This entire post is about breastfeeding, no graphic descriptions, but I won't be offended if you choose not to read it.
I don't usually use baby forums and didn't use pregnancy ones either. This is because as a general rule the answer anyone will give to any worry you might have is that your baby will probably die. However, the thing that annoys me most is something which isn't just contained to baby forums, I was reading a review of a baby product on the Asda page on facebook and it started up again: Breast vs Bottle ranting.
Now, I breastfeed, it wasn't easy, for the first 4 weeks Jonas wouldn't feed properly, so I had to express and feed him in various ways, through a cup, syringe, tube down his nose and finally a bottle (not recommended as once they've used a bottle teat it can be very hard to make them breastfeed, but at this point I'd pretty much given up and the other methods (apart from tube feeding, which could only be done in hospital) took too long and wasted quite a bit of milk). I was having to try to feed him, then feed him the expressed milk, then express more ready for his next feed every 2 hours in the day and 3 at night, the whole process took an hour, so I got 2 hours of sleep in between, it was exhausting. There is no way anyone could keep that up for long. Oddly eventually he just got it, just as I was thinking I might have to give up, so I would never judge someone who doesn't breastfeed.
I persisted for several reasons:
1) Breast is Best. (The reason I'd like to believe was my main one, but honestly I'm not sure)
2) Breastmilk is free, formula is expensive
3) If breastfeeding would eventually work properly it would not be a faff and would involve taking nothing out of the house with me (which was true and now I'm very glad I did persist)
4) I am very stubborn (Probably the actual main reason)
5) I was so exhausted from lack of sleep that I wasn't physically able to make any decisions about changing the course of action I had embarked on. I planned to breastfeed, this is what I did. I didn't know anything about formula or how to make it up, in the state I was in I was fairly sure I wouldn't be able to make up a bottle.
All of this is just an aside, laying the ground of what experience I have before I make my arguments as to why I think both sides of this debate are wrong and should just stop it. I'm aware that the people who do this debating are unlikely to read this, but it will make me feel better to rant.To the Breast only pushers:
Before you criticise those who bottle feed, do you have any idea of what that person has gone through? Breastfeeding is not always easy, it can be incredibly hard and for some it just doesn't work. For some of them maybe they could have carried on for another week and maybe baby would have got it, but maybe for their own sanity and and health they needed to stop, baby needs a happy Mum too. And there are some who for whatever reason just can't breast-feed. e.g. where baby is tongue-tied, or Mum's milk doesn't come in.To the angry bottle feeders:
Do you think you are helping your cause by comparing breast feeders to Nazi Germany? Breastapo and "Breast Nazi" might sound catchy, but they are offensive and using them is detrimental to your argument. (See Godwin's Law.
Also, has it occurred to you that a lot of the people breast feeding also get a lot of flack? Being tutted or glared at for trying to discretely feed in public etc. Also having people tell them they should bottle feed (When Jonas wouldn't feed straight after birth I asked for help, 9 hours later someone finally came, looked at him, said if he's not feeding I should just give him some formula). I've heard relatives accuse people of being selfish for breastfeeding as it means they can't help feed. With all of this negativity that's why they get so defensive over their decision to breastfeed and it being the best thing.
There, done, I feel a bit better now and will get off my soapbox.
Although... While I'm climbing down, while I'm on the topic of breastfeeding. Recently there was a lot of uproar over Facebook deleting photos of breastfeeeding women where nipples were showing. Personally I think there's nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public, mainly because babies eat so often that to deny people this right would mean they couldn't leave the house (At nearly 5 months Jonas still eats very erratically, between every 2 to 4 hours). However, I don't particularly want people to see my nipples and would certainly not want a photo with them showing. Perhaps I'm just particularly prudish, but I see no problem with saying that breastfeeding photos are fine, but cover the nipple up.