I originally wrote this post for Meet other Mums, you can see it here.
I’m a breastfeeder.
I’ve also been a bottle feeder.
I could tell you the pro’s and con’s of both, but I won’t today if that’s okay with you.
In recent weeks the breast v bottle debate has reared its head once again and why, I just don’t know.
When Jamie Oliver spoke out about breastfeeding I wholeheartedly believe he did it with not an ounce of malice. After all, he stated the facts. Whether we want to listen or not, every word he spoke was truth.
The most outrageous comment he made was referring to breastfeeding as ‘easy’.
Wasn’t that one taken out of context faster than you can say ‘cracked nipples’???
The speech undoubtedly opened a can of worms and since then opinions on the ‘debate’ are everywhere.
Breastfeeding in the media and on social media has been put under the microscope with many women reporting to be made to feel guilty for not breastfeeding when they see celebrities and individuals making it look so EASY with their breastfeeding selfies.
I could keep my thoughts to myself no longer, so here they are.
I love a ‘Brelfie’. I spend a lot of my time breastfeeding so being the Instagram enthusiast I am its unavoidable I will post some pictures of my baby feeding.
When I do this I’m not aiming to make anyone feel guilty or bad that they don’t breastfeed. I just happen to breastfeed this child. Simple as that.
Making it look easy, with these carefully chosen and edited snapshots, is testament to the fugazi that is social media.
I don’t have any pictures of myself crying hot tears whilst gritting my teeth and trying to latch a newborn baby on to bleeding, sore nipples.
I don’t take pictures of myself at 3AM when I have been up 5 times already and am bone tired lying underneath a 1 year old who is suckling at an empty boob.
Snapping a candid one is the furthest thing from my mind when my baby sinks his razor sharp teeth into my nipple.
No one thought to take a picture of me making futile attempts to hand express enough milk to be fed to my baby through the tube in her nose.
I never got a shot of the terrified and tearful woman-child that accepted the hospital’s ready made bottles with a grateful heart.
I didn’t have the free hands to use the camera when I balanced a bottle into each of my twins mouths in dimmed light night after night.
It’s not easy for millions of women.
The ones that carry on through tears and pain, the ones that decide this time enough is enough and wean their baby onto formula.
The women that spend their nights with a baby that won’t be comforted by anything but a boob and the women who stand bleary eyed in the kitchen measuring scoops of powder and waiting for the kettle to boil while the world sleeps.
I capture the peaceful feeds that are often my only quiet 5 minutes in a day, just as I capture the smiles on my children’s faces rather than the tantrums, just as I capture the days I have my hair done and make up in place rather than the ones I scrape my greasy hair into a bun and try to hide the spots on my chin.
The Mothers you see on social media with their hair glossy, make up on, surrounded by clean, tidy children aren’t finding it easy. They took a good picture and that’s the one they want you to see.
When I take a breastfeeding selfie it doesn’t mean I have had it easy.
I took a good picture and it’s the one I want you to see.
It’s the one I want to remember.