Breast v Bottle

The Herald reports:

A mother who bottle-feeds her son says she has been repeatedly harassed by other mothers in public – and is now embarrassed to go to the supermarket for his formula.

Kate Rhodes, 24, of Manukau, says she has been told off, harassed and accused of being a bad mother while bottle-feeding her 6-month-old son, Dylan.

“It’s ridiculous how much grief people get just for having a bottle. Two weeks ago I was at the mall in the food court and my son started to cry.

“I gave him a bottle and a lady came up to me and said it’s a really bad look and it’s not a good way to represent New Zealand parents.

“I was just like, ‘are you serious?’. I told her to eff off.”

Well done Kate Rhodes.

My views on this issue are probably about as valid as on home birthing, but Eleanor Black at Pundit has summed it up very well:

Good grief. Piri Weepu is shown bottle-feeding his six-month-old daughter Taylor on an anti-smoking ad, and somehow this image of nurturing and positive fathering is construed as an attack on breastfeeding. As my nearly-three-year-old would say, “What?!”

Black sumarises how the anti-smoking ad was altered after complaints to remove the two seconds of Weepu bottle-feeding his daughter, and then notes:

First the obvious problems with the argument that this two seconds of bottle-feeding is an attack on breastfeeding. How do we know by simply looking at the image that Weepu is not giving his baby expressed mother’s milk? How do we know that his partner — like many women — didn’t try very hard to make breastfeeding work but found she couldn’t? Why would anyone see the image of a father helping with the baby care, feeding his child and nurturing her, and not think, “How lovely” instead of “How outrageous”?

98% of people did think how lovely.

And why do we parents have to put up with another scolding from well-meaning bossyboots in the health sector? Come on — give us some credit for being able to distinguish between something we see on TV and the practices we choose to employ in our own homes, for being able to assess the available information and make an informed decision that works for us and our families. We are not imbeciles, despite what you all seem to think. This coddling gets tiresome.

Absolutely.

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