Aunty Lactivist is all of us, mums who can help with experience, advice or links to websites they have found useful.
Please leave a comment below if you can help.
Dear Aunty Lactivist
I’m currently feeding my 4month old son who is my second child (my first was booby fed until she was 20 months) and I LOVE breastfeeding with a passion! Mummy milk truly does rock.
But I have a secret…Every time I have ever fed either of my babies, breastfeeding has made me feel depressed
I know what you’re thinking, how can I love it and be depressed at the same time? Well I only feel depressed for the first 30 seconds – 1 minute of each feed. I also feel nauseous and excessively thirsty. These feelings overwhelm me when I begin feeding. They literally hit me like a ton of bricks. But then after a minute they start to go away gradually and I can enjoy the time with my baby. At the beginning of each feed I can feel a variety of feelings from depression and anxiety to anger and frustration for no apparent reason! I often find myself just closing my eyes and breathing deeply until it passes. I also experience this right before each spontaneous let down. But I have nothing to feel upset or depressed about! I am generally quite a happy person.
What is wrong with me? Am I alone?
Why is this happening and can I fix it? Or am I just a freak of nature?
I designed the orginal (English) Care Instructions (Handwash only, Love unconditionally, Breastfeed as required) when my son was tiny, in 2007. I just woke up thinking, ‘I wish babies came with care instructions’, so I wrote some I’ve been meaning to get it translated since then but finally, with a LOT of help from the Lactivist Facebook page here are some translations. If you would like it in a different language just let me know what it needs to say – with capitals and accents in the right place so I don’t get it wrong!
Click on the image to make it bigger, share as much as you like!
This is such a fantastic idea, please share it widely!
Last year we tried to get the folks at Google to make a Doodle (creative manipulation of the Google logo) to commemorate 20 years of the World Breastfeeding Week. Unfortunately, our efforts were over shadowed by the Summer Olympics!
This year we will celebrate the 21st Birthday of World Breastfeeding Week! So let’s get the momentum going again to get Google to make a Doodle to commemorate WBW 2013, and give the campaign worldwide coverage! (See more about Google Doodles at: http://www.google.com/doodles/about)
WHAT YOU CAN DO!
Please send an email to the people who create the Google Doodles at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask them to make a Google Doodle for WBW 1-7 August 2013!
Here’s a Sample of email you could send:
Dear Google Doodle people,
We — the breastfeeding support and promotion community — would be delighted if Google would create a Doodle for World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), 1-7 August 2013. WBW is celebrated every year in over 176 countries around the world. This year, World Breastfeeding Week celebrates its 21st Birthday! (More information at: http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/ and http://www.worldbreastfeedingweek.net/)
We really hope you will consider this proposal.
Thanks and Best regards,
Are you feeding a child over the age of 6? If so a journalist (and lactivist!) would love to hear from you for an article in a women’s magazine. Fee paid. Please contact email@example.com
“it will be a positive article, I am keen to normalise breastfeeding, especially longer / natural term feeding. I’ll be feeding my third for as long as she wants it! I can also give copy approval before publication, to make sure anyone who takes part in the article is happy before it goes to print. The piece in The Sun about cross feeding is here: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/4842388/sisters-who-breast-feed-each-others-children.html
You can find some more of my articles here: http://www.allotmentmum.co.uk/published-work/”
Aunty Lactivist is all of us, non judgmental mums with experience or ideas that can help.This question was originally posted on the Lactivist Facebook page – please feel free to add any ideas you might have to the comments below. The responses are cut and pasted from the answers on the Facebook page too.
Dear Aunty Lactivist
HELP! Any advice for 1 week old exclusively breastfeeding with possible colic?? Mama friend needs help quick!!
Infacol works brilliantly. But colic does pass in time.. Just stick with it
Colief helped my daughter a littleWhat’s in her diet?
Call LLL helpline 0845 120 2918
Sling and google ‘colic hold’I have a 4 week old EBF with colic.
We usually give infacol, walk around with her, give her a warm bath or swaddle her and snuggle until crying stops. She usualy falls asleep and wakes up half hour later much happier. Hang in there it does get better x
tell mum to cut out caffine and spices and to drink some fennel tea not too much though good luck x
More information than this please….!!! IF it colic try the Colic hold which is laying baby tummy down across your forearm in a cradle like hold and swaying/bobbing whilst rubbing babies back… Upwards x
Baby wearing is great, being held against you belly to belly will help loads so suggest a baby wrap not a bog standard baby carrier, you can get on with housework and the motion of movement usually has baby asleep in minutes and also colief works wonders it is expensive for a tiny bottle but it goes a long way and you can get it on prescription
Infacol worked for both my exclusively breasted little ones x
And to cut out all artificial sweeteners…. So no diet drinks… ‘No added sugar’ squashes… Etc…. Stick to pure juice…. Water… or ribena is safe (just not the sugar free one obviously) and if you must have fizzy… Full far coke is ok… Artifical sweeteners will cause colic… In babies…. X x
no caffeine and no farty foods…eg cabbage, onions, beans
My eldest son had colic bad too… I couldnt get him to feed off me so I had to express a lot of his feeds until he got past it due to lack of help and being a new mum.. but it ws a last resort…. he found it hard to lay in my arms to feed… but I was determind to keep breast feeding and eventually I got him back on the breast.. with my second chld when he showed signs I gave him Weleda Chamomilla 3X Granules – homeopathic remedy, and they really helped with the colic … and I didn’t have to express at all… they are great for teething too!!
Before going into diet I would have tongue tie ruled out by a suitably trained professional and make sure baby is latching well. http://milkmatters.org.uk/2011/04/15/hidden-cause-of-feeding-problems-however-you-feed-your-baby/
It’s not always obvious, the tongue can look ENTIRELY normal to the untrained eye…
I would find a local support group and see somebody 121 a one week old baby would be unlikely to suffer colic.
If you are in the UK I would suggest contacting Helios Homeopaths – you can chat over the phone – set up an account with them – name, address (for posting out remedies) and use (someones) card to pay over phone – the remedies are usually delivered the next day – worth doing this with children in the home, as can be used again and again – I only ever had homeopathy in the home with children as they cannot overdose and kill themselves or poison themselves if they get to it. My children used to read up – find the right remedy and administer homeopathy to each other. They loved playing ‘doctor’ to each other and were always spot on!
Here’s contact details for Helio (I would also recommend purchasing their homeopathic kits of 30 odd remedies with a booklet to identify which remedy is needed)
Helios Homoeopathy Ltd
89-97 Camden Rd, Tunbridge Wells
Kent TN1 2QR England
We are open Mon to Friday 9:30am – 5:30pm G.M.T. and 10am to 2pm on Saturday
email any queries you might have to: firstname.lastname@example.org
email any orders to: email@example.com
Or you can contact us by telephone:
Main number ++44 (0)1892 537254 (14 lines)
Homeopathic Arnica and Aconite are musts in the home with children. I also found that offering remedies to children and getting them to find which one they are drawn to gets some brilliant and exact results.
That’s who I have used over the last couple of years .. they are brilliant great for making a homeopathic first aid kit too
cranial osteopathy cured my son’s colic. he was like a different baby practically overnight
Go to a local bf support group, see if there’s one near you www.realbabymilk.org having other bf mums around can make things easier for you and baby, there is often a professional bf support linked to a group
Real Baby Milk
YouTube colic massage, the video you want is by a user who’s name stays with d then followed by numbers (on phone so can’t link), but this worked wonders for us, as did lots of babywearing
im a midwife and i tried everything for my daughters colic – eventually i went to someone who practised bowdens technique and it worked after 2 sessions! x
Baby massage, keep baby upright preferably on chest, warm baths, skin2skin as much as possible, check your latch is on correctly (LL league or breastfeeding supporter) think about co sleeping (seek advise how to do this safely)….hang in there it will get better!
Warm bath for mum and baby, hand full of Epsom salts, skin to skin, colic is a fancy word for trapped gas. Relax and soothe. It will come up. No feeding restrictions. Love love love. X
There’s no evidence that Infacol works at all…
Cosleeping and feed with baby on her side propped up on your arm. Think about when u have bellyache, the last thing u want to do is lie flat. Raise the head end of whatever she sleeps in or let her sleep propped up on u. Also be reasonably firm when helping her wind. A gentle stroke is not enough to get gas up or down! A good move from yoga is laying baby down on back head propped if she prefers then bring both legs in bent to her tummy a few times x
I’d be really wary of deciding that a one week old has colic. Your milk has only JUST come in, her digestive system has only JUST started working. Colic doesn’t generally manifest until about 3 weeks, and even then it’s overdiagnosed, and its rare in EBF babies. What is she doing that makes you think it’s colic?
Very normal for a newborn to be feeding frequently and unsettled late in day at a week old. That’s not colic.
Dairy in mummys diet can cause terrible tummy ache for babes x
Media request: A journalist (and lactivist!) is looking for sisters, or friends, who breastfeed each other’s children. It’s for a positive article about the benefits of sharing breastfeeding duties. You would need to be photographed together and would receive a fee for taking part. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This wonderful design is by the very talented Kate Evans who wrote The Food of Love
Professionally screen printed in pink and black ink on 100% unbleached cotton long sleeved fairly traded t-shirts with envelope shoulders.
Allowing for slight variations they are like this:
The size 3-6mth long sleeved lap t-shirt measures:
- 50cm (20 inches) around the chest
- 24cm (9 inches) from back of neck to hem
- 68cm (27inches) from cuff to cuff
The size 6-12mth long sleeved lap t-shirt measures:
- 54cm (21.5 inches) around the chest
- 28cm (10.5 inches) from back of neck to hem
- 73cm (29 inches) from cuff to cuff
The size 12-18mth long sleeved lap t-shirt measures:
- 64cm (25 inches) around the chest
- 29cm (12 inches) from back of neck to hem
- 83cm (33 inches) from cuff to cuff
These T-shirts should be washed at 40 degrees and tumble dried on a low heat setting. Since the t-shirts are not coated in anti-shrink chemicals, sizes are large to accomodate possible shrinkage of 5%.
Why buy organic? Apart from the benefits to the environment with no chemicals being used in production, organic cotton feels great. It is incredibly soft as the fibres are plumper than normal cotton, It’s difficult to describe in words the ‘wow’ feeling you get when you see these t-shirts in the flesh and can feel how soft and gentle on the skin they are. Try one, in the unlikely event that you will not like it I offer a non quibble money back guarantee.
The picture shows georgeous Jenny who is very happy wearing her ‘I like milk from my mum, not from just any old cow‘ organic, fairly traded Lactivist t-shirt.
If you live outside Europe but still want a bit of Lactivist yummyness in your home, that is no problem because of the wonderful Etsy. There is a Lactivist Etsy shop with a growing list of the best sellers on but if you see something you want on the European shop – www.lactivist.co.uk just let me know and I’ll list it.
The lovely Karen who runs Boobie Milk (who are fantastic Lactivist sponsors) emailed me to say
“There are a few end of season styles available from BoobieMilk right now from the Hotmilk range and I thought I would share it with your followers as I will be placing orders Friday at noon.
£20 for the nursing bra and £25 for the set (not all sizes are available) in the following styles -
In the Spotlight – A 3/4 cup nursing bra with side sling in a pale pink 32-38 B-F, Bikini S-XL
Angel Divine – A full cup nursing bra with side sling in a pale pink satin and cream lace 32-38 C-G, Bikini S-XL
Dusk, Chic and Show Off are available at £25 for the nursing bra and £30 for the set if pre-ordered.
This price is only available on pre-orders, email email@example.com to place your order.
The link to the images on my facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.437350469675471.101034.133056260104895&type=3
The Animal Jingle Nursing Necklace is the latest addition to the range of breastfeeding jewellery handpicked and specially chosen for www.lactivist.co.uk.
It consists of brightly coloured beads of many different colours, sizes and textures including animal and bells! (Your necklace may vary from the photograph shown due to the availability of beads.)
This necklace would make a fantastic gift for an expectant mum, a baby shower or for your own baby
Babybeads necklaces are specifically made with safety in mind from fun colourful and attractive non-toxic acrylic beads.
The necklaces are strung on ultra strong waterproof cord (not fishing line like some other necklaces on the market) tested to 100lbs (approximately 45kg) breaking strain and are knotted to minimise loss of beads in the unlikely event of a breakage. The necklace is secured very strongly using a unique knotting method.
For a much larger range of breastfeeding jewellery please visit www.lactivistbling.co.uk
This is how Lactivists celebrated pancake day last year! Pancakes that look like boobs!
Boobs, mums and babies made out of pancakes! Pancakes in a bra! Strawberry aereolas and nipply bits! One mum said her daughter looked at her boob pancakes and said “not your boob though mummy. Thanks for making my boob food!”
Thank you to everyone who sent in pictures for the Lactivist Facebook Wall!
The list of names that breastfeeding mums get called was taken from the media, from recent articles, in the 21st Century. The only derogatory term I could think of for a formula feeding mum was a DFF – a Defensive Formula Feeder and I haven’t seen that in the press anywhere.
Now much as I like to take a ladder to get up on my high horse and view my moral highground I really wish the imbalance of names wasn’t true. It’s really truly awful being linked to the Holocaust, it’s unneccesary and it’s disrespectful to those that lived and died through it.
I wish that names were not called and we could just get on with it.
Media, listen up and stop being nasty little children, play nice.
1 point for each yes answer
- You only breastfeed to annoy other people
- You only breastfeed because it might make people feel guilty or bad
- You only breastfeed to embarrass people
- When you breastfeed you get as much flesh out as possible because you like showing off your body
- When you see a formula feeding mum you point and shout ‘witch, witch, burn them’
- When you see a formula feeding mum you shout at them and tell them they are abusing their child
- When you breastfeed you like to take all your clothes off and get as close to nature as possible to proove your earth mother credentials no matter where you are
- When you see a formula feeding mum you tell them they should be ashamed to call themselves a mother
- When you see a formula feeding mum you assume they cannot read
- You force your baby to breastfeed
- You breastfeed because you are trying to keep your toddler a baby longer
How many did you answer yes to? None? How many would the most millitant Lactivist answer yes to? None? Maybe we are just too busy getting on with our own lives to make our feeding choices about other people.
Maybe when we see a formula feeding mum who says she couldn’t breastfeed we think that the system has failed, not her and it’s a shame there is not more funding around to help them because 99% of mums can physically breastfeed.
Maybe when we see a mum who has chosen to formula feed we can understand that there are many reasons why people choose not to breastfeed, though we believe that some people assume that formula is as good for the baby as breastmilk and that is the fault of the heavy marketing campaigns the formula companies spend millions on.
A lot of the answers to the quiz above were taken from real insults and assumptions thrown at breastfeeding mums on Facebook. Lactivist was started in response to negative comments about breastfeeding, comments I would never feel ok about bouncing back to a formula feeding mum as I have in the not so funny quiz here.
I’m not the Breastapo, I’m merely fighting my corner against huge cultural criticism, lack of acceptance and assumptions about what I believe.
I don’t breastfeed to make anyone feel bad. Get over it.
I am writing to you as I am currently researching the effect that sexual images in magazines has on breast feeding.
I have a campaign called Child Eyes which aims to remove sexual images from children’s sight. During this work I have noticed that images such as The Sun page three are widely available and I wonder how this makes women feel.
Personally, I have a four month old daughter. I tried to breast feed but during the first two weeks we had constant visitors and I was constantly trying to hide my breasts. I stopped breast feeding at one month. I think that if attitudes were different in this country I may not have been so conscious.
As I am aware consciously and subconsciously that some men ogle breasts and this is acceptable. I wonder if there is a way of asking breast feeding mother’s what their view is on page three and other publications that are widely available. The kind of material that depicts women’s breasts as sexual objects. Could Lactivist help with this research at all.
Kind regards Kirsty Hopley
ChildEyes@ChildEyes1 on Twitter and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Child-Eyes/146813545474207
You can email Kirsty on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on the Lactivist Blog or Facebook page. Or tweet her.
Penkridge Breastfeeding Support Group meets every Thursday Morning
Penkridge Children’s Centre, Saxon Road, ST19 5EP.
Thursdays 9.30 – 11.30
like us on facebook, follow us on twitter
This group has been set up to give help and support to breastfeeding mothers and mothers-to-be in and around Penkridge.
The group is ran by peer supporters with support from the health visiting team and an NCT breastfeeding counsellor who is present most weeks.
A library is available, along with a cup of tea and a friendly face!
We are on facebook, too: Penkridge Breastfeeding Support.
These words “breastfeeding is so much more than just milk” are words I read on Jack Newman’s face book posting, straight away my thought was I couldn’t of said it better. Such simple words, there is more to breastfeeding than just milk and yet to me they are profound. Why because whenever I hear the word “more” it activates a sign post if you like to come to the presence we all share within ourselves our true nature, Love. It reminds me that there is another way to see this; yes of course breastfeeding provides milk for the child, to enable the infant to grow in terms of the physical body. So what is the more and is the more needed?
For me the more is like a doorway into another awareness, that there is something more in this instance than the survival needs of the body. Breastfeeding can be an opportunity to encounter and experience a well known saying of truth in the giving we receive. When a mother surrenders to the needs of her child in a way that takes her out of comfort zone in terms of daily and nightly routines, also sometimes her physiological and emotional patterns, a tenderness arises in her that she may not have fully recognised before. This willingness to see the needs of another as equal to her own needs can be the opening to the recognition of shared interests. When we are willing to look for joinings with others rather than differences we discover true shared interests are all of love. If we peel the layers off all our desires and needs be they bodily, emotional or spiritually, the bottom layer is always the same for everyone our yearning to know we are loved, loveable and capable of loving others.
In the action of breastfeeding the mother can allow love to unfold by recognising giving and receiving are one. That by the mother learning to offer her self through the breastfeeding, the needs of the child are fulfilled both in terms of hunger for the body’s nutritional needs and at the authentic level of our yearning for love. This fulfilment comes full circle in that by the mother offering love this begins to be recognised within her. How could she offer something she doesn’t already have within her, it is not possible? In the giving we receive, another way to say this could be to know love give love.
In my experience it is not easy to learn of love through anything other than direct experience. What I have found to be of assistance is to recognise what is not of love, and to let go of any of these thoughts through using the practice of forgiveness and then love reveals itself as having always been there. How does this relate to breastfeeding? For the breastfeeding mother to notice when it feels hard work, feels like sacrifice and feels hopeless. To stop for a moment, reassess why she is breastfeeding, to be as honest as she can be with her self. There is no right or wrong answer here, just a loving answer. If we do not want to breastfeed or it feels beyond our means in this moment how can it be love to force our selves? To suffer for another is one of the many myths of what love is. So may be the loving answer is sometimes, to let go of breastfeeding, to remember the more that is available with breastfeeding is also available with bottle feeding equally . Nothing about love is partial, love is whole and complete and includes everyone all of the time. So we can conclude that love is not just available to breastfeeding babies and mothers.
It sounds as though I am contraindicating myself after saying there is more to breastfeeding than just milk and then to suggest to let go of breastfeeding in some encounters. What I am saying is the more that is available to breastfeeding is not exclusive to breastfeeding. If it is, it is not love. So yes I am a committed fan of breastfeeding and overjoyed to assist women who desire to breastfeed and support the ethos of breastfeeding in our culture. This commitment is always as a means of expressing and extending love so this has to include mothers who do not breastfeed.
Yes there are going to be times when most breastfeeding mothers experience tiredness, overwhelm and sometimes symptoms of discomfort, often these come and go in the journey of breastfeeding. In these instances the mother may notice her commitment to breastfeeding stays strong and assistance arises in many different forms maybe a dear friend or practitioner, a cup of herbal tea or spending time doing something that makes her heart sing. In other words the mother comes back to herself after recognising her mistaken thoughts of difficulty. Or sometimes the mistaken thought grasps a tight hold and the returning to her self is more challenging. Again there is the opportunity to return home within her self.
The more is always the opportunity to return to love, the love for the child, the love for her self , Love. So yes our children have nutritional needs which if we listen to our hearts we will be shown how best to fulfil such needs, but let us not miss the true blessing of what our children bring to teach ourselves and our children that love is what is real. For me this what the sign post of more is directing me to what is true what is real what is natural what is Love.
Please nominate by commenting on the Lactivist Blog at www.lactivist.net/nominate-your-favorite-breastfeeding-friendly-business-for-a-lactivist-friendly-award/
This year I’m looking for nominations for your favorite breastfeeding friendly business, they can be online or in shop but they have to be a company you love!
When I have enough I’ll set up a voting system. I can’t accept nominations on Facebook or Twitter – there is a chance I’ll miss them.
Each month we will be putting the spotlight on one of the fantastic Lactivist.net sponsors.
The money they pay to advertise their breastfeeding friendly businesses on www.lactivist.net keep the site running and help us keep supporting breastfeeding mums. If you have a breastfeeding friendly business that would be of interest to Lactivist.net readers please check out the advertising rates and contact me if you are interested. Rates start from a mere £5 a month and reach thousands of breastfeeding mums through this site, the Lactivist Facebook Page and Twitter.
The featured sponsor for November 2012 is the Birthing Shirt Company
How to use a wheat bag to give comfort during pregnancy and after childbirth when breastfeeding.
Warmth brings a deep reassuring feeling to the body and provides a sensation that is also extremely therapeutic. A wheat bag can be used in pretty much the same way as a conventional water bottle is used. However with a wheat bag there is no need to heat up water and then fill it with the water. All one needs to do is put it in the microwave oven for a couple of minutes to heat it up and then it can simply be applied to the problem area on your body. And that is not where the therapeutic use of the bag ends. It can also be used for cold treatments as well as hot treatment. If you place a wheat bag in your freezer it is then ready to be used for cold therapy as well.
The “drug free” healing properties of a wheat bag for a mum-to-be on pains, aches, the after effects of labour and breastfeeding are outlined below.
For late pregnancy and labour…
- Use a wheat bag whilst pregnant and during labour as a warm compress to help alleviate backache, aching limbs and labour pains on the lower back.
For after-birth and breastfeeding…
- To ease the after-birth pains from a contracting uterus, pop a warmed wheat bag on your tummy.
- For blocked ducts and Mastitis apply a warmed wheat bag to the sore area of breast.
- Engorgement – If breasts are really sore, hard and feel too full, then putting something cool on the breasts after a feed helps reduce what feels like hot swelling. A cooled wheat bag from the freezer can give relief.
- A warmed wheat bag is also great for shoulder pain associated with breastfeeding.
For pain relief the wheat bag is both a natural and drug free answer. They are a flexible and very easy to use heat pack or chill pack that actually mould to any particular body part to give complete therapy to that area.
With all this in mind we at The Birthing Shirt Company decided to create a perfect sized wheat bag designed to be used during late pregnancy, labour and as relief & comfort to sore breasts.
Created in a rectangular shape of a pillow, our versatile and pliable wheat bag is handmade in the UK with a supersoft, removable organic cotton/hemp fleece cover and is filled with a cotton pouch of cleaned & graded whole organic British wheat grain. – £19.99
All wheat bags are sent out with heating, cooling and washing instructions and a freezer bag for cold applications.
For more information and to buy one of our wheat bags please visit
I got this email today but through the contact form on www.lactivist.net which didn’t show me the reply email address.
So I can reply I’ve cut and pasted it here. It was from G.
“With all due respect I cannot believe in the 21st century what a narrow minded view people seem to have regarding formula feeding and the effects that peer pressure regarding breast feeding has on new mums. Many mums, myself included, are well aware of the great benefits of breast feeding and I was lucky enough with my second child to be able to do such a wonderful thing however my first child was unable to breast feed due to a medical problem, and unfortunately I was unable to express enough milk to feed him therefore having to use formula, and despite having no choice I still was made to feel guilty.
Many babies are formula fed as their mothers have no other choice due to many varied reasons and to be honest without formula they would not be able to sustain life. I fully support breastfeeding where possible but when you have a tiny new born baby and your only interest is keeping them safe from harm, fed and well loved the last thing anyway needs is to be told that they are hurting their precious new bundle by doing the best they can under their circumstances.
Pressure from other mums, midwives and most of all the government is unfair and totally uncalled for, it really is easy to understand why their has been a substantial rise in the numbers of post natal depression in recent years. Quite frankly its about time people learn to back off and let new mothers make their own imformed choices without being made to feel as if they do not have their childs best interest at heart.”
This is what I would have emailed back if I had a return email address:
Firstly, in my limited experience of mothering (I’m the parent of one 9 year old) I think the whole process has guilt traps throughout. Whatever choices you make, informed or not there will be someone out there who thinks, strongly that you are doing the wrong thing. However, guilt is not something that anyone can make you feel, it is a feeling that we produce ourselves, an inward emotion that we heap upon ourselves far too often. There is a quick and interesting article about guilt and parenthood on the Psychology Today website that you might find interesting.
I fought hard to breastfeed, it wasn’t easy for me, it hurt, I was exhausted…….. I started Lactivist as a result of being criticised for breastfeeding my 4 month old, in a playgroup of all places. I also had health visitors suggesting topping up with formula (which I knew would mess up the breastfeeding relationship I worked so hard at). So I made my small son a tiny t-shirt with a pro breastfeeding slogan on it. The negative comments stopped and people started to ask me where I got the t-shirt from. Many people felt the same way that I did. We had all worked hard to do what we felt was best for our children, despite pressure to formula feed from peers, parents, health visitors, friends…..etc. We were all proud of our achievement despite the multitudes of people telling us we were doing the wrong thing.
If you see it from the Lactivist point of view, we have often felt pressure from other mums and midwives, and what about the enormous consumer pressure from companies who sell bottles and formula. The majority of us make our choices based on what we are familiar with, aisles of formula bottles are more often seen than public breastfeeding.
Infant formula is not as good as breastmilk, no one is trying to make you feel guilty by stating that fact. Infant formula is a substitute to keep babies alive when there is no way that they can breastfeed. The NCT gave a figure that less than 2% of mums and babies have a medical condition that prevents them from breastfeeding. Many mothers who didn’t breastfeed believe that they couldn’t but with support and help it is highly possible that they could. Unfortunatly the funding for that sort of support needed is just not there in many cases, and the last resort formula is seen as the only option.
I think we all have to do our best, and learn to deal with our guilty feelings the best we can. Lactivist.net has helped thousands of people over the years by giving them a place where they don’t feel like weirdos for breastfeeding. Before I die I would dearly love to see a world where places like Lactivist don’t need to exist, where we all tolerate each others decisions, where choices are properly informed (not just by product placement) and where support is in place to give babies what they were designed to have.