A recent debate has raised the question over whether breastfeeding is the right of a child, and if it is whether breastfeeding should be law.
I breastfed or ten months and I truly believe that breast is best. Breast milk improves immune systems, has all the correct nutrients and vitamins with no downsides. Breast feeding is good for both mother and child. All in all, boobs rock. However…
Breastfeeding is not essential. Children thrive on formula. Yes it’s not perfect, and yes if it’s made wrongly and given incorrectly it can be dangerous, but assuming it’s all done properly bottle fed babies are fine! Not just fine, brilliant. Why outlaw a safe and healthy way of feeding children?
Not everyone can breastfeed. I was fortunate that I could, and despite being fairly relaxed about the whole concept, I found that I was super grateful to be able to. I would have been gutted if I couldn’t and that was going in without thinking I was that bothered. I have seen the utter heartache mothers who can’t feed go through. The guilt and the shame and the utter misery. I’ve heard confession from bottle feeders admitting with pained eyes they managed only for days or weeks or not at all. Don’t add criminality to these women’s lives.
Women have a right to choose. Forcing a woman to do things with her body that she does not want to do is not acceptable. Yes it may be better in a lot of ways but if breastfeeding makes a woman recoil in horror then you can be damn sure that forcing her to will destroy the mother/baby bond, build up feelings of resentment, and lead to an increase in cases of post natal depression. Feeding your baby should be a happy, relaxed and comfortable experience. Don’t destroy that.
Some children are adopted. My husband and I hope to adopt a child in the next few years. I will not be able to breastfeed. I believe that my future child has a greater right to a safe, loving family than it does to breastfeeding. Are we suggesting that unfit or unwilling mothers are forced to care for their child for the duration of the mandatory breastfeeding period? Or perhaps we are bringing back wet nurses who care for infant after infant before they’re settled with their adoptive family? So build up the bond of a mother through breastfeeding then rip them away. Just no.
My conclusion from this is that compulsory breastfeeding is both idiotic and dangerous.
One argument in favour of such a law is that child seats in cars are law and that they are of equal importance to a child’s well being so if one is law so must the other be.
No. Children do not die from formula. They do die from not being in a car seat during an accident. I don’t think anymore needs to be said… Please comment with an argument if I’m wrong.
What we do need to do is improve education for women so they can understand exactly how and why we breastfeed. Increase access to support so in difficult times determined mothers can get help to carry on. We need to get rid of the idea that a woman breastfeeding in public is doing something shameful or inappropriate so more mothers feel confident enough to do it whenever is convenient. But we do not need to treat those who can’t or won’t like criminals. Other than a few we are all just trying to be the best mothers we can. We are trying to love and raise our children and do the best by them. That is the kind of mother every child should have the right to.
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Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!