I’m sticking up for new mums everywhere.
Before you go any further, I’m not a mum.
The closest thing I’ve come to breastfeeding is giving my older sister a “night off” and bottle feeding my niece at 2am.
But today, my tolerance on a particular parenting topic reached its limits. Yes, it’s true, even a non-mum can get mummy outrage.
Today, I dropped statements like, “that is an abuse of basic human rights” and “ah…that’s assault”. I also dropped a couple F, S and B bombs.
It started out innocently enough. My colleague pointed me to yet another instance of a new mum putting pressure on herself to breastfeed reported by The Courier Mail. This mum attempted to breastfeed her newborn for four months. FOUR MONTHS. It got so bad that she developed Post Natal Depression because of the amount of stress to breastfeed and it not working.
Her husband told The Courier Mail, “The pressure she put on herself to feed and the pressure everyone else put on her — the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA), staff at the hospital, other mothers — it just exacerbated her PND.”
So, I went to the people I always go to with my parenting questions. The mums of the office.
“I don’t get it,” I vented. “What’s the deal with breastfeeding? Explain this mysterious mystery to me. Yes, I know breast is best, but if you TRY to breastfeed and it doesn’t work for whatever reason, why NOT go to the back up plan of the bottle? Why put yourself under agony and distress? If you can’t breastfeed, isn’t it just out of your control? Isn’t it just your boobs or something not quite working?”