• Overall, only 35 per cent of UK babies are being exclusively breastfed at one week, 21 per cent at six weeks, 7 per cent at four months and 3 per cent at five months. [Source]
This week I’ve seen my health visitor and GP. Both times breastfeeding has of course come up for different reasons. And as usual their ever supportiveness *sarcasm* shone through. My health visitor told me, well you’ve done your six months when are you going to wean? My response was that I will let him wean when he is ready to and if that is when he is 3 so be it! Her response, what if he never weans? Seriously why the negativity? My GP today as well, you don’t need to carry it on now if you don’t want to you’ve done the main bit.
Now surely these professionals should be supporting my decision to breastfeed? Not trying to convince me that we’ve passed the six month mark so time is up! Two words, sod. Off.
But heres the thing I know this isn’t localised to just these two professionals, you hear about it all the time, other women who haven’t had the support. These are the professionals we turn to when we need advice etc on how to carry on our feeding relationship etc so they should be supporting us not telling us its ok to give it up, it is ok to give it up, when your ready to! Not because they say its ok! Thus its no wonder breastfeeding rates are so low really isn’t it.
I had my hair done this week by a new hairdresser and we were chatting, aside from her ‘I think breastfeeding after 6 months is a bit weird’ comment, she had breastfed herself, we had quite an interesting chat. She had felt during her feeding relationship that she wasn’t comfortable feeding in public, she frequently sought out feeding rooms, this led to us discussing why some people can be so negative about feeding. My opinion is that because breastfeeding has become so rare and bottle-feeding the norm people find it hard to accept because they are not used to it, its not a sight they see everyday, whereas bottle-feeding is. How often on TV do you see a soap actress breastfeeding? Rarely if ever! So is it that society is now expecting us to bottle feed and we are abnormal for breastfeeding? Surely not because ultimately breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, right?