The debate of is breast really best looks set to continue after this weeks report came out to say that the rates of breastfeeding in Britain are the lowest in the world.
Only one in 200 children are breastfed up to 12 months old which equated to just 0.5%. The study apparently said that child obesity, diabetes and infections can be significantly reduced if more mothers could be persuaded to breast feed.
It also helps new mums regain their pre pregnancy figures and helps reduce the risk of breast cancer.
The team estimates that 800,000 children’s lives could be saved each year from breast feeding. But the most important thing about this figure that the headlines fail to mention clearly and in context is that it isn’t broken down to each country; it is 800,000 children in the world.
Our NHS recommend that children are exclusively breastfed up to 6 months old before introducing foods. Even if you do it for a few weeks it’s still better than nothing at all.
I watched the discussion on Good Morning Britain this week and then heard on the radio about the prevention of deaths by breast feeding. It sounded like the media had really stooped to a new low.
What gives anyone the right to guilt trip a new mum in to breastfeeding by stating these figures? They are not black and white and obviously sound a lot worse than what they are for the mums in the UK. 800,000 lives is obviously awful…but how many of those are from the UK?
I had an awful time breast feeding which is why I feel really passionate about new mums not being guilt tripped in to breast feeding if they really do not want to.
Don’t get me wrong. If it is a lazy thing that the mum cannot be bothered to do it then yes, I get the frustration from health visitors and midwifes.
In my case, I could breastfeed and did it for about 5 weeks but I didn’t like it and it wasn’t right for little man and I. He was so hungry that it just wasn’t filling him up. I was up all night constantly feeding him, and I just felt like a milk cow.
I absolutely hated it. I discussed my concerns with the health visitor, who then got a breast feeding specialist to come and see me to talk further about my doubts and concerns. The conclusion was – keep doing it and it will get easier. Job done.
It may have got easier. It may have got worse. Yes I stuck it out for 5 awful weeks, but then once I finally listened to myself and turned to formula, it changed my life for the better. It also finally made little man sleep, which meant that I finally started sleeping again.
Why? Because he was full for once. Just by changing to formula, it helped him settle at night and from that first day we started using bottles, he woke up twice for a feed. It wasn’t a constant drip feed throughout the night.
I finally saw the light at the end of a very long new born baby tunnel.
So the lesson to learn is this – please do not make yourself feel guilty for not wanting to or not liking breast feeding. Bottom line is that mum knows best. A happy mummy means a happy baby.
I was not a happy mummy by any stretch of imagination. But the moment I listened to myself and not someone advising that I should keep going regardless, it all became a whole lot easier.
So remember, do what you want to do and not what someone else wants you to do. As long as you feed your baby, and love and nurture them, then you will both be just fine.
Busy Working Mummy XOXO