With wedding planning women can be crazy. You will find all kinds of nerves, stress, situations, and everything in between on online wedding boards. Many of us have had that one friend that went Bridezilla out of the blue, that Bridezilla could have been us. Overall I find it all funny and ALWAYS encourage friends to do marriage prep in the beginning so that the focus is on the marriage and not the party.
Weddings are one thing, starting a family is a different story. As women we can still be crazy but those situations that range from A-Z take on a much different gravity that I try to be considerate about. In real life and online there are many topics on parenthood that strike some polarizing cords because people are passionate about them, or sometimes people want to be passionate about them but can’t partake and are angry/jealous, or people don’t really care until a passionate person approaches them in an offensive manner.
When people become pregnant all the controversial topics flood your life. What kind of birth plan do you want? Will you breastfeed? We talked to friends about their opinions and two surprises came to me with the circle of people I know. First we know a lot of people supportive of natural childbirth and I know way more home birth families than I thought I did. The second was breastfeeding and that not as many people are as supportive of this as I thought. When we interviewed our midwife we learned she does not take clients unless they plan to breastfeed, my initial thought was… who would choose not to breast feed but still want a natural birth? I suppose I was naive in this reaction.
I think from my friends who wanted to breast feed and couldn’t the issue that makes the topic polarizing is their guilt. Whenever the topic of breast-feeding comes up they defend the formula stance with fervor to assuage their own guilt in not being able to provide for their babies this way. For those friends of mine in this position there were medical complications they could not foresee and in no way can be held at fault for not breast-feeding (e.g. baby was too sick to feed or the mom was too exhausted to produce enough nutrition for their little one). Yet the guilt is still there and that is heart-breaking for me.
I am also acquainted with a few people who are pro-formula, I suppose I can understand why. It is easy to make this choice when you are fed literature backed by special interest organizations with important sounding names or important organizations backed by money with special interests. These acquaintances don’t know any different and it is hard when lobbies working on behalf of formula makers ram down your throat that there is no difference between formula and breast milk (or that formula is fortified thus healthier). My only hope is that people become as educated as they feel comfortable with and make the best decision they can for their families with the information they have at their disposal.
Then there are the people who are pro-boob and will high-five you in public for your similar opinion. However it is like whatever, it is like preaching to the choir. I mean we are friends because we probably have aligned values that include out attitudes towards the boob and what it means for baby. We probably think breast feeding is a beautiful thing that should be celebrated and that women shouldn’t have to hide to feed their babies if they are hungry in public.
In the middle of these opinions are the moms who want to breastfeed but face challenges of pumping at work without having a private space to do it. Or all the other situations that put them in limbo and leave them feeling like the decision is taken out of their hands. These are really the moms that I think need to be supported with their decisions and not skewered by popular internet opinions.
I did a tweet today:
formula-war has surfaced in my “other ego” twitter stream. it doesn’t matter how moderate your opinion is, others will make it extreme 4 U
and I stick by this assertion. I am new to this prenatal/mommy cyber world but like all things with the internet we let that web-rage and polarization take over and take away from a dialogue.
A good deal of the current formula argument has resulted from the Nestle Family of companies and their push to supply formula to other countries outside of the U. S. in lieu of the breast. Some mommy bloggers are now sponsored to use social media to promote this agenda and lines can become blurred when it seems like they are promoting formula instead of breast milk in developed countries. This is a HUGE argument that most first-time moms taking to twitter while searching for advice are not aware of.
I just want to say that in all these controversial topics I may state my opinion but do not be hurt like I am an extremists judging your decisions with any authority to exact my opinion. I have learned not to be upset by your opinions that conflict with mine. I will always be supportive of a mama using the best information she has at her disposal to do what is right for her and her baby’s health. So when we talk about infertility, breast feeding, natural birth, co-sleeping, baby wearing, being paid to mommy blog, etc. we will talk. I won’t close the door on you if you are working in the best interests of your babies. This is just supportive dialogue I hope most online communities subscribe to before the confrontations begin.