OK I don’t know about you or which side of the fence you sit on but I think we need to give Jamie Oliver a break. The guy decided to show support for women, support for mothers, support for breastfeeding mamma’s and what has been the response? A cornucopia of posts, discussions, debates from women who have basically said “what the fuck does he know? he needs to get his nose out from where it doesn’t belong…BACK OFF”
Fair enough he did say that “It’s easy” OK so its not always easy, I can admit to that one. It took me three months to finally feel comfortable breastfeeding my youngest as he had a tight lip tie that we didn’t get seen to, but I persevered, through the pain, the tears and desperation of wanting to give up yet I’m still feeding 13 months on!
It’s not always what I want to do and it can literally and metaphorically do my tits in but I keep going because “it’s easy”. I don’t have formula to buy, bottles to sterilise, I don’t need gadgets or fancy machinery to boil and cool the water to the right temperature, I don’t need to try a vast array of different bottles and teats to find the right one that works only to waste the others and contribute to the ever growing pile of waste we produce, I don’t need to worry. I just whap out a boob and off we go “it’s more convenient, it’s more nutritious, it’s better, it’s free”. Couldn’t have put it better myself.
I honestly don’t see the problem!
Following his initial statement on LBC radio Jamie did state that he was “scrabbling around for more information on this” so he was admitting he didn’t know all that goes on, how could he? he’s a man, he can’t breastfeed, but he’s going out of his way to find out all that he can – don’t castrate the man for trying to be informed oh and wait a minute isnt he a dad??? oh yeah he has four children and Jool’s breastfed so he’s not completely in the dark about what can go on and how hard it can be for us ladies. He did however state that “we have the worst breastfeeding in the world” and that he wanted to “support the women of Britain to breastfeed more, anywhere they want to, be supported, be informed” Jesus!! Quick somebody lynch the guy, he wants to show support!!
It’s not like he’s trying to campaign anything alien here, most new mums “want” to breastfeed and according to the 2010 Infant Feeding Survey;
“results from a poll of more than 10,000 women show 81 in every 100 start breastfeeding, up from 76 in 2005.
But after one week less than half of all new mothers are still exclusively breastfeeding.
And only one in every 100 manage the full recommended six months, the NHS Information Centre found.
This rate has remained static for years, despite repeated public health messages about the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for six months for infant health.”
So come on guys seriously? what’s with the backlash, the manbashing, the insults and the “go back to what you do best” kind of thing. What is wrong with someone standing up and supporting women? What is wrong with a MAN standing up and wanting to support women? (Emma Watson, this is great example for the “HeforShe” campaign) What is wrong with someone using the media spotlight for a worthy supportive cause? It’s not like he’s using his position as a role model for the younger generation to air naked selfie’s!! Jamie has brought to light that there are issues with breastfeeding, maybe we don’t need to hear so much about the benefits as we all seem to know those right??? I mean I’m practically a size 8 from losing all my baby weight from breastfeeding **complete lie but what there does seem to be a need for is the focus on is why is there a drop in the percentage of mothers who exclusively breastfeed? What seems to be the actual problem? What can be done there to help?
We seem to have gone and got our knickers in a twist about this but I think we are missing a great opportunity here. Seems to me like we are never happy. Moral outrage when a mother is cast out of a restaurant or asked to cover up, feed in a toilet blah blah, then outrage when someone voices a positive opinion and rally us breasties together to create an informed, supportive and educated group of women who want to breastfeed.
I know not every woman can breastfeed, for whatever circumstance there is whether through illness, latch issues, tongue/lip ties, mastitis, low supply….the list goes on but would some of us have breastfed for longer if there was more help? Less mum shaming? More confidence with breastfeeding in public?
I am fortunate that a) I don’t really give a crap what anyone else thinks when I breastfeed but b) I do live in a town where support seems to be fairly readily available, there are the Facebook groups, breastfeeding peer support workers, easy access to the infant feeding team, quick referrals for tongue tie issues, breastfeeding groups that we can go to. But does every one have access to that kind of support? Even as I type this campaign groups are trying to keep our local Children’s Centre’s open, not only are they are vital resource of help, advice and community spirit for families they are also a place to go, regularly for us breastfeeding mamma’s, and what’s happening to them? They are being shut down due to government cuts, how is that supporting women, parents, and children – surely this should have had more of a shine to it in the media spotlight but instead we have focused our efforts on the wrong person.
Whether we like it or not, Jamie does do good, his campaigns are totally for the right reasons, boo hoo our kids can’t eat turkey twizzlers for school dinners and fizzy drinks will cost more – GOOD!! I am sick of seeing kids queuing up outside of the shops early in the morning on the way to school filling their bags with bottle after bottle of fizzy drinks to “fuel” them through the day, as a teacher it does my head in watching children descend into a state of sugar induced chaos whilst they get their fix and vacate their brains away from what they should be doing. A school should be feeding our children healthy and nutritious food that fuels them for the day, giving them the energy to concentrate, for some children this may be the only decent meal that they get so let it be a balanced, healthy one.
Now Jamie and Jools are expecting again, it won’t be long before all the woes of having a newborn are thrust back into their lives once again and all this will become even more relevant. Despite being a celebrity couple Jools has had the usual breastfeeding issues in the past with her previous children from cracked nipples to bout after bout of Mastitis and I’m sure she’s not one to shy and hide away the pain and torture of it all for dear ol’ Jamie.
So come on girls give the guy a break and lets welcome him, support him supporting us, lets try and make a difference together one boob at a time.