Doulas of Des Moines
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The Doula Dish

Your job is to feed the baby

Feeding your baby in front of others can be a daunting task. You may fear judgement if you pull out a bottle, or you may fear that someone will be offended if you pull out a breast. You may worry about being criticized for nursing under a cover or for daring to nurse without one. Or you may tense up in preparation for the “breast is best” lecture as you prepare your baby’s food from nourishing powder.

It sucks to be criticized for doing one of the most fundamental and important parts of your job as a parent

 I know it seems like everyone around you has an opinion about how you should (and shouldn’t) feed your baby. It sucks to feel judged or criticized for doing one of the most fundamental and important parts of your job as a parent (feeding the tiny human), and I in no way wish to minimize that. But please hear me when I say:

It is not your job to make anyone else comfortable.

You are a parent. It IS your job to make sure your baby is fed. Whether that means pulling out a bottle or breast in the middle of a busy store, finding a private place for your child to eat (and you to relax), mixing a bottle from formula, supporting your partner so they can more comfortably feed your child, or doing some combination of these things, it is your job to do what works for your family to get your child fed.

It is NOT your job to defend yourself or make others feel comfortable with your feeding methods or practices. If you think someone around you may be more comfortable if you cover while nursing or otherwise modify your feeding practices AND YOU WISH TO DO SO, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if you’d rather stick to what’s been working for you and your baby? There’s nothing wrong with that either, and you shouldn’t be made to feel like there is.

Feed your baby. Love your baby. When possible, surround yourself with supportive people. And when you run into people with opinions to share: hold your head high and know that you are doing your job as a parent and doing it damn well.

EmmaRose BenneComment