Have you seen those tree of life pictures doing the rounds on social media? They are basically arty pictures of babies with a boob in their mouth. Others are a Tate Modern mix of breast and bottle. The idea behind them started off to normalise breastfeeding yaddah yaddah yaddah. At least I think so. I imagine the original concept behind it has been completely lost in the online furore that has followed.
I don’t really have a problem with the picture itself – if you want to immortalise your child in contemporary art then so be it. I actually don’t care.
What I am not ok with is the breast v bottle bandwagon that has since been resurrected and jumped all over. Debates are once again raging left, right and centre on social media about how breastfeeding is amazing (true), how bottle feeding mums are being made to feel bad (also true) and everything in between. I can only imagine how excited the Mumsnet forums are getting.
But the one and only question that has come into my head and made me jump up onto my own soap box (like I need an excuse) is:
WHY are we still talking about this??? Seriously.
Feeding your baby is mandatory. Read up on the research and then do it in whichever way you see fit. Do it in private. Do it with your boobs out in public. Do it upside down for all I care. Support your family members and friends in their own decision but for the love of God can we please STOP talking about it all over social media?!
I’m not even going to share with you on here the many ways in which I’ve fed my children (chicken nuggets count right?!) and the choices that led me to those decisions. My kids are quite obviously alive, well and fed in one way or other. If they weren’t then social service would have intervened by now.
I’m a big advocate for the “fed is best” mantra you will no doubt have heard. I’m also a big fan of the “this is boring” mantra I’m about to start.
Feeding your baby bonds you with them and can undoubtedly make up some of the loveliest moments of that first year or so of your baby’s life. But it’s your moment and it doesn’t need to be shared with the world or justified or celebrated.
How you feed your baby is such a non-conversation these days and just another excuse for women to drag each other down and make parenting a big fat competition.
There are actual issues going on in the world. Trump being President (I still haven’t gotten over this debacle), Nutella being made using child labour, thousands of children being homeless right under our own noses here in the UK and of course the fact that Toblerone has conned us all this Christmas (I feel so used). Whether you whip out your boob or you mix up some formula is not a real life issue. Just make a choice and get on with it.
So just feed your kids. Love them. Cuddle them. Keep them alive. But please stop harping on about the rights and wrongs of it and move on people. Because it’s really getting on my tits.