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Words can really hurt

I'm not sure how to start this post.

I've been playing it over and over in my head for the last couple of days after reading some really hurtful comments targeted at a fellow blogger.

Without naming names, someone from a pro breastfeeding group decided to attack him in a misinformed and kinda bizarre post. He was accused of promoting bottle feeding to make a sponsor happy ... except that he wasn't promoting anything and the company in question wasn't even associated with him via sponsorship or anything else.

What followed was a huge backlash between his fans and the pro-breast crowed. Reading through the comments i was feeling hurt on behalf of both sides and felt like a serious amount of compassion was lacking from some.

I didn't breastfeed.

It wasn't for lack of trying. In fact Agent M went the first two days of his little life without actually having a feed as i couldn't for love nor money get him to latch on and i wasn't allowed a bottle for him because "breast is best for baby" and that i would "confuse him when he did latch on". So tired and alone i struggled to get an unhappy, hungry baby to latch onto my very VERY painful boobs to no avail. I got no help and in the end after signing myself out AMA, i went home with my mum who introduced me to the wonders that were baby formula.

Now, i hear a lot of people all the time talk about how bottle feeding is the "easy" option. Personally for me, it wasn't easy. 

The guilt that went through me lasted for months. I felt i failed my child cause i couldn't give him "the best start", i felt like i was going to be setting him back and having the midwife make me feel like an abuser for "giving up" definitely didn't help. But here is the thing ... Surely me not feeding him at all would be worse? Would i not have been a really shitty mum for starving him? I would have thought so.

I haven't seen any difference between him and his breastfed counterparts. I guarantee if you lined 10 kids up of the same ages you couldn't tell who was breast fed and who was given formula ... to think that it makes a noticeable difference is inane as every kid is different and unique in their own right, regardless of how they were fed.

Its been a well documented campaign that "breast is best" but surly that is a personal choice, and more so, surely fed is best?

I know mums that have started with breast and moved to bottle, i know some who have used both. I know mums that decided to stick with breast exclusively and some that decided bottle worked for them ... and whichever decision they choose, it has been their own business.

I think that as a mum you have to work out whats best for you as well as baby. If you can breastfeed then brilliant, go for it and you should be allowed to do so in any cafe or public area that is necessary. Its a natural thing that should be embraced. If bottle feeding is the way you go then brilliant, go for it and you should be allowed to do so without being made to feel like your doing your baby an injustice or are somehow not as good a parent.

Sometimes people with the best intentions can really hurt people. 

A bit of a personal moment here but 12 years ago tomorrow i experienced my first miscarriage.
It was a horrible time that i would happily forget but if forever embedded in my memories. I remember walking out of the Dr's room after being told i had miscarried my first ever pregnancy to be greeted with a sign in the waiting room declaring "You have what it takes to make a healthy baby" - an advert for breastfeeding.

I completely lost my mind. 

Like i had been holding onto it till i could go home and break down but this poster just destroyed me ... and my reaction clearly left an impression as when i went back a couple of days later it was removed.

The point is words hurt ... and people calling parents lazy for choosing to bottle feed is incredibly hurtful. especially like in this situation where the bloggers partner had to give up breastfeeding due to medical reasons. That wasn't her fault and DEFINITELY wasn't "lazy" of her, yet people felt it was OK to attack her and other mothers in similar situations.

Please no matter what method you use to feed your babies, remember that feeding them is best, breast or bottle, its your call and don't let anyone from either camp make you feel bad for being the best parent you can be!!

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