Something tells me that when Beyonce put a photo of herself and daughter Blue Ivy up on Tumblr, she wasn't expecting to be drawn into the bottle vs. breast debate. And yet, that's the world we're living in. A mother is seen with her baby in one hand, bottle in the other, and the debate begins.
OMG, why isn't she breastfeeding? Doesn't she know how good it is for the baby? How long did she breastfeed? The "nice" response comes in the type of backhanded compliments Beyonce's been getting this week. They run along the lines of, "oh, well, you know, you really should breastfeed for at least a year but I guess it's nice that she did it at all."
Ahem, ladies. Were we looking at the same photo?
I saw Beyonce feeding Blue Ivy from a bottle. I did not see a sign on the bottle that said, "This is full of formula!" For all we know, Beyonce could have pumped her breast milk and Blue Ivy could have been sucking it down. Or maybe it was formula, which could still mean she was breastfeeding but happens to be supplementing these days. Or maybe she's had trouble breastfeeding and she has given up. Or maybe she's using a breast milk bank. Or. Or. Or.
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You see where I'm going with this? There are at least a half dozen scenarios I can think of right now from that one photo, and none is any less likely than the others.
As much as the constant nagging over whether a mom should or shouldn't be breastfeeding hurts women, the wild assumptions and accusations that follow may hurt even more.
It isn't just the bottles. We ran an adorable video of a little boy being fed vegetables from a spoon a few weeks back, and there were more than a few comments attacking the mom for feeding her baby jarred baby food. And yet, I never saw a jar. There was no reason to assume she hadn't prepared her own peas fresh from her garden. In fact, I know moms who do just that and, for ease of use, actually put their homemade food into old glass baby food jars that they buy at yard sales. But if you judged them solely on the look of the jar, well ...
If we took all the energy we expend on jumping to conclusions and ripping our fellow moms to shreds, just imagine what we could accomplish!
What did you think when you saw Beyonce's latest pictures with Blue Ivy? Were you focusing on the bottle in her hand?
Image via Splash News