Baby Feeding

Here come the “Santimonius Moms”

Today, I read an article. It was an article about a mother who had tried to breastfeed, but had been unable too. It didn’t explain why the mother and baby had issues just what responses she had received after posting on a “mummy page” that she was turning to formula. The responses where in line of “Is there anything you need? Can I help in anyway? Have you seen a IBCLC? Did you try a new diet? Did you do lots of skin to skin? Have you tried nipple shields or pumping?

Is there something wrong with these questions? 

The article states that asking these kind of questions is judging the mother. That these questions are somehow telling the mother that she isn’t good enough and that she hasn’t done enough.

WHAT? 

I was unable to breastfeed my first, the lack of support combined with inverted nipples made it impossible for us. We went through hell. I was determined to breastfeed. I expressed, and I used a SNS system. By the time I heard about nipple shields my daughter had developed a bottle preference and as I’d never heard that I could feed her with a cup I did what I thought I had too and fed her with a bottle.

My heart is  broken as a result of not being able to breastfeed my daughter and she is now almost 7 years old, the pain has never gone away.

I wish that someone had asked me if I’d seen an IBCLC. I wish that someone had told me about nipple shields and I wish that I had known that there are things you can do to increase milk supply.

I WISH SOMEONE HAD ASKED ME THESE QUESTIONS. 

If a mother tells me she is  struggling, I ask similar questions, to those mentioned above. I do not ask them as part of some plan to degrade her and make her feel useless. I ask out of concern and a wish to support. I would ask these questions knowing that maybe, just maybe, if someone had asked me these things I would have had other alternatives and things to try- maybe I would have been able to breastfeed my child. To pass concern and care over as “judgement” is upsetting to say the least and it is to me, so confusing.

If someone fell over and broke their leg, we would surely all run up and assist to help? We would ask, “are you hurt? Do you need an Icepack? Do you need to see a doctor? Will I phone an ambulance for you?

Can you imagine someone replying- “stop judging me, it’s not my fault I’ve broken my leg“? I mean; when asking if all aspects have been considered- aspects that could enable breastfeeding, is considered judgemental, surely asking the same line of questions for a leg that’s broken would be equally judgemental? It’s just another biological process that for some reason isn’t functioning ?

If someone gets given support and suggestions and then decide to use formula then an educated choice have been made and this is something we should all strive to do. By trying to offer you support and advice, I’m not criticising you, I’m simply trying to be a supporter of you- regardless of what choice you make! 

A choice should however be made with knowledge, knowledge is power.

I want to clarify that I do not hate formula, in fact I love formula. It helped my daughter stay alive. If I needed to use formula again, I would. That’s not the issue here- the issue is that somehow trying to support other mothers has been turned in to something negative and that to me, is infuriating.

When my second was due to be born I asked questions and I searched out support. I was asked if I had tried certain things and if I had considered others, and as a result of these lovely, caring sanctimonious mothers (I’m using this with love) I have been able to feed my son from my breast- a journey that has continued for 3 years and will continue until he is ready to wean. So to all you who offered me advice, knowing you could have been called “judgemental“- THANK YOU– without you I wouldn’t have been able to do this for my son and I. Without your wisdom and support I would have broken all over again.


Much love! 

12 thoughts on “Here come the “Santimonius Moms”

  1. Except plenty who do ask those questions ARE.
    Sanctimonious that is .
    Or come some across that way , even if accidentally .
    And embattled new mums aren’t there to give considerations to anyone’s wounded feelings at offering “innocent ” advice , however lovingly given .
    When people ask for advice , give it . If people simply want to wail in despair , on a comfy shoulder , give that .
    Unsolicited advice is usually unwelcome , however well meant , so best ask first , eh ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would be lovely if we could all expect the best of each other rather than the worst ❤️

      I’ve both formula and breastfed so I’ve seen both sides and have to say I’ve felt upset with comments from mothers regardless of how they’ve fed.

      I’ve had formula feeding mothers tell me to give myself a break, and swap to bottle and I have had breastfeeding mothers offer me advice on how to succeed in breastfeeding- both times I’ve appreciated their care and love:)

      We should all lead with empathy:)

      Thank you for the comment ❤️

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    2. Is it unsolicited if its posted into a forum? Is it the job of a reporter to jump into this sort of thing and make it more than it is? if i had done similar i would have avoided the internet for a couple of days and gritted my teeth, knowing they meant well but that i had gone to the wrong place to “wail”. You cant bubble wrap new mums as if anything they do or say is unquestionable and they are always in the right. Most people offering advice in forums are also new mums. All people should be considerate in their manner and forgiving of mistakes but that includes the new mum. There are many situations where an innocent “ive decided to do x…” brings forth unsolicited advice, people need to know how to deal with this without crying to the papers that the advice givers are being sanctimonious and making out like one type of people (breatfeeders and their advocates, because thats whats going on here which is why it turned up in an article and a blog) are pushy and judgemental. People are far too quick these days to say “help im being bullied” when someone says something that upsets them. Without having read the article i cant say for sure whether the advisers were being too pushy or not, it doesnt sound like they were, but either way its just a social interaction that happens on a fairly regular basis to most people and should not be used to inflame the imaginary “mummy wars” that the media likes to paint for us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All my yes! We need to understand that no one would spend their precious time advising unless it came from a good place! I do believe we are indeed becoming to sensitive but then with all the prejudice around baby feeding I guess it’s easy to become sensitive! A more gentle approach would probably benefit all, but I’m sure I am also guilt of being blunt at times! It’s a difficult balance! Thank you for your comment:) ❤️x

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    3. It’s a very fine balance though and fact is, that sometimes when people have a good cry they also appreciate support and advice. The advice given should be given kindly of course, but shouldn’t be dismissed as criticism. Very few people would spend their time trying to help with anything but good intentions!

      What happened to the village? I’m sure we wouldn’t have been as easily offended and would have been more likely to see the love behind the advice, in the past! Thank you for your comment:) ❤️x

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  2. I also breastfed both my children and topped up with bottle and tried everything you could think of. I understand your feelings as cetain groups felt bringing a bottle wasn’t acceptable but that worked for both myself and my two children. Each mum and child is different and you should be proud you did your best. I tried to solely breastfeed but my child dropped weight so I ended up like a milking machine trying to be better when my husband just clearly said stop beating yourself up you are doing your best and that’s all that matters. Well done however you fed your children they were both fed and that is the main thing and let’s be honest can you really tell now who was fed what in their infancy? It would be lovely as a new mum people were unbiased but as new mums every emotion is heightened and everyone thinks their way is best but reality is that is true but their way is for them not for you. Well done you fed your child and that is all that matters and we’ll done you for keep trying x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment Alison:) you are right, we have to do what feels right for us in our own situation- you did as did I:) I just wish that support and facts wasn’t seen as criticism and judgement- we should all be kinder in our approach perhaps:) thank you again, and all the best ❤️x

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