I thought I heard it all…but, sadly, I hadn’t.
Breastfeeding. A perfectly wonderful natural experience for new mums has, unfortunately, become a tool to pressure new mums (and shame them if they can’t breastfeed).
While I completely support breastfeeding (just like Alyssa Milano in this awesome photo which you can read about here). I don’t support the thick layer of pressure that is put on vulnerable new mums to do it…or else risk the health of their children.
I mean, com'on. No mum would voluntarily put their newborn baby at risk. But unfortunately, scientists keep coming out with studies showing the enormous and many, many benefits of breastfeeding.
I'm sure there are benefits. I don't dispute the serious ones.
But today, I dispute the latest study. Why would people even pay scientists to spend their time researching this, is beyond me.
The University of Basque Country has found that breastfeeding children for at least four months protects them against air pollution.
Insert eye roll.
They studied 638 women and their newborns in Goierri-alto and Medio Urola valleys (two areas with 11 steel factories and a major highway) in Basque Country, Spain, according to the Daily Mail.
Dr Aitana Lertxundi said, "In the foetal phase, the central nervous system is being formed and lacks sufficient detoxification mechanisms to eliminate the toxins that build up."
They found that the babies who were breastfed didn't suffer the harmful effects of such high pollution.
However, before you start freaking out because you can't breastfeed your newborn don't stress. The area they researched has far higher pollution levels and toxins than our urban cities where the main source of pollution comes from traffic.
But still, studies like this with headlines like the following, only add the pressure to new mums.
"Another reason why doctors say breast is best: Study shows breastfeeding protects babies from air pollution." - Daily Mail
"Babies Who Are Breast-Fed Are Better Protected Against Pollution, Study Finds" - Time
"Breastfeeding’ helps shield babies from pollution." - The Financial Express
"Mother's milk shields infants from pollution." - Red Orbit
This study is so similar to a post we recently wrote on another study showing the working mums are better role models for their daughters and how it makes stay-at-home mums feel like failures (click here to read it).
I'm due to give birth in four months and to be truthful, I'm tired of seeing studies like these. Yes, I want to know what the pros and cons are for any decision I make for my future baby. No, I don't want to feel pressured into my choice.
Watch the video for some tips on breastfeeding. Post continues after the video.
If I can breastfeed, great. If I can't, thanks to smart scientists who've spent their time researching something useful, I have alternatives. Sure, it might not be as good as breastfeeding. But I am not causing intentional harm to my baby by choosing the alternative. And anything that suggests something like that, I call bullshit.
What did you feel most pressured about when it came to being a mum?
SCROLL THROUGH the gallery for photos of celebrities breastfeeding...