Breast Is Best & Saying So Is Not 'Bullying'


baby breastfeedingIf I hear the term "breastfeeding bullies" to describe people who tout the (many) benefits of breast milk one more time, I think I will scream. The fact is, breast milk is the best thing for young babies. Go ahead and throw stones at me.

For those still reading, I realize there are extenuating circumstances, reasons that mothers might not want to breastfeed and a million physical reasons she can't. But generally speaking, breast is best. Deal with it. Since when is saying this, knowing all of the medical evidence, really so shocking and edgy? 

Even Psychology Today gets attacked after they present facts and empirical evidence as to why breastfeeding is the best way to feed babies. There is something wrong with that picture. Are we really so oversensitive as a culture that we can't hear facts without flying off the handle?

According to Psychology Today:

The evidence is overwhelming regarding the quality difference between formula and breastfeeding. Mother's milk, developed through evolution with thousands of ingredients to build the human brain, body and immune system, is incomparable with a man-made product of a couple dozen ingredients that are non-human and in wrong proportions ... The first bottom line is that breast milk is the evolved standard for human babies. Anything else is detrimental to their best growth and development. Unless it is an emergency.

It's simple. It's clear. And it isn't wrong. If moms want to support other moms toward feeding their babies in the best and healthiest way, that doesn't make them a "bully." We all have to stop being so sensitive.

It seems I can't even bring up my natural labor or the fact that I nursed for three years without the mom I am talking to becoming defensive and angry unless she did the same. There is simply no reason for it. If you're confident in your decision not to breastfeed or you simply couldn't, then fine. But what is the use in lying? Breast milk is ideal. Formula is not.

We all know it's the truth and perhaps that is the reason people are so sensitive. We feel guilty. I know it because I feel it, too. We all have our sensitive points and places where we think we've failed. But we also can't let our sensitivity override our good sense. Yes, there are women who push breastfeeding too hard, who don't allow moms to make their own choices. But they're less common than the moms who simply want to help fellow moms succeed. Breastfeeding should be more common than it is. What is so wrong with offering support to women who need it? How is that "bullying"?

Do you think the cry of "bullying" is going overboard?


Image via sdminor81/Flickr

breastfeeding, natural parenting


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Melis... Melissa042807

I dunno about the whole "bullying" thing, but honestly, I don't tout the "breast is best" line because it's already everywhere you turn! Anyone I would say it to...already knows it. So whoop dee doo. I'd just be repeating what they already have heard a million times. THAT is what pregnant women and new mommies find so annoying. Not that it's "bullying", but they hear it all the freakin' time. And the repitition makes us want to carve our eyeballs out with a rusty spoon.

Billie Jo Evans

I feel the exact same way. I'm so tired of people being overly sensitive when they hear about breastfeeding. We're all about it, that's what we're also interested in talking about because it had to do with our lives. That would be the same as me attacking someone for being happy about formula feeding and I never have!

nonmember avatar me

thank you, well put.

Leanne Carnegie

Melissa- it's not so much about saying it over and over (because, really, what good does that do?) it's about supporting new moms.   It's about telling a mom wanting to quit nursing that it's worth it to stick it out, just one more feeding, one more day.   Telling that mom to stick it out because it's best, is NOT picking on the moms that didn't stick it out.   Does that make sense?    People get so defensive about this issue off the bat and there's just no need. 

sv003500 sv003500

It becomes bullying when women who don't breastfeed are decried as "selfish". Same with using pain relief and induction in labor. The adjustment of a new baby is difficult enough without strangers calling you names on the webistes you turn to for encouragement and information. I'm breastfeeding but lord help me, if I hear one more person slam a formula feeding parent for being some sort of self-serving monster mommy I'm gonna lose it. Women should be supporting and encouraging to new parents.  When one begins to name-call and pass judgement it not only smacks of insecurity but it fosters doubt in people who need answers the most. It feels like the high school cafeteria all over again on some of these comment pages.  I, for one, believe we deserve to treat each other better. 

VicA669 VicA669

SV003500- I couldn't have said it better myself! I tried and tried to breastfeed, but my milk never came  in, I felt like such a horrible mommy, that my girl couldn't get 'the good' stuff. I would have loved to breast feed longer than I did, but my girl is happy healthy and growing like a weed, isn't that all that matters?

sarap... sarapunkinpie88

Really, its already starting, 4 comments in. that's exactly the point of the article.

Jessi Snider

I too breastfed, but there was definitely pressure and borderline bullying to do so. At the hospital, two separate breastfeeding consultants came by my room and insisted on showing me how to do it, even though I knew! One was quite rough with my newborn baby. So called "support" is fine, but when a mother says "i got this," no matter their choice, people need to back off.

Susan Delly

Offering support and bullying are two totally different personalities behind breastfeeding moms.  I nurse my lil guy but I don't think breastfeeding is so important that I should stress out an already stressed out new mom.  Our generation proves that breastfeeding is not necessary to have a healthy baby so I'll offer her support instead of 'facts' in a way that's not wanted or superior... ie, bullying. 

Crazy thing is, a lot of the 'bullies' probably don't realize (or care?) that that's what they're doing.  It's all about unwanted advice being pushed on another...

Jessi Snider

Btw, i'm talking about the hospital experience with my THIRD child.

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