It’s National Breastfeeding Awareness Week !

June 24, 2010

This week is National Breastfeeding Awareness Week ! And as so many of you have been so interested in reading about my personal experiences so far why don’t I throw in the stuff which happened to me on the breastfeeding front ?

But before I do this let me make one thing clear: I support breastfeeding and I do breastfeed my son – thanks to the wonderful Haringey Breastfeeding Co-ordinator and my brilliant Breastfeeding Support Group at Rowland Hill Childrens’ Centre.

BUT: Whatever I am about to write about breastfeeding does not in any way, shape or form imply a negative judgement on bottle feeding. If you think I have written something which implies a negative attitude to bottle feeding: THINK AGAIN ! And then read this:

I have no negative attitude to bottle feeding for the following reasons:

1. When I was a baby I was entirely bottle-fed. It was the Seventies, my mum put me to the breast I didn’t seem to drink much so the midwives gave her a bottle – that was the end of any breastfeeding attempts. No breastfeeding co-ordinators, specialist midwives, support groups anywhere…so bottles it was and – here comes the cliché: “It hasn’t done me any harm!”

2. Quite a few of my friends bottle feed their babies. They are brilliant parents and their babies are clearly happy and healthy.

3. My son gets the odd bottle of formula milk  from his dad at night while I sleep. Nothing could be better !

4. I bottle fed my son for the first ten days and would have very nearly ended up bottle feeding him entirely if it wouldn’t have been for the above-mentioned brilliant advice at the Breastfeeding Support Group.

I hope this disclaimer is detailed enough. For those of you who think it’s a bit mad that I feel I have to cover my back before narrating my experiences about breastfeeding:  Trust me – I am not mad. What is mad however are some of the breast vs bottle discussions on mumsnet. Do check them out if you don’t believe me !

But we can debate as much as we like the official advice is clear: The Department of Health recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for two years and beyond. Fact – not judgement.

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