I may upset my husband with this post. He is Tom Brady’s biggest supporter and by insulting his wife, I am thereby directly hurting his Tom. But, sorry sweetie – this must be done.
Giselle, you’re beautiful. We get it. We know you do you Yoga, we know you eat right and we know you bounce ever-so-quickly back from your tiny basketball pregnancies. But, I’m sorry you cannot pontificate to me or anyone else about breastfeeding. I’ve been fighting this battle for years.
In Harper’s Bazaar UK Mrs. Brady was quoted as saying, “there should be a worldwide law…that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months,” Um, excuse me but who do you think you are?
I have four children. I breastfed my last two exclusively. Number 1 was a Cesarean last-minute delivery and it damn near killed me to breastfeed him. I remember when he was four months old we went to an eye-opening playgroup together.
(Why four month olds need a playgroup I am still unsure. But, I digress…)
I was living in Boston at the time, in a neighborhood full of women giving birth amidst dissertation papers or med students in their rotation stages and I already felt inadequate as a young, new mom. Add to the fact that as we sat in a semi-circle with our babies on the floor in front of us, experiencing the all important ‘tummy time’, I was to listen to the following:
“I can’t believe a woman wouldn’t breastfeed their baby. It’s just unnatural not to”
“I heard that if you bottle feed your baby isn’t as intelligent and they are sick much more often due to the inadequate immunities from Mommy”
“Breast is best. You know it!”
I tried to hide my son’s snot-filled nose. It was his first cold in his young life. Perhaps it was my fault as I didn’t fill him with beautiful breast nutrition and immunities. I went home and cried. No more play groups for us!
I asked my doctor at our six-month visit if what those women said was true. He assured me that Breast is Best isn’t for everyone and as long as my son was gaining weight he’d be just fine. There was no conclusive evidence that breastfed babies were smarter, either.
When number 2 came along, so did the breastfeeding guilt. I tried again. Perhaps if I just stayed with it longer I could do this! Through 3 breast infections I fought the pain and breastfed my daughter until she was 10 months old. Then, I pulled out the ole baby book and did some data comparison. My daughter had 4 colds in her first year of life. My son, just the one. My daughter was colicy. My son slept like a rock. Hmm…
When number 3 came around, I was an old hat at breastfeeding. I mastered it to the Nth degree. I was even quoted at some point explaining the amazing feeling I felt while doing it. Number 4 was of course, exclusively breastfed until 14 months – my longest stretch and I was proud of it.
Yes, I got the point of the whole big shebang. I actually loved it. But, I was not going to be a swinger to the other side. I refuse to ever judge how another woman feeds her child. I refuse to make another woman feel guilt, regret or inadequacy because breastfeeding wasn’t for her. The point is to offer our children nutrition and formula does a fine job at doing that. Plus, babies sleep longer (breastmilk digests faster) and gain weight eaiser.
So, no, Mrs. Brady – you cannot tell me or another mother how to treat their baby best. We do not have hair stylists and makeup artists, cooks, laundress or even overnight nannies to make life simpler. We just do the best we can and how we choose to. Who the heck are you to judge?