There is something that comes along with becoming a mother that is much less obvious than the lack of sleep, post-baby muffin top, and the serious love affair you’ve started with this beautiful little baby and that is: GUILT. Whether it’s about how you just gave birth, what you’re feeding the baby, when you’re going back to work, or how you plan on raising this child, there will be someone somewhere judging.
Often what we judge is that what we have not experienced ourselves.
This week is National Breastfeeding Week and we’re taking this opportunity to talk about breastfeeding.
Some women are able to breastfeed; some are not. Some have to try really hard and eventually find success; some have to go back to work; and sometimes it just doesn’t work out. It doesn’t matter what the reasons are that a woman doesn’t breastfeed for the ‘advised’ amount of time–it is her business and hers alone. Breastfeeding your baby is a beautiful thing, no doubt, but for some women it just isn’t all that natural.
We wish all mothers would stop judging each other, not just in terms of how to feed their babies but within all aspects of parenting. It’s tough enough as it is being a mother in this demanding ‘juggle everything’ society we live in, let alone getting zapped with guilt trips from our peers. And sometimes women in the public eye help to spread judgemental attitudes while others assist in squashing them.
These pictures help to spread a wonderful, positive message–breastfeeding is good and doing it in public is just fine–but sometimes there can be a narrow-minded guilt-trip attached.
Just know, if you’ve chosen to stop breastfeeding or not to breastfeed at all, you’re not alone. Just as we shouldn’t judge a woman for breastfeeding her four year old child; we shouldn’t judge a woman for bottle feeding her newborn.
Gisele Bundchen said this past year:
“I think breastfeeding really helped (me keep me figure),” says the Brazilian beauty, whose son Benjamin is 7 months. “Some people here (in the US) think they don’t have to breastfeed, and I think ‘Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?’ I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months.”
We think there should be a world-wide law against idiotic celebrities like Gisele Bundchen posting pictures like this:
She also said childbirth “didn’t hurt in the slightest.” Enough said on that.
Miranda Kerr said this recently:
“I intend to breastfeed for as long as I can. My breast milk will give our little Flynn the nutrition he needs for his continued healthy development and to all mums out there I am sure you will make the right choice for you and your baby.”
And by ‘right’ choice, we assume she means ‘her choice’.
Agreeing that she’s “one of those militant breastfeeder women,” Pink admits that she sometimes goes out of her way to provoke a response from people in public:
“I do. I do on purpose. I think breastfeeding is healthy and natural and it’s a comfort to my baby so I can give a shit what somebody else thinks.”
Jaime Lee King put it beautifully:
“The responses from mothers were so grateful because there have been people out in the media being very judgmental, saying women have to breastfeed, or have to do this or have to do that,”Jaime added. “I think that it’s really unfair for anybody in the spotlight — any sort of celebrity who has a very privileged life — to go out there and tell mothers what to do when they don’t understand their socioeconomic circumstances, when they don’t understand their health circumstances, when they don’t understand what their life is about.”
Maggie Gyllenhaal states the truth about every child being different:
“I’m not a leave-them-in-their-crib-to-cry kind of girl. Fundamentally, I didn’t find that worked. Everyone’s got their own thing, you know? You can’t tell another person when it’s right to stop breastfeeding, or how to put your kid to sleep. Every child is different.”
Some websites that oppose guilt within motherhood: