There are a lot of articles and media coverage of World Breastfeeding Awareness Week, but I thought this particular one was most inspiring. It is a project called I Support You. It is not only about breastfeeding, it’s about formula feeding and supplemental feeding. It’s about the hardships that come with all of the above, and it’s about saying, “I will not judge you for how you decide to feed your baby.”
I like this movement because they are including the other women out there who for their own personal reasons, be it medical, physical, or mental necessity, feed their babies with formula. They exist and are not inferior. They have a story too. You cannot know what it feels like to be someone else. To feel how their body handles stress. To feel the intensity of their pain. To read all of their thoughts, and feel how those thoughts affect their motivation or their self esteem. It’s impossible. So how could you possibly judge how another mother came to the decision to breastfeed or not? You can only know how it is to be you. You do the best you can, for yourself and for your family.
The doctor who did the last exam on my baby before we left the hospital had some of the best advice on this subject. She said that no matter how it works out, don’t let this particular decision make or break you. There will be many more things that come along and in the end your daughter won’t even remember that you breast fed her or gave her formula. She will remember that you make great chocolate chip cookies. That you showed up to all of her soccer games. That you stayed up all night with her when she was sick. She will know that you love her, and really that is all that matters.
On August 7th at 5pm PST the I Support You project will be having a Twitter Party that encourages women to share their stories, their truths about how they feed their baby. No criticism. No shame. I can support that 100 percent. Use the hashtag #ISupportYou
More Reading about I Support You:
Huffington Post - How All Parents Can Find A Place In The ‘I Support You’ Movement