National Breastfeeding Week

We’re part way through National Breastfeeding Week apparently. Obviously as a man I don’t lactate so was unable to take part in this process with any of our three children.

I see plenty of uplifting support offered over twitter from seasoned BF’ers to new mums, and I think it’s great the support on offer.

As a bloke, I obviously want to stick my oar in because that’s what I do. And I do want to say don’t feel bullied or pressured into PND or endless floods of tears by people emotionally blackmailing you into breastfeeding.

I’m not tarring the whole pro breastfeeding movement with the same brush obviously, but we’ve been on the end of it first hand, and I know of others who have too. For the vast majority of people, they’ll get nothing but sympathy with problems and support but if you get a rogue “expert”, you could in for a lot of problems, and that’s before you feel the real or imagined disapproval from other mums.

 It doesn’t make you a rubbish mum, a terrible person or anything else if you can’t manage it. Your baby would much rather have a happy mum looking after them than a wretched sobbing wreck who is in tears 24/7.

Science says it’s better and I don’t argue with science but try to look at the holistic view, you, your baby and your family. If it’s agony all the time, and a perfect latch on still feels like someone’s cutting you with broken glass, I personally don’t think it’s worth it.

Personally lay the blame at some of the more enthusiastic NCT breastfeeding experts. The one we had for our first born was particularly unpleasant. She gleefully told her class of expectant first time mums that they should prepare to demand feed every 40 minutes to 2 hours, 24/7. When someone paled slightly and asked when she was supposed to sleep, the sharp retort was, “well you should have thought of that before you got pregnant.” How wonderfully caring. Needless to say many complained but the quiet creeping terror had already been allowed in.

Giving up breastfeeding isn’t a decision to be taken lightly but if, for whatever reason it’s not working for you and you can’t remedy the problems, give it up after speaking to your GP. They’re often far more pragmatic about the whole picture of you, your family and everything. You only get those first months with your new baby once, and you should treasure them.