Jamie Oliver has opened an enormous can of worms. I'm sure he is regretting his statement and may not have been aware of the consequences of stating breastfeeding is easy and convenient.
He has offended some, made others angry and probably left some mothers feeling utterly guilt ridden.
There are already reports stating breastfed babies have lower death rates, better immune systems and higher IQs to make us feel bad. However you'll also find reports stating there is no truth in these claims and formula fed babies fair just as well. I think these reports are just wheeled out to make Mum's feel guilty. It's like saying if you don't breastfeed you don't love your child enough.
To be frank it's bloody ridiculous and needs to STOP.
It is nobodies business whether you choose to breastfeed or not. Why do we feel the need to shame mothers or pressure them?
I read one blog post of a mum who tried breastfeeding for 3 days and gave up and has felt extreme guilt forever more. Her children look happy and healthy. They are cared for and loved. Why should anyone feel guilty? Why is it looked on as a dirty secret to use formula?
I formula feed both my children and they are fine. My daughter is in the top sets in her class and both rarely have time of school ill. They thrived as babies and were healthy and happy.
I had a long and difficult labour with my daughter and doubt I'd have coped with breastfeeding. She was given a bottle whilst I was still in theatre. This however is not why I didn't breastfeed. I NEVER had any intention of breastfeeding. At home my steriliser, bottles and formula were bought and ready. I know it's natural but it most definitely did not float my boat.
Do I feel guilty? Hell no!
Are my children healthy and happy? Yes!
For the mothers that breastfeed well done and good on you. For the mothers that don't good on you too.
I hope all you mums with little ones don't have too many nightfeeds and your babies thrive.