Wow. Breastfeeding Bullies Say Mamas Who Fail To Breastfeed May Score A Huge Fine And Up To One Year's Jail Time.

I just read a depressing post over at The Stir the other day about breastfeeding bullies. The author discusses the...
I just read a depressing post over at The Stir the other day about breastfeeding bullies. The author discusses the new Indonesia breastfeeding law, which says that mamas who fail to breastfeed may score a huge fine and up to one year's jail time. WTF!? On one hand you might think a law like this makes sense. For example, according to the mama blogger over at The Stir notes, "Forty percent of kiddos under five have their growth stunted due to malnutrition over there. Their living conditions are incredibly unsanitary -- illness and disease run rampant. Indonesia, like the US, has not adopted the WHO and UNICEF's Code of Ethics for Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, meaning formula companies can advertise anywhere and say just about anything ... even when it hasn't been proven to actually be true. In countries like Indonesia, though, this can literally cause the death of many babies who desperately need the antibodies, and who are literally poisoned from contaminated bottles and bottle nipples, as well as the very water it's made with (which is often diluted as formula is prohibitively expensive)." Yes, the above is all very compelling, but what this blogger notes, and I agree with, is that forced breastfeeding is not right. I'd never personally support a law like this in the USA (or elsewhere). Telling women that they absolutely must breastfeed not only places terrible stress on most women but it sets women up to fail unless you can also 100% insure proper support and breastfeeding education for the entire population of women - which I seriously doubt any country can do. Plus, unless it has to do with abuse, it's just plain wrong to force parenting decisions like this on anyone. Breastfeeding bullies are nothing new. Take Gisele Bundchen who maybe jokingly said there should be a worldwide law forcing mamas to breastfeed. Joke or not, that's not cool. Take the insane happenings in 2007 when a bottle feeding mama was literally kicked out of a breastfeeding cafe in Attleborough. Take all the in-your-face annoying mamas you've met who gossip badly about bottle feeding mamas they meet, or even tell other mamas off. It's insane; especially since we complain endlessly when we're put down for breastfeeding. It's not okay the other way around either. All mamas deserve a choice: I personally believe that almost all mamas can successfully breastfeed with the right support. I know that breast milk is healthier for your baby than formula. I think breastfeeding should be promoted to the extreme, just not quite this extreme. When breastfeeding promotion becomes breastfeeding bullying, it's no longer okay. I don't care how amazing breastfeeding is. It's not worth making another mama feel bad about herself. It's insanely hard to be a mama. We don't need really bad laws and our peers making it worse. At the end of the day every single mama deserves the right to make her own decision about how to feed her baby. Breastfeeding, pumping breast milk for bottle feeding or using formula become moot points when you have a seriously unhappy and stressed mama. As a mama, you really have only two choices: 1. You can judge and bully your peers. 2. You can offer awesome support to your peers that helps make this mama gig easier. We have enough people judging our every move as parents, don't you think? Do we also need this from other mamas too?

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