about you just go about your business and not give it a second thought? How about you don't worry what your children will think? They will think it's normal if you don't make it an issue.
When you finally think that you deserve to say you have it all figured out, that your breasts and your body belong to you, they don't anymore. Perhaps that is where the story begins. When your love affair with your body becomes foreign and familiar, all at once.
This Tower of (breastfeeding) Babble has reached a fever pitch. It's time for it to come down. Pick up your axe and start chopping. And next time someone asks, simply tell them, "You don't need to know why I don't breastfeed. Because it shouldn't matter."
I tried to shake off the formula-shaming, even as it added layers of worry to my already tired parent-of-newborn mind. It's not like there was anything else I could do about it: I had no breasts, and neither did my husband.
It took me three years and several rounds of IVF to get pregnant and I was acutely aware that this would most likely be the only time I would ever be able to experience it. In my mind, I worked hard and paid a lot of money to get knocked up, so I wanted to enjoy all of the bells and whistles.
Women deserve to know the full range of medically viable options for feeding their children, in an unbiased, accurate, and judgment-free manner, and a consumer protection organization should be at the forefront of that fight.
Without acknowledging the steep learning curve, and without putting in place good support systems, the message is that early motherhood is just another everyday task and that caring for a new baby is a natural skill that will come easily.
We need to open an honest dialogue about the first raw days of new parenthood and how we can help each other through it. That can start by acknowledging the offensive and hurtful things we sometimes say to each other.