Why This Breastfeeding Mom Won’t Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week

It’s World Breastfeeding Week! A week of celebrating breastfeeding. Public “Latch On” events (where nursing moms meet to latch their babies at the same time), “brelfies” (breastfeeding selfies), and social media hype abound! In the midst of the celebration, I confess I’m a bit of a party pooper. I’m a breastfeeding mom, but I’m not celebrating World Breastfeeding Week.

Baby and bottle, world breastfeeding week, Albuquerque Moms Blog

I breastfed all three of my children and think it’s a wonderful way to feed a baby. But to this mom, it feels increasingly important to recognize that breastfeeding is only one of two equally amazing feeding methods. It’s time to celebrate all moms nourishing their babies, however they do it.

“Bressure” (aka Pressure to Breastfeed)

World Breastfeeding Week seems like another way to push the “breast is best” agenda and pressure moms. As expectant and new moms, we so often hear about the benefits of breastfeeding. Yet, for healthy babies born at term, formula is an equally good feeding choice. Breastfeeding may work better for some families. Formula may work better for others. Guilt that you aren’t doing your best is something that shouldn’t enter into the decision.

The pressure to breastfeed in 2018 is huge. More and more hospitals around the country are promoting breastfeeding as the only good choice. Healthcare professionals, the media, even family and friends often push the idea that choosing formula is second rate at best, and bad parenting at worst. Moms are under enourmous pressure to feed their babies a certain way.

Breast milk is good, but formula is good too. If a woman can’t breastfeed, or simply doesn’t want to breastfeed that is ok! The last thing a mom should feel is guilt or worry that baby isn’t getting the best. Fed is best, however mom chooses. 

No Big Deal

World Breastfeeding Week highlights something that shouldn’t be a big deal. . . feeding your baby. Babies are unable to feed themselves, so feeding them is just part of life as a parent. Where the food comes from truly doesn’t matter. What matters is that the feeding method is healthy and safe for baby, and works well for mom. 

In the grand scheme of parenting, infant feeding is a short phase. Doing a task a certain way doesn’t merit a pat on the back. Feeding babies well is what all good parents do. Fed is always best.

Let’s Support Each Other

All moms need support because nurturing a baby is hard work. In a developed country like the U.S., the World Breastfeeding Week mania feeds into the “mommy wars” that tear communities apart. The celebrations exclude amazing moms who can’t breastfeed: foster and adoptive moms, moms with medical conditions, and moms simply choosing what is best for their families. A breastfeeding mom is no more special than a formula feeding mom.

Fellow moms, it’s time to support all safe feeding options and the mothers behind them. This breastfeeding mom won’t celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. . . . Instead I want to celebrate and encourage every mom working hard to make sure her baby is nourished, healthy, and happy.

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3 Responses to Why This Breastfeeding Mom Won’t Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week

  1. Katie
    Katie August 6, 2018 at 9:32 am #

    Fed is best, agreed!

  2. Granny J August 6, 2018 at 10:44 am #

    As a now grandma, who in the past chose both feeding methods, fed is best! Looking back, both my formula fed and my breastfed kids had similar health issues (minor viruses etc.), all excelled equally in school, and are all equally happy, competent and contributing adults in society.

    As the post mentioned, infant feeding is a short phase and one of many choices you’ll have to make in parenting. Choices to work vs. stay home, education (home school, public school, private school), and extracurricular activities are just that…choices. It has to work for you and your family regardless of other opinions.
    My takeaway from the post is that in the motherhood journey, there is just no room to pressure, criticize, or shame someone else’s mothering choice.

  3. Amanda August 6, 2018 at 2:18 pm #

    Yes! Fed is best! Thank you!

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