I did a tree of life picture! It’s beautiful! All those colours! But it’s also symbolic… in the same way pregnancy is a journey, breastfeeding is too. From the early days, to where I am now…. in my second year with Nerg and finding it a love/hate relationship. The option to quit is always there…but it’s one I haven’t taken. Sometimes it’s a daily choice, other times I have to remind myself hourly why I’m doing this. That’s what sets it apart from formula feeding.
Say what you will, but breastfeeding (and expressing) is a choice of sacrifice. I sacrifice my body, my sleep, my food and drink choice… valuable hours in those early days when you just need to rest…. Instead of putting your body through the fourth trimester…. I have done this for my three children over more than a decade …. it’s not a slight on my formula feeding friends: it’s a whole different ball game! and, jumping on our hashtag with your feeding choice IS a direct slight to breastfeeders everywhere.
How can you possibly know the implications and the meaning of #treeoflife when you’re on a different road? I can only compare it to mysoginist men who complain on national woman’s day….
‘It doesn’t matter how you feed your child as long as they’re fed’. I hear this all the time but what people miss, is that breastfeeding is not solely about food… at least not past the six month mark, so stop comparing it.
If I and other women want to celebrate something don’t jump on it bottle feeders please. You don’t hear firefighters complaining on national teachers day…. so stop making our choices about you and yours.
There’s a beautiful picture of a boy bottle feeding his little brother under this hashtag and I agree it’s so cute but he’s not sacrificing anymore than his time and the click of a camera. Get a different hashtag for this #siblinglove?
I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. The journey to nurse a toddler is nothing like your journey to feed yours…. you’re on your own road. I don’t celebrate that I give my children dinner every night…. what part of bottle feeding goes beyond nutrition? What part of bottle feeding means that you and solely you as a mother is responsible for your child’s wellbeing and comfort? What part of bottle feeding adjusts to your babies needs when they’re poorly? What part of bottle feeding stops your period for a year so you can conserve enough energy to sustain life beyond the womb? I’ve not been able to take the medication I need to treat my acne, I’ve not been away from my children since they were born…. I’m not a martyr, these are all my choices, but I want to celebrate this choice!
Can we stop pretending that breast and bottle are the same please?! They’re not! As a bottle feeder, you have your own trials…. (tell me about them, I’d love to learn more… getting up at 6am constantly sterilising bottles, making sure you have water etc) celebrate them and share your own hashtag… be proud of your choice as I am of mine….. but the #treeoflife is symbolic of how a mother’s body nourishes, comforts and sustains our children…. bottle feeding is not that!
I have no beef with how you feed your baby… but I don’t like my achievement and choice to be compared to formula… not because formula is evil or I’m some breast feeding nazi…. just because doing so undermines the journey I have taken as an extended breastfeeding mum far more than it undermines your choice not to!