May 09

A Breastfeeding Remuera Mum

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If you haven’t read this disgusting article that was recently published at written by Shelley Bridgeman titled ‘Not all families are equal’ then I encourage you to do so.

I read it this morning, forwarded it to Ivan this afternoon, and this evening we spent a good 30 minutes ranting to each other about how disgusting this article is.

As a first time mum I am fully aware that I am no expert on anything related to babies in general. I am extremely grateful for my breasts and I am extremely grateful that I am able to easily breastfeed Mika and give her the absolute best start to life. I do what I can to make informed decisions about what is best for our baby and there really is no question that breastfeeding is the best option if possible.

In the aforementioned article, Shelly Bridgeman suggests that breastfeeding is a ‘godsend for women in developing countries’ but that for ‘well off’ women, ‘once the risks and costs of surgery are factored in (to fix the smaller/saggier boobs), bottle feeding would seem a no-brainer.’

We carry our babies for 9 months and our bodies change and adapt in ways that we couldn’t possibly have imagined. We then give birth (vaginally, hopefully and if all things go well) and we release Oxytocin – the love hormone – that is essential for bonding. (My friend Tash actually talked about it today too). Breastfeeding is the last absolute physical connection that we have with our baby. Breastfeeding also releases Oxytocin and helps with a myriad of things such as greater immune health and fewer infections for baby, protection from SIDS (or SUDI), weight-loss for mum and bonding between mum & baby.

Mika needs me. And I am able to provide her with everything she needs. The absolute essential list of baby stuff you need is actually just ‘boobs + diapers’.

I can’t think of anything more beautiful than giving life and I see breastfeeding as a continuation of this process. It makes me a little sad to think that someone who could potentially breastfeed without any troubles would choose to feed their baby formula for fear of developing saggy boobs (which breastfeeding is really not wholly responsible for anyway) or for perhaps fear of seeming unable to afford formula (?). Why would one choose to have children in the first place if one were so self-centered and vain?

Being a mum is tricky business and there is so much conflicting information out there. Opinion pieces like this make me mad because it is clearly not backed up by any scientific evidence (quote ‘reliable anecdotal evidence’) and it could potentially change a mother’s opinion on breastfeeding to the detriment of her child. Thankfully Viv Gurrey, chief executive of Parents Centres New Zealand responded with this article on the importance of breastfeeding.

So I’m a mum who currently lives in Remuera/Epsom and I exclusively breastfeed my baby because I can.