Even though I’m not Canadian, I felt that I had to say something. The breastfeeding page is titled,Make an informed decision about feeding your baby, and is so unsupportive and misleading I don’t even know where to begin.
At first it lists all the benefits of breastfeeding -- helps prevent constipation, helps prevent illness and diabetes, MAY increase protection from SIDS, etc, etc, -- this is all stuff we’ve heard before.
Now. All these benefits are fabulous. I breastfed my first two kids for over a year with no problem. So I get it. Breastfeeding is amazing. (Although I had a horrible time nursing my third baby -- see my posts here and here.)
But then there’s this listed on the website called the Risks of Formula Feeding:
Babies are at increased risk of:
- Ear, chest and urinary tract infections
- Inflammation of the stomach and intestines
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS)
- Tooth decay
- Some childhood cancers
Mothers are at increased risk of:
- Postpartum bleeding
- Cancer of breast, ovaries and uterus
- Brittle bones
- Formula does not change to meet baby’s growing needs
- Less convenient as extra time needed for sterilizing equipment and preparing formula
- Potential for mistakes to be made during formula preparation
- Potential for contamination during manufacturing and processing
Annnnd… it basically ends with that. You are left hanging and feeling like shit if you can’t breastfeed. You are left feeling like shit when you’ve already struggling with bleeding nipples, mastitis, sleepless nights, and postpartum depression. Never mind if you’ve had a double mastectomy or low milk supply (and yes, low milk supply DOES happen).
So you’re basically left with this idea:
You need to breastfeed your baby otherwise you’re a shitty mother. Mmmkay, ladies of Ottawa?
It is yet another battle that women have to fight to prove that they’re “good enough” -- that they’re “worthy” of being mothers. It’s another battle that is thrown upon us to make us feel guilty -- and even worse -- judge other women. It leads to the epidemic of women bringing each other down (the mommy wars) which in turn prevents us from moving forward as strong, confident women.
And to further add -- breastfeeding is a choice, but it doesn’t feel that way. With all the social pressures to breastfeed, it sure feels that we can’t make our own decision to breastfeed without feeling a heaping load of guilt. On top of that, if you DO decide to breastfeed, then you’re told by society that your boobs are gross and you must breastfeed in a bathroom stall.
Either way, women can’t win.
So there you have it. Ottawa wants to make you feel like a bad mother for not breastfeeding.
There’s nothing like being a woman!
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