Want to make the internet lose its mind? Start talking about one of three things: vaccination, c-sections, or breastfeeding. Guaranteed to rain hell down upon yourself no matter which side of the issue you present. Which is exactly what this writer did when they wrote about judging women who choose not to breastfeed. Here, a snippet:
If you never even tried — if your baby’s mouth never met nipple, for reasons of personal choice that have nothing to do with health — I’m judging you. That’s right. You should’ve at least given breastfeeding a chance. And if you didn’t, you made a big parenting mistake and we all have the right to judge you for it.
All choices are not OK — and it’s time someone said something.
Of course you have the right to judge. As far as I know, it’s not illegal. Judge away!
Full disclosure: I did not breastfeed. Not because my milk supply was low or because my babies were in the NICU (well, one was, but not all three) or because I had a double mastectomy or because I was on medication that wasn’t safe for my babies (I was, but that’s not why I didn’t breastfeed).
I didn’t breastfeed because I didn’t want to.
Yeah. Crazy, right?
I had horrible pregnancies. In addition to suffering through hyperemesis gravidarum that required hospitalization as well as having to be admitted to the hospital for pre-term labor in two of my three pregnancies, I generally felt like ass and was ready to get back to myself after those babies were born. So when it came to breastfeeding, I was like, NOPE. That will not bode well for my mental or physical well-being. And also, I don’t wanna.
See, the thing about me (and likely other women who choose not to breastfeed) that people need to understand, however, is we don’t give a fuck what you think. Comes as a surprise, I’m sure. But we’re not sitting around, waiting for approval or validation. Sorry to burst your bubble of self-importance.
You’re not the first person to accost us with your opinions. We’ve been attacked from all angles, starting in the hospital and extending to public restaurants. So this declaration of judgment isn’t revolutionary. Also? Here we are, still choosing not to breastfeed despite that judgment. Strange how that happens when a person is perfectly comfortable in her own decisions.
So as for shouting from the mountaintops that you can and will judge us for our choice that in no way impacts you or your loved ones, we say this: Cool. Go for it.
Just know that while your fuckery may make some new mamas feel ashamed and depressed and insecure (Yay, you! You did it!), it won’t for long. Eventually, most, like me, will realize the only people’s opinions that matter are our partners’, our doctors’, and our own. And our babies will grow up to be just fine.
Oh, and also know that we’re judging you, too. Not for your feeding choices, of course, because we don’t give half a shit about how you choose to feed your babies. We’re judging you because you’re an asshole.
Like you say, it’s time someone said something.