I don't object to breast feeding a baby in public - is there something wrong with me? I am amazed by the number of people who object to feeding a baby in a natural way.
Half their objections seem to be based around assumptions that powdered chemicals fed in plastic and rubber bottles and sterilised in awful chemicals is healthier and better for babies. Something that I suspect only years of TV and other marketing has drummed into society.
The other half of their objections are based around thoughts that there is something indecent about breast feeding, especially in a public place.
I'm on sprog number 4 and I'm glad to say that the wife has fed all of them naturally. It's so much more convenient and so much more natural than any chemical mixture. I don't even recall any real debate between myself and the wife – it is just the right thing to do.
It's interesting though to see the reaction of different types of people to breast feeding. On the whole most men seem to look away and carry on – I would guess that most are ambivalent about the whole process and just find it a little awkward. Women on the other hand have a Marmite reaction – they either smile in that 'how wonderful' way, or they frown and mutter under their breath.
The objectors embarrassment must be a little innocence on their part - not quite understanding how the real world works. I do wonder if this pattern is matched in other countries or if this is just an old fashioned prudish behaviour instilled in some British.
For those dad's wondering what to do though, have a chat to your partner. There are significant pro's to breast feeding – grade A food on tap is one of them; but there are also some difficulties – unless you go through the rigmarole of pumping milk out, it's your partner who will be doing all the feeds, day and night; there are some people who object to breast feeding – we have even had people leave our house when the wife started feeding; and lastly your partner will have to be comfortable feeding when the baby needs it (where ever you are).
If I recall back a few years (blimey I must be getting old to start saying that) with sprog 1 we had a few weeks of things being difficult – baby not connecting right being just one thing that made feeding in public a little more uncomfortable; but after that when we were less conscious of breast feeding, you just go with the flow and do what comes naturally.
So for all those soon to be dad's out there: don't be embarrassed, it's all natural chemical free stuff that your baby needs, delivered as it should be and crucially it allows mother and baby to bond. Be supportive and do the right thing.
For everyone else: please be tolerant to breast feeding and get over your embarrassment – it's the most ethical, natural and sustainable method of keeping our babies healthy.
Wednesday, May 23. 2012
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