Weeks that specifically exclude a group of people; people who I guarantee are trying to be the best mother they can be; are divisive at best, discriminatory at worse. We know that there is a huge drive to promote breastfeeding, millions of pounds are being spent on these campaigns. Currently the message these campaigns bombard us with are the pros of breastmilk and cons of formula milk. This fuels stigma towards bottle-feeding in society. Millions of women worldwide start their journey into motherhood with every intention of exclusively breastfeeding. So if the latch never materialises or the milk dries up or the pain is too intense or they experience one of the hundred and one other reasons breastfeeding doesn’t work out – including lack of guidance and support – imagine the feelings of failure and guilt mothers feel after hearing months of health professionals chanting ‘breast is best’. (you can read more about my thoughts on this awful phrase here)
So I propose we rename this week ‘World Infant Feeding Week’ and ensure we educate parents on the notion that ‘Fed is Best’. It would provide information on all types of feeding, celebrating the trials and tribulations all mothers and fathers endure when nourishing their baby. It wouldn’t undermine any form of feeding. It would celebrate breast, formula, combination; via boob, bottle or tube… any method people rely on to keep their baby fed and themselves physically and emotionally healthy. It wouldn’t be competitive or discriminatory. It would be inclusive and empowering for all every single parent.