In her 42-year career, Midwife Cath has delivered over 10,000 including the children of Tiffany Hall and Bec Judd.
Despite this, she still gets criticisms over the techniques she chooses to teach new parents, and in this case it’s related to feeding babies to send them to sleep, and occasionally using formula when the baby is unable to be breastfed.
Posting a photo quote on Instagram, she explained that a fellow midwife critiqued her “appalling” use of bottle feeding.
Cath responded in an Instagram caption: “This is the bullsh*t that I’m sent by faceless people.
“My crime – I encourage new mums to be happy and enjoy their new babies, to feel proud to be a mum , to feed their babies a bottle of formula if they are hungry and I encourage their partners to be involved in the bath time routine.”
There’s a contentious debate over whether babies should solely be breastfed, whether the can be supplemented or wholly formula-fed.
While the majority of paediatricians do advise breastfeeding, there are many reasons why a woman might not be able or willing to.
A lot of mums will also choose to ‘feed their babies to sleep,’ which can help settle restless babies – but this can also be a contentious issue for new mums and midwives.
However, for Midwife Cath she says that it’s a balance between breastfeeding long term, but making concessions for the baby and mum’s well being too.
In her caption she writes, “I encourage new mums to be happy and enjoy their new babies, to feel proud to be a mum, to feed their babies a bottle of formula if they are hungry.”
“Often by about 8-10 weeks lots of my babies sleep a decent stretch over night. You would think I was giving bad advice like starve your child.”
Holly Wainwright and Christie Hayes are joined by a gaggle of specialists to deep dive on the ongoing battle of breast vs. boob all new mums face. Post continues after audio.
Midwife Cath also touched on the pressures new mums face trying to get their baby to sleep.
“Do you know how anxious and depressed women get if their baby does not sleep?” she said.
“I want new mums to feel good about themselves. My mums breast feed long term, their babies may have a bottle of formula, the babies sleep, they are happy mums and their partners are happy too and involved in the care of their child.
“They are happy families. You don’t know me. You have never met me. Read my book before you throw stones at me.”
For more parenting goodness, listen to This Glorious Mess – our podcast for imperfect parents. This week Holly and Andrew talk to an expert on what to do if your child is choking, and what’s a parent to do if Grandma is giving them too many Tim Tams? Get it in your ears.
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