Saturday 19 January 2013

Breast feeding

Lets get this straight, it's very easy to mis read a tweet, it's also very easy to assume the writers intention and meaning of a tweet.

Today I've been reading lots of posts about 'why I have the right to breast feed?' they've been all over twitter and facebook.

I've read a few, but the whole topic is neither here nor there to me because my children are teenagers. I have 3. 1st was bottle fed, 2nd a mix of both and 3rd breastfed till he was 6 months old.

I didn't breast feed in public because I didn't fancy sitting in the toilets to do so. I didn't breast feed in the cafe or any other public place becasue I didn't feel comfortable, NOT because anyone made me feel uncomfortable. I also didn't breast feed in my own home in front of parents and grand parents a) because the men folk are of old school and rightly or wrongly it made them feel uncomfortable b) there was pressure on me to ensure that they'd had enough.

I asked today on twitter

'Suzanne J S ‏@chickenruby

What are all these pro active breast feeding posts?????? What are they 'in response' to? Really have to search hard to find negative comments'

Because I don't see tweets or status updates on facebook from people who say Breast feeding isn't natural, or it should be done discretely, but then I am selective about who I follow and having teenagers I don't tend to follow too many people with babies anyway.

But it appears my comments upset a few, for which I apologise for their inability to read a tweet and/or ask me to elaborate. I made a mistake as I did add:

'I always see these breast feeding tweets, blogs etc and often think they're unnecessary'

but in my defenence it was in reply to the person who told me about an Australian on TV who said that Breast feeding in public was OK as long as it was done discretely.

What followed was not an onslaught of my twitter account but a couple of responses and then a blog about people being judgemental about individuals rights. I can't see where I was judgemental, I agree online support is great for those who need it, but I also think and feel sorry for people who want to and can't breast feed for whatever reasons, yet are exposed to 'breast is best' slogans and I know when I chose to bottle feed my first son, I was made to feel as if I wasn't going to be a good mum and was actually told by people who were 'well meaning', inc the midwife, that bonding for me would be difficult.

Fortunatly this was 21 years ago this May and I'm pleased to say my son and I have a fantastic relationship even if he does live 6000 miles away.

My 2nd child I didn't feel I had the choice, he is 18 on Wednesday. I was constantly asked by the midwife, friends, family etc what my feeding plans were right from the minute I announced my pregnancy. I didn't enjoy breast feeding, I saw it as something I HAD to do and I had mastitis and gave up.

With my 3rd child, 14 in April, there were no 'feeding questions' no insensitive midwives, everyone sort of left me alone as they assumed I knew what I was doing and by leaving me alone I breast fed, quietly, still in my living room or bedroom as I planned trips out around feeding times, the other kids were in school, there was no stress, I was older and I enjoyed it.

I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere.


  1. I can't help but think that your 'feeling uncomfortable' is because of the way society treats breastfeeding! because you probably don't feel uncomfortable eating in public,or drinking in public, or breathing in public as they are all seen as normal.

    When i breastfed (anywhere, everywhere, often in public) i never got any negative comments. Maybe i was lucky, maybe i was scary! LOL

    But i see lots of negativity on twitter (usually teens that are idiots anyway and just think they know it all, when in reality they just know all the lyrics to Justin Bieber's Baby Baby,) and on facebook, and often even in the news. And there is no need for it.

    Personally i wish we could all just get over any form of non-sexual public nudity.

    "Some people have breasts - get over it" would be a good motto, like the Stonewall campaign for accepting gayness!!

    (oh and re drunken tweet - i do still love you)

    1. I don't feel comfortable getting changed in public changing rooms, or going for a gyno appointment or even a mamogram. But that's me and how I am not becasue other people stare but because I just like my privacy.

      I love you too and I'm not even drunk.