Mummy Wars – Stop the Negativity

A funny thing happened not that long ago. Actually it wasn’t that funny. I went to bed feeling quite tense and deflated after me sharing my thoughts on yet another infant feeding post (http://www.yourtango.com/2015283342/if-you-dont-breastfeed-im-judging-hell-out-of-you) ended up with a lot of Mum’s ‘ganging’ up on me. Even though I felt I was sharing my own thoughts and opinions like others I was told my comments were being said to ‘rile people up’ and that I was being rude and judgemental. I read back over things and my words were being taken out of context and made in to something so huge. What started off as innocently starting a discussion turned in to a hate campaign. I do wonder if some people are ready and waiting for a fight or want to silence discussion about infant feeding? It made me think…maybe this is the issue with the whole feeding subject? Shouldnt we be encouraged to discuss parenting styles and share opinions? Surely sharing and starting conversations with other parents would make for happy mums and dads, and may even lead to life long friendships (that’s my silly little dream anyway)? Becoming a new mum can be quite isolating once Dad is back to work (or visa versa) and excited visitors stop coming as often and get on with their own lives. Isn’t that why Mummy and baby groups were invented? So we could chat and compare notes? We are never going to agree on everything but why the need to shame other Mums for sharing their opinions because it isn’t the same as yours? For me it feels a little like the formula companies are sat on the side lines egging us all or stoking the fire to make it bigger than it needs to be…

Paisley-68

This is my first go at parenting and like when I started my own wedding business it’s all pretty much learning on the job! I was left to feel that because I’d had a fairly successful breastfeeding journey so far (in their opinion. This was social media and most Mum’s had never even met me) they weren’t bothering to take me seriously or were reading more in to what was being said. I wonder if articles previously written were intended to bring mums together but ended up dividing us more? I wonder if posts trying to help reassure new mums ended up making them feel worse or guilty for parenting decisions they had made? Is it actually down to how we are and how we react over our decisions? I tend to find if someone is feeling insecure about something then they will see it as a personal attack when it was something intending to inspire or create a conversation. Social media bloggers like The Milk Meg and Analytical Armadillo share some wonderful quotes that I find inspiring though for every one of me I’m sure there’s someone else as equally offended.

IMG_20160315_130112

 

“The thing that is most upsetting to me about this negative feedback is that this information (that our breastmilk is living and contains stem cells) is not amazing or an “extraordinary claim” as one man stated. This is basic science and something we have researched and have known about for quite some time. First they found these cells in the milk of mice and have now researched the stem cells in human milk as well. There are quite a few studies now that you can access with a quick Google search. Unfortunately people see this info and think it’s not true, “extraordinary” or they question the doctor/researcher who stated it. The reality is that human milk is a living, changing tissue often refered to as, “white blood”. Human milk is desiged to nourish and grow our babies. The fact that it contains stem cells (and lots of them!) is not amazing. It’s human biology. Breastmilk is alive.  #keeponboobin’ ” Taken from The Milk Megs Facebook page. 

I really wish I had found words as plain yet obvious as these at the time but I felt so upset by the comments I instead spent a few months tweaking this post! Facts are facts yet, with breastfeeding in particular, people who get upset seem to think they’re glorified in some way. That they’re suggesting one is better than the other. Well facts and research show this to be true. We can’t deny that. So what is so offensive about these facts? Maybe that is the fact that offends them? That research and fact proves that to be true? There are perfectly good reasons, backed up by research, that the NHS and W.H.O ( World Health Organisation) want to get more mothers to breastfeed and it’s sad that their attempts are seen as pushy. I’m sure me sharing posts about feeding or other parenting subjects I’m passionate about (cloth nappies, gentle parenting, baby wearing…) can rub some people up the wrong way but I feel that’s their issues with the subject matter and they shouldn’t be put on me. They don’t have to read what I share but one mum may and it may turn out super helpful which is why I will keep sharing.

As a new Mum I accept not everyone is going to agree. I accept we do things differently. We all have something in common,we are mums bringing up babies…mums of girls,bringing up the next generation of Mum’s. Why can’t we discuss and compare notes of parenting without the fear of being shot down? Why be on the back foot all the time? Is it our own insecurities causing these issues? Are those insecurities because of all we read in the media or online during those early morning feeds? Or because we lack the confidence or support over a particular subject? When pregnant I had plenty of ideas of how I was going to parent but reading up on things and chatting to other Mums along the way can send you along different paths and I kinda like that and thank my Mum friends for inspiring me and sharing your experiences with me.

Paisley isn’t happy with all this negativity either…

WP_20150401_09_05_09_Pro 1

I really enjoy reading Analytical Armadillos blog and there’s a few posts I actually took time to dig out as they struck a chord with me. They’re obviously mostly about breastfeeding as that seems to be a subject I’m very passionate about.

“Formula feeding mothers cannot (apparently) handle facts? we should all pretend actually breastfeeding doesn’t matter?  Stating it’s a public health issue makes someone the “breastfeeding mafia”.

Oh that neatly brings us back to the ad doesn’t it – because what this is actually saying is to stop the war, we have to stop talking about breastfeeding.” Quoted from http://www.analyticalarmadillo.co.uk/2015/01/stick-your-mummy-wars-advert-up-your.html?m=1

This was about the infamous ‘Mummy Wars’ advert that was doing the rounds and it turns out was actually commissioned to be made by formula companies…

I’m not going to apologise any more for my love of all things breastfeeding. I will continue to enjoy this incredible journey I am on and be proud of getting this far thanks to amazing support from my husband, family, mum friends and peer support charities local to me.

And while I’m on the subject of social media uproar here’s on for Jamie Oliver…

I totally get your heart was in the right place and I think the Dad’s play an important role in every breastfeeding journey, even if the critics believe that not to be the case! Maybe the Mum’s reacting in a hostile way were actually ones who didn’t receive the right support,  from their health care professionals or even from their families? I hope that this news brings the issues breastfeeding Mums face in to a positive light eventually.

I do hope some of you find me sharing my own experiences to be inspiring however you choose to bring up or feed your baby, though I’m pretty sure they’ll be a few of you who may take offence. That’s never my intention. Remember, I love breastfeeding and I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad if they didn’t love it as much as me. A new Mum to be may need to hear a possitive story once in a while instead of all this talk of pain and bleeding nipples! I hope that other breastfeeding mums can stand proud, not feel shamed in to keeping quiet for fear of upsetting someone. However you choose to feed your baby stand by that decision. If for some reason you aren’t happy with your journey so far take that experience and share it with others. Our experiences being shared could help another Mum somewhere who feels unsupported. It’s not always doom and gloom this parenting malarkey and when things are good it’s perfectly fine to share that awesomeness with other Mums…

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Mummy Wars – Stop the Negativity

  1. Love this post – thank you for sharing xx

    I believe that breastfeeding is such an emotive topic, either because mums have had a positive experience OR because they’ve had a negative experience, either way mums tend to have strong feelings on the matter, and because emotions do run high on the topic it means that discussions often become heated.

    My biggest belief is that support is the key factor. Those who WANTED to breastfeed but “couldn’t”, “didn’t have enough milk” or “the baby didn’t like it” often could have had a successful breastfeeding journey with enough support, and the right kind of support.

    Unfortunately even making this comment often gets defensive responses when if fact it is intended to be a positive, supportive suggestion…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s