They listened

I’ve sat on this blog post for a while now. One thing I don’t ever, ever, EVER want to do here is make anyone feel judged or shitty. We all have different experiences in parenting, and I know that sometimes when I’ve been exhausted and feeling overwhelmed I’ve read things online that have made me cry and feel like the shittiest mother ever. Sometimes I think it’s intentional – people post without caring about how it will hurt, or they post horrible things for clicks, or they’re like actually mean jerks. But often I think it’s unintentional, just badly worded, or the person hasn’t quite said what they meant to say – or maybe I didn’t get it because I read it with all of my hurt and sadness and feelings and experiences sitting on my heavy, tired shoulders. And that’s ok and not my fault or their fault or anyone’s fault. So I don’t know where I’m going with this – I guess I’m saying that after re-reading and editing and reading and editing I’ve decided to post this. I do not want to minimise anyone’s experiences – this is just my truth and I want to say it. I think the most important thing (the TL:DR version) is that we must feel supported in the choices we make about how we feed our children. It’s important. Really, truly important. Thank you for reading.

Breastfeeding Nazis. Nipple Nazis. Breastapo. Breast feeding police. Psychos. Smug earth mother bitches. Sanctimummys. Bullies. Anti-Formula fanatics. Did you hear the one about that mother whose baby died because she’d been BRAINWASHED by lactation consultants? They’re mum bashing do-gooders. They hate formula. They hate women. They should get rid of Le Leche League. They’re a bunch of dangerous hippies.

That’s just a sample of what people say about lactation consultants on your average article about breast feeding in New Zealand.

Well, here’s what I have to say about them – they listened to me. They heard me. When I felt desperately alone – they were there for me. They empowered me. They made me feel strong. They wiped away my tears. They made me feel like I’m a good mother and I should be proud of myself. They made me feel like I mattered too. That I could trust myself as a mother. They were there when I felt like nobody else was there.

I always thought breast feeding would be easy. I had always wanted to breast feed. I tried so very hard with my first born. But I was too scared to ask for help. I’d been told by absolutely everyone that lactation consultants would yell at me. They’re anti formula I was told. They’re judgemental. I didn’t ask for help because I was afraid of them.

While my oldest son was in hospital I tried to advocate for myself and for him. I wanted to keep breast feeding I told the doctors and nurses and registrars and well-meaning family. I kept being told my milk was the problem. In my head I felt that couldn’t be right. Why couldn’t I just give him expressed breast milk in a bottle? Why did it have to be formula? Alone and utterly exhausted and emotionally ruined I gave him formula at 3am in hospital. I weaned in agony in a children’s ward on my own. Every time a child near me cried my breasts did too. I was never able to comfort him at the breast again. I remember sobbing and asking a nurse “How do I stop the milk?” she just said “we can’t give you anything” and walked off. Another said “There’s nothing wrong with formula for goodness sake!” I’d never, ever suggested that there was anything wrong with formula. I got mastitis in both breasts while trying to look after my desperately ill child.

I’m not anti-formula. I formula fed my son. I am very grateful for formula. But I will never be thankful for the way I was railroaded into giving up on breast feeding. It really hurt me. And for a long time I swallowed that hurt because when I tried to voice it people jumped down my throat – don’t you think you’ve got bigger things to worry about? There’s nothing wrong with formula. Your son gained weight. Isn’t he the priority? Shouldn’t you put your son first? Actually formula is better than breast milk because you know what’s in formula. Who cares how you feed your baby. Get a grip. You should have really started him on formula earlier. All that matters is that your son is healthy. You’re being a bit dramatic aren’t you?

I felt silenced at every turn. I didn’t dare express how I felt. I knew how I should feel – I should know that what I wanted wasn’t important. That my instincts were wrong. That wanting to breast feed was selfish if I couldn’t do it immediately without any hassles. Sick children should be given formula. Breast milk is too unreliable. It was irresponsible, even dangerous, definitely self-absorbed and narcissistic, to want to breast feed if it was difficult or if my child had health problems. I was anti-formula and judgemental of mothers who used formula if I didn’t use it when I was told to. Breast feeding was just a way to feed your child – it had no other worth. As such it didn’t matter how you fed, just feed – but with formula.

Even now, two and a half years on, I find it so hard to trust my own feelings because of the gaslighting and stress of it all.

When my second son was born I was absolutely determined that I would make the choice as to whether I breast fed or not. I wouldn’t let anyone else take that choice from me.

The first people to listen to me were my midwives. One of my midwives is training to be a lactation consultant. In tears I told her about my weaning the first time. She listened. She never called me dramatic or told me off for the feelings I had. She held my hand.

I left the hospital a few hours after my second was born and she came over to help me with my latch. She then came over again a few days later. She kept texting me and sending me online messages to trouble shoot the problems I was having. She did all of this voluntarily.

Being a midwife is an exhausting job – long hours and emotionally it requires huge resilience. I am astounded still that on her days off she took the time to visit me to help me feed.

I messaged her at 2am when my son was recently in hospital and I was again in a vulnerable position with formula being offered at every possible opportunity. She immediately responded. She sent me love and encouragement and said she would come to the hospital to help me.

What a Nazi.

When my son was two months old I went to the Newtown Breastfeeding Support Clinic. I walked in and immediately started sobbing. The volunteer there gave me a glass of water and a hug – she listened to me. Another volunteer entertained my toddler while they helped me with the pain I was having in one of my breasts. I felt completely safe in that hall. Surrounded by other mums struggling through like I was.

Every single week these women gather and sit in a hall and help mums breast feed. Voluntarily. They give up those hours with their children to help us with our children.

Bullies right?

Those lactation consultants kept emailing me to make sure I was ok – physically and emotionally. Not once did they pressure me to breast feed or bottle feed. I was given help with the pain and told they could give me help with weaning if I chose to do that. They discussed what could be the reason I was having pain and kept in close contact with me.

Smug right? Anti-formula fanatics. Totally.

But Le Leche League are the worst aren’t they?

In agony one afternoon I called a number on the Le Leche League website. A woman answered. I could hear her children in the background. I was completely hysterical. I could barely get words out. She told me to take deep breaths and she calmed me down enough to get details from me. This volunteer, a stranger, offered to come to me if I needed immediate help. She encouraged me to contact my husband and get him to come home and take me to my GP. This might all sound melodramatic to you but if you’re surviving on no sleep, and you’re in extreme pain, and you’re overwhelmed – it’s impossible to think straight.

This woman voluntarily takes calls from sobbing mothers day in and day out and talks them off ledges.

I ended up in A&E where a doctor gave me tramadol. I was a mess on it. I was told by almost everyone to just stop breast feeding. I know why. I know it is well-meaning. I know I am stubborn. But it was so hard to hear that.

I was never told to stop or keep going by lactation consultants. I was never dismissively told “happy mum happy baby!” as if wanting to breast feed was a terrible thing to do to my child. I was never told ‘you don’t have to breast feed you know’ or ‘I don’t know why you’re bothering’ or ‘it’s not compulsory’ as if I was a complete moron who doesn’t know her own mind.

I wasn’t ever pressured by anyone to breast feed.

I wanted to.


The only time I was ever given permission to feel this way was when I was around lactation consultants.

This post is mainly just a post about my appreciation for them. I managed to get through my son’s hospital stay without stopping breast feeding. I am proud of myself for that. I trusted my gut and he gained weight on breast milk. I knew he would. I know my milk is working well for him. But it has taken me a long time to trust myself. And I trust myself because of them.

Now, I feed on one side as the other boob is some weird cosmic mess that is super painful. But I feed! I did it! I am immensely proud of myself. I feel like it’s a big achievement. Because it was so painful. So difficult. And I kept going. And I did what I thought was best for me and my son. And it worked!

I now breast feed without pain. My son is pink and fat like a delicious Christmas ham.

I could not have done it without lactation consultants. They protected me. Supported me. Comforted me.

More than anything they listened to me. And here I am – finally, four months on, feeding my baby easily.

I got to heal myself and that matters.

So I guess this is one of those posts that doesn’t really have a message – except maybe this: I’m not going to buy into the narrative that lactation consultants are monsters. If you need help with breast feeding then go to them! Your feelings matter. A lot of women can’t breast feed. But a lot can if they’re given support and help and they’re listened to. And they should be listened to.

And somebody will listen. I’m so incredibly grateful that so many women block out the horrific abuse they get on every article about their profession, every thread online, in mum groups, on Twitter, on Facebook, at coffee groups – everywhere – to voluntarily listen every day to women like me who need help.


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38 Comments on “They listened

  1. Thank you so much for this post! I had a really hard time breastfeeding for completely different reasons to yours but I could not have fed my son for 9.5 months without the help of lactation consultants. They were some of the most caring and compassionate women I have come across and they helped me look after my child in the way I chose to. I’m so glad you found the right help second time around and managed to work your way through. There is almost nothing as stressful as breastfeeding when it isn’t going right and I don’t think any other ‘thing’ in my life has ever caused me to cry so much. You are brave and amazing posting this but your honest voice needs to be heard and I’m standing right behind you Mama.

    • You’re so right. I don’t think anything has upset me more as well. And it’s heartbreaking and beautiful and awful and wonderful. It’s amazing how it can be all of those things sometimes all at once.

  2. That’s great to hear you had a positive experience with women who would help you. I think people get all “team breastmilk” or “team formula” about it all and forget to build each other up.

    My experience was a bit different to yours, I wanted desperately to breastfeed and just couldn’t, also wound up hospitalized with mastitis – sucky times. It didn’t work for me and I eventually decided to go with formula to keep my own sanity. I had terrible experiences with “some” nurses and midwives in hospital and birthcare, but I also had some wonderfully supportive ones.

    I think people get emotional about it because as a woman, when you’ve just given birth, you’re probably at your most emotionally vulnerable point in your life. Emotion’s run high and people hold onto their own experiences.

    Whatever works I say 🙂 And people need to get off their high horses – and yes, support people who make it their mission to help women.

    • Well said Rosie. I totally agree with you. I’m glad you had some help and I’m sorry some people weren’t helpful. Mastitis is so shit as well – just wanted to say that!

  3. This is a great post, I’m really glad you shared it.

  4. Great post!
    Your words have helped me work out how to support a friend who’s having trouble feeding – thank you.

  5. This is so well written. Thank you for bringing in this post. I hope it is read by all sorts and received for what it is: a brilliant triumph. Thank fucking haws for midwives and LLL! xoxo

  6. I come from a family of woman in NZ who breastfed their kids and who’s mothers breastfed them.
    But I had my 1st child away from all that support as I live surrounded my husbands italian/australian family who are now several generations of bottle feeders.
    It’s been hard as formula and a bottle is there answer for everything and wasn’t what I wanted and I didn’t need to as I thought I was doing well.
    Babies teething needs a bottle, we brought a case of formula for when you can’t breastfeed, baby has cut a tooth she must be weened (she was 12 weeks), baby is fussy? My breastmilk is bad/not enough/too much/no goodness in it and I need to ween, baby cries when not with her mum it’s because I’m breastfeeding and she’s too attached.
    But those amazing ladies at the ABA with our monthly meet ups and tearful phone calls to my own family kept me sane and made me feel my choice to breastfeed my child was the right one for me.
    I can’t praise them enough. Thank you for this post.

  7. wow! I’m so sorry you went through all that it must have been incredibly stressful. But what the heck is going on in NZ that lactation consultants are so vilified? When my preemie son ended up in nicu they told me APOLOGETICALLY that he needed a small amount of formula supplementation until my milk came in and showed me how to express colostrum and add that to his tube. Then we had the support of wonderful lactation consultants during our time in hospital and many is the time once home I would ring the incredible ladies of the Australian Breastfeeding Association for support. My boy is three and still nursing. I’m a Kiwi and it makes me sad to hear that was your experience in a country I thought had a much higher standard for maternal and baby health. PS GO PINK MCKAY! For anyone looking for great breastfeeding support and info. Hugs to all mamas, trying hard to breastfeed it can sure be a rocky start sometimes. x

    • That’s a good question Clea – and I think it’s because LCs and midwives get blamed for the shitty behaviour of assholes. There are some truly awful people who abuse women who formula feed online and offline. And I think the way some people are treated at hospital after their midwife leaves could really, really be improved. I think nurses are really overworked and they can sometimes be really dismissive of vulnerable women. Almost every time I have spoken to someone who feels really hurt and angry with LCs or LLL or midwives it’s because of how they were treated in hospital directly after their birth. Or it’s how hurt they felt by horrible mean comments online by sanctimummys who have to put others down to feel better about their choices. LCs and LLL are often not involved at all, but they get blamed for the attitudes and behaviours of dicks. I don’t know how to combat that. It shouldn’t be hard to just support mums and not pressure if they can’t breast feed and not pressure if they want to breast feed but can’t. Because formula is great, it’s not about formula, it’s about supporting women with what they need to do to feed their babies. Does that make sense? It’s 2am and I haven’t slept in years!

  8. So important to say all of this. Well done for finally pressing ‘publish’.

    There needs to be more understanding and education about breastfeeding in hospitals. There needs to be better support for women. Thank god for la leche league, midwives who go the extra mile, lactation consultants and other mums, aunties, grandmas, friends who have breastfed themselves and have great knowledge and support to pass on.

    Breastfeeding my first child is one of my biggest achievements ever because it was so so hard at first and I recieved awful advice about breastfeeding in hospital which I am so glad I did not take.

    Those la leche league women are great examples of human beings being amazing to each other. I use a la leche league facebook group for advice and they are so so knowledgable and supportive.

    The only people who should ever be described as ‘Nazis’ are fascists. I hate the term ‘nipple nazis’. I think it is so offensive and hurtful.

    Maybe it would be worth writing to your health service about your experience with breastfeeding? They may be looking to improve their support to mums who want to breastfeed and it sounds like there are some really unhelpful attitudes there.


    • I totally agree. And yes, once things settle down I’ll be giving some feedback. Thanks Abi. X

  9. i am one of those women that volunteers to run groups and take phone calls. And I do it because I was the one in pain a few years earlier. And I was supported by others when I needed it.

    It’s awful to be called all those names. Thank you for writing this.

  10. It is sad people say such thinks about lactation consultants. I find in the US – you get it said about you even if you are just a nursing mom though. It takes mo profession, simply standing your ground that you will exclusively breastfeed & then *you* are the (insert rude term here). I’ve had nasty things said to me simply for saying that a baby who suddenly nurses every hour on the hour at 3 weeks is not starving, it is normal – they are growth spurting & should not be supplemented. I have been told by refusing to supplement it is like willingly starving a baby – even while I am explaining if adequate diapers are happening & if it is a sudden onset – it is simply growth spurting. :/ I have been told this not only by laymen/moms/grammas, etc – but on odd occasion by healthcare professionals.

    I have been even accused of telling a mother on many occasions to “try harder” simply for answering a question of “what can I do for x problem” – and all I did was answer…I guess I was supposed to tell her to throw in the towel or supplement?

    Eventually I found a group for women who don’t want to supplement or wean & still want to vent or bitch or ask questions & NEVER be told to wean to supplement. That has been MUCH easier…as I can just offer support & encouragement without someone twisting support into pressure or needing to preface every single answer with a lengthy “no judgement, do what *you* want to do, blah, blah”.

    IDGAS about how someone feeds, truly. I never have…I just help because where I live there is little help to find & I have almost a decade of nursing experience now. I still recall how hard it was with each child early on & for different reasons each time. I help because I didn’t have a lot of resources myself & I know how lonely that is firsthand. I help because someone gave me a name of a mom they *thought* might be able & willing to help me…a local lady, whose youngest was near 2, who was terribly busy with her own brood, who took my calls, listened to to my fears, gave me courage to stand up to Dr’s, and always called me back. She got me through #1 & after that – there was no way I was ever turning back. Half of what made that such a kick ass experience was finding my voice with the Dr’s.

    Doctors told me my milk was “too thin” – as 12-15 feeds a day was “too much” for a newborn, he wasn’t getting full. Then when he gained 1 lb a week in those early weeks, I was told I was overfeeding & needed to make him wait 4 hrs between. Then when he had colic I was told it was my milk again & he needed special formula. At 4 months when he still woke every 2 hrs all night I was told it was again thin milk & he needed formula before bed. And every appointment ended with handing me 2 large cans of formula. EVERY appointment.

    I have no idea of those things are still happening to nursing moms with these same Dr’s. I fired them over & over & over until I found one who didn’t do it.

    Today I am so “blessed” to have a great Pedi who supports nursing in every possible way…including telling me at my youngests’s 1 yr visit “lucky baby” when I said she still wakes 2x a night to nurse & that we aren’t planning to night wean yet. I put “blessed” in quotes as I think it is sad that I feel blessed to have a Dr who actually simply supports me doing something healthy for my child without critique or unsolicited input.

    I have never once spoken to a Dr in any way as to ask what is normal, or complain or want this input. This is stuff said to me simply when *they* ask how often baby feeds, etc.

    I find it sad that it is so hard to just get support. If I said I made all my baby food from my own garden I would get a smile. If I said that I cloth diaper (I do) to aid in dealing with sensitive skin (true) I get a grin…if I say I put baby on back to sleep in own bed – also support – but if I breastfeed, according to their own “recommendations” all I generally get is a bunch of weird encouragement to use formula & it just does NOT add up. There is not one other thing I have done according to “recommendations” that has brought me the grief & criticism nursing has.

  11. I’m passionate about women feeling both free and empowered to make the informed choices they feel are right and best for them and to feel supported in those choices. That’s my brand of feminism. While I advocate for breastfeeding and have supported friends and acquaintances in doing so, I’m never going to make someone feel less than great about making a different choice. If they’ve considered the options and factors involved and determined that formula feeding works best for them and their child then that’s absolutely fine by me. What I don’t find acceptable is when women feel corralled into a choice or find themselves in a cul-de-sac of a single option either because they have not been adequately informed or adequately supported or both.

    When I was pregnant with my oldest son, it never crossed my mind to do anything other than breastfeed as that was my particular cultural norm. So when my newborn failed to latch on and demonstrated a singular lack of sucking instinct, I was devastated. The midwives in the hospital helped me express colostrum which was then spoon fed to him (yes, spoon not syringe) and I was told I would likely need to formula feed and had I packed bottles in my hospital bag? I felt like I was being presented with only one option. Tired, emotional, physically shredded, it was tempting to just go with their suggestion. However, as a determined individual, I decided I would persevere. I told myself I would give it a week of trying to get the baby to latch and then reassess.

    Thankfully, before that week was up I was released home and into the bosom of my own community midwives. I lived 90 miles from the maternity hospital and returning home was a gulf of a different experience. My own midwives, who had cared for me during my pregnancy, visited the house a few times a day to help the baby and I get the latch working. They supported and encouraged me – while never bad mouthing the formula possibility – and got me relaxed and feeling confident. Their “can do” attitude was in sharp relief to the defeatist attitude of the hospital midwives. And it worked! On day seven, it finally clicked and my oldest started nursing like a champ. I then went on to successfully breastfeed three more babies, all for over a year.

    My sisters, on the other hand, were not so fortunate. Being less determined than I was regarding breastfeeding, both were persuaded by their midwives to give up when they experienced challenges (down to a poor latch approach in both cases) rather than being supported, encouraged and shown how to get the baby to latch properly. They then did not even consider breastfeeding with their subsequent babies.

    I, therefore, wholeheartedly agree with you that the right support makes all the difference. If formula feeding is an active and informed choice then that’s fine; if formula feeding is something you find yourself forced to do through lack of information and support then that is quite another. The importance of wonderful, caring, compassionate midwives, health visitors, lactation consultants and experienced friends and family can never be over-estimated and I happily join you in singing their praises.

  12. Thank you. Thank you so much for your heartfelt words. I say this as a La Leche League leader who wonders sometimes if we make a difference as the women we help go back to their busy lives and we may never hear from them again. I say this as well as the mother of a third child who was born sick, was never able to drink from my breast and had to have formula mixed with his breast milk. The type of loving support you received is the kind every mother deserves, but especially those in challenging situations. It is the type of love every mother deserves because it models the type of love our children deserve. Good luck on your mothering journey!

  13. My sister fed both of her kids on one boob alone for over two years each and they both thrived. Forza!

  14. Emily,
    Sending hugs from Australia{{}} So saddened to hear of your pain, and proud of you for being so courageous and finding the strength to listen to your instincts, to mother your child how you felt called to.

  15. I find it so horrifying when people pressure mothers to do the opposite of what they want to do with regards to feeding their babies instead of just listening and trying to figure out the problem. I was under tremendous pressure to breast feed and stay away from formula. “Breast is Best” is what I constantly heard from friends and doctors. So when my baby was jaundiced and I had only a few drops of milk despite my son’s perfect latch, I was so grateful for that pediatrician who gave me permission to do what I knew in my heart would work. She gently sat me down in the hospital, knowing the other family stresses I was under, and said, “Look, I know I’m supposed to tell you that you should breast feed, but most of our generation was formula fed and we turned out just fine. You have enough on your plate with your husband’s illness. You don’t need the added pressure of breast feeding right now.” I cried tears of relief and gratefully accepted that bottle. Truly, it was her attitude that made the difference. She didn’t pressure, she gave me permission to make that decision.

    It comes down to people listening and being gentle with mothers doesn’t it? I’m so sorry that you had such an awful experience with your first. I am also happy that you found some caring people with your second.

    • I’m so glad someone heard you and supported you Meghan. It makes all the difference.

  16. Thank you for writing this. I think I could’ve almost written the same story. My partner and I felt railroaded in the hospital to give our daughter formula on day two. I felt like a miserable failure and this sense of failure took about four months to shake off. It wasn’t about giving formula or not it was about being given the opportunity and support to learn to do something that in my opinion has been the hardest thing to ever learn to do: breastfeeding. My husband and wharekaipepe (a breastfeeding support group in Stokes Valley that meets every Thursday morning) helped me to stick with breastfeeding and now six months down the track it’s the most enjoyable and natural thing I could imagine doing. My mum, who had no recollection of having trouble breastfeeding, kept tutting every time she watched me trying latch and calm my grizzly baby, and kept reminding me that I really didn’t have to do this and there’s nothing wrong with formula. I know she was well meaning and in her view breastfeeding shouldn’t have been hard, but what she was actually doing was undermining my attempts (comments like “I don’t think she’s getting enough” and “you’ve reached the six-week mark that’s a good run” and “Well, I had an excellent supply and none of you would grizzle at the breast during growth spurts”). The upshot of my mum’s continued bewilderment was it gave me just enough of the stubborn-I’ll-prove-you-wrong determination to keep going and now my mum loves sitting with me while I breastfeed because she does understand how amazing it feels.

  17. This is a friggin powerful, honest account of your experience…. and I wonder how many other experiences it reflects too… and how many others sometimes wish they had more rail roading…

  18. I can only feed on one side too. Luckily I am able to pump the other side because we needed milk we could fortify (failure to thrive and food intolerances early on) but I still am amazed at hearing how many women can sustain a baby with just one breast. Thanks for posting!

  19. I haven’t been on here much lately (thanks active baby, pregnant woman, moving dramas lol), but just having a chance to catch up on your posts a little. I am surprised – is NZ really that pro-formula? Different countries even amongst the western world can be surprisingly different. In Aus, my personal experience is that either BF or FF is fine … there is a lot more “breast is best” pressure in the hospitals, but choice seems a lot easier as well, if a woman wants or has to FF. The hospitals and Australian Breastfeeding Association are there right from the start to help – they will do anything they can to get you breastfeeding.

    Of course, there are some lactation consultants that give others a bad name. Some women who are truly unable to BF have felt bullied by their LC and made to feel less of a woman. But the vast majority seem to just want to work through every possible problem to make sure you can BF if you want to.

    I think BF still has a long way to go to be fully normalised here as well, don’t get me wrong – every woman and her dog will ask you when you’re pregnant if you’re going to BF or FF, and if you say BF, they’ll ask how long for. No matter what answer you give, it isn’t right. I wanted to try for two years, but said “one” because I thought that would be less confronting for the mainstream crowd, but even then was virtually told I was wrong – dismissive comments of, “Oh, no! Six months is wrong enough! There’s nothing wrong with formula after six months.” (I didn’t say there was. I just personally didn’t want to.) Or unsupportive firm negativity – “Oh, you’ll change your mind when they get teeth.” As it was, I had to quit BF when my bubs was ten months old, since my pregnancy hormones dried my milk up. She had teeth by that stage. She didn’t bite. I would have kept going.

    And there are constant debates about whether it’s “gross” (such a juvenile word) for a woman to BF in public when their baby is over a certain age. But I think more and more people are standing up for BF. Actually, I think more and more people are just simply standing up for, do what you have to do – whether it’s BF or FF.

    God we women can be a judgemental bunch!! lol.

    • I don’t think it’s about being pro or anti formula. I don’t think it has anything to do with that really. I think it’s about supporting the choices of mums. And there seems to be issues with that the world over! I hope times are changing. Either way I don’t think women generally are judgemental anymore than men are. The patriarchal system we live in encourages judgement and stops people supporting women. Mums who breast feed should be supported however long they choose to feed for, and mums who don’t should also be supported. Also put really simply – people should keep their dumb opinions (like the teeth one) to themselves!

  20. Rather late to the party on this one; I’ve just found your blog and am hooked 🙂
    Just wanted to say how shocked and upset I am for you that you had to go through those horrible experiences but so glad you found some great support. We went to a LLL meeting with my 2 day old baby who couldn’t latch. Four months on and many meetings, two frenotomies, countless blisters and blocked ducts, we’ve still got problems but he’s fat and happy and we’re ploughing on. Because I know it’s right for us. But, oh my goodness, I would never have had that confidence without the support!
    I’m still really new to this, but from what I’ve seen so far, every baby is different and whatever you choose to do – bottle, breast, your boobs your business! – trust your judgement. When friends /family have had major issues it always seems to be because they were bullied/shamed/worried into doing things against their instincts. Here’s to building mamas up so that they feel supported in whatever choice they make. X

    • Beautifully said Jules. I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for your lovely comment (and I’m so glad you’ve had great support and you’re keeping at it – my boy is nine months now and is a champion feeder!) xx

  21. Cool post. I have to admit I had one of those bad lactation consultants… Grumpy; late; dismissive; didnt write down the instructions for the sleep deprived, brain dead, stressed wreck that I was even though I asked her to; and worst of all lect me feeling small.

    But oh how I wish I had done a big f off to one bad experience and moved on to another option. Sleep deprived, scared, with a baby not growing, and weeks and weeks of issues I cried and cried and gave up.

    Oh how I wish I had phoned La Leche because every story I have ever heard about those woman has been of how wonderful, caring and supportive they are. How warm, caring, and non-judgemental (even if you use a bottle!) How all round bloody lovely. Yay for them!