The Horror of Bottles
Forewarning: This blog post may push some buttons. We welcome the open and respectful discussion it may bring.
We were asked if we would provide a raffle prize for an upcoming event that is centered around breastfeeding. Wonderful! We jumped at the idea because, hello, it involves women and babies... two of the things we spend the most time with. We're huge supporters of breastfeeding!
We have access to a new and expensive breast pump, as well as all the supplies needed to get started with pumping and storing breastmilk. Because this is an event we haven't helped with before, a quick email was sent to make sure that would be an acceptable type of donation.
We fully expected $300+ in pumping supplies to be a welcomed donation by a group of people who wanted to help women feed their babies breastmilk.
It was turned down.
The reasoning was explained (it has to do with the World Health Organization and their list of companies that are not compliant with WHO's guidelines for advertising formula, etc.). We get it. Sort of.
But the entire topic stirred an emotional response in us.
A big, messy response.
Is breastfeeding good? YES!!!!
We need to get that out of the way so you can hear our heart in the rest of this. Pacific Northwest Doulas believes breastfeeding is incredibly important.
Now let's get messy.
You don't need to breastfeed to be a good parent.
As a country, we have worked hard to normalize breastfeeding. Many of us have reached a point where we are comfortable with and expect breastfeeding in public to be accepted. We hold events to gather women together and make a public statement about nursing. We hold nurse-ins in businesses that don't show acceptance and support of nursing moms and their children. We post pictures on Facebook of us breastfeeding. (Which are adorable- so please continue those. Lots of them.)
But, in all of our push to normalize the normal again, we may be leaving some of our people behind.
Are we celebrating the mom who *finally* pumped a full ounce last night and is excited to see that precious liquid fed by syringe to her baby in the NICU?
Are we celebrating the adoptive mom who longs to be able to put her baby to breast, but uses the next best thing?
Are we celebrating the surrogate who pumps for the babies that grew inside her but she no longer holds?
Are we celebrating the mom who made the best choice for her family and chooses to feed her happy, healthy, growing children formula?
Are we celebrating the mom who had to go back to work 6 weeks after her little one was born and who spends an exhausting amount of time pumping to keep up with her time away?
Are we celebrating the mom who survived cancer but is no longer able to provide the nutrition for her babies in the way she always imagined?
Can we celebrate ALL of us?
Can we celebrate successful nursing and successful pumping and donated breastmilk and healthy babies and healthy moms and nourishing babies with the best we have to offer?
At PNW Doulas, we celebrate YOU.
We're here to provide the best for you, so you can provide the best for your baby.
Whatever that looks like for YOUR family.