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Friday, April 1, 2011

Breastfeeding is NOT a private bonding experience

     Breastfeeding is NOT a private bonding experience. Breastfeeding is NOT best. Breastfeeding is NOT ugly. Breastfeeding is NOT sexual. Breastfeeding is NOT any other adjective you can throw at it..except for one.


     Breastfeeding IS feeding a baby

     That's it...nothing more, nothing less. It is the biological norm for feeding a child. It is not something to hide, be ashamed of, commit in dark closed off rooms or done solely in private. 

     In fact, I don't even think of it as a superior bonding time at all. Is it bonding? Yes. Is it any different bonding than when I rock my child to sleep, read to them, bathe them, feed them food, sing to them, dress them, play with them? Nope. Not at all. 

     So, why is it that folks automatically associate breastfeeding with "private bonding"? Feeding my child has never been "private bonding". Bottle, breast or solids. Not private bonding. I realize that because there is a breast involved that automatically deems it wrong, gross, private and anything other than feeding a child. Which, IMO is just ridiculous. Just because society "thinks" that something is a certain way doesn't mean we ALL have to think that way also. This breastfeeding is only done in private business has got to stop.

     Now having said all of that... Can breastfeeding be done in private if that is what MOM truly wants? YES!! Can breastfeeding be a private bonding experience? YES!!! Is it ok if MOM wants to only breastfeed in private and use bottles while out? YES!!! And that is my point: If YOU as a mom chooses it to be that way, then I am ALL for you and in your corner come what may. But if you as a mom feel pressured and bullied into this by naysayers, I would hope that you can stand up to them and feel good about what you are doing and do it in spite of them knowing that you have people backing you up.  I get so tired of people trying to tell us how WE should feel about breastfeeding. Telling us that WE should feel ashamed, hidden or private. Why, must WE feel like that when we are only feeding our child in the manner WE chose?  Just because it comes through a different receptacle than another mom chooses doesn't make it wrong or less or private. Only different. No different than if we chose a pink bottle or a green one. 

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the nice reminder. I always love knowing there are like-minded mamas out there cheering me on! :)

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  2. well said! although it was tricky reading the beginning that it's not a bonding.... like all acts together are, but i get you now. It's not like people say "hey, that kid and his Dad should be kicking their footy at home - bonding like that in public is rude! LOL

    Tania Doula

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  3. I think BFing moms tend to have a deeper bond, but not because of BFing in and of itself but because of certain parenting behaviors that often happen as a result of BFing ie: Baby Wearing, Co Sleeping, Cuddling. All these things can be implanmented with bottle fed babies but often are not. I always encourage my moms who are having BFing difficulties or have decided to Bottle Feed for whatever reason to do these things so that they can achieve that bond they taught as a benefit for BFing. BFing can become very special but the act at it's most basic level is exactly what MI said, feeding a baby. Sometimes I pause and stroke my baby's hair and look into her eyes and smile at her while BFing and it is really special, other times I am reading on my cell phone the whole time. I would also like to add that Oxitocin (The Love Hormone) is secreted heavy during BFing and that does help cement a mom and baby bond, but again there are other ways to get the Oxitocin flowing.It isn't something exclusive to BFing.

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