Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I'm going to leave the comments up rather than just deleting the post, because I think they're important. I made a huge error in judgement in posting about something that is such a flashpoint and I regret having done so. I recognise that while people have posted personal posts in the past, the qualitative difference is that they didn't involve anybody else.


  1. Well done for being so honest in this post Jo (haven't read the link yet).

  2. Much like yourself Jo, I would never mean to upset anyone with my views. But, everyone has the right to their say and inevitably we don't always like what other people think.

    I know that fact that I am not a mother myself makes my opinion a bit null and void - and perhaps I will think differently when I have a child....but, I just think the whole breastfeeding debate is blown out of proporation in the grand scheme of things.

    To me it's a bit of a non-issue, no-one's going to die if you don't breast feed, I know people who went both ways with breastfeeding, it was never a huge deal - they just made a decision and went one way or the other.

    I would much rather people put time and effort into discussing real problems such as people piercing babies ears, what's up with that??

  3. Jo, I have to say I totally respect the way you've written this and you're reasons round it. I think with the earlier BF stuff the lactivists went on the offensive and that made people either angry or dismiss the issue. Your rational post makes it easier to read through the subject. I can see where your coming, but I find the whole thing squeamish, never mind Tib's post from the other day that I feel sick thinking about.

  4. Christ, hear hear/ here here (???)on the ear piercing! There was a good debate on Rollercoaster about it - some awful stories of screaming three year olds being forced to have it done! Evil and SKANKY!!

    You'd find ou a lot more about the importance on it if you read up about bfing though, voodoolady. For example, millions of 3rd dworld babies a year are dying who could be saved by being breastfed, so in fact, people are literally dying from not being. Sure, it doesn't apply in the first world, of course your child won't die from being fed formula, or necessarily seem to have any differences. But if bfing cuts my cancer risk by 25%, that's significant odds for me, with my family history - and if it does that for me, presumably all the stuff that's in it will seimilarly safeguard my children's future, not just their infacy. There ain't no stem cells in formula...

  5. I remember reading that if there was a pill that would cut breast cancer risk by 25%, people would be clamoring for it...but bf'ing does that, and people dismiss it. Funny that science has taken over so much and what our bodies tell us is ignored.

  6. Glad you could write your post but hurt that you feel sorry for me and my children...I can think up 10 reasons to feel sorry for us before breastfeeding! I really feel attacked on this point. Should I have done what a lot of people do and lie? I respect your opinions and choices, why can't you respect mine? Should I have been forced into it? Sorry but I'm so fucking sick of being beaten up because I'm not a fucking earth mother! I'm not! I'm not perfect! Far fucking from it....but please done feel sorry for me. or my children, if you want to feel sorry for someone how about people who can't have kids, or children who are abused or living in poverty! Sorry, but I'm not a bad person, I have made my choices, had to defend them all the time, you guys have the moral high ground, fair play to you. I don't need your pity!


  7. All I can do is be with MW on this. Jesus lads I thought we had this discussion a while back and the bad feeling it started to engender among some of us almost tore us apart.

    My own feelings on ths (again) are that I have three happy, extremely healthy and above the curve in terms of learning kids. None of whom were breast fed.

    I simply can't understand why people can not respect the informed choices of people in the choosing to breastfeed or not debate. We are not children, nor stupid. We have simply made a choice that deserves to be respected whether you like it or not. No amount of hectoring on the part of lactivists is going to change our minds (and certainly not retrospectively when these decisions were made YEARS AGO!)

    I fail to see what dragging back up an old discussion like this is going to do, I really do. MW is right.

    Jo, although you may not have intended it that way, it does look like you are saying you feel sorry for MW and her (and my) kids.

  8. Ach. I appreciate that not breastfeeding was the best choice for you guys. And I'm not saying for a minute that you should have felt forced into it. Or that your kids aren't happy or healthy.

    I posted this again because I haven't been able to get it out of my head. Because there's so much misunderstanding about it. I accept you made an informed choice an informed choice that is right for you, and I'm not arguing with that. I'm not judging you for that.

    It is not my intention to make anyone feel guilty or less than a 'good parent', whatever that may be. Of course we all have different priorities.

    I do feel sad that you felt negative about it. Because it is something I consider important on a deep level. I understand it wasn't a sacrifice worth making for you, I get it, I'm not saying you made the wrong choice. I'm just sorry that you feel the way you do about it.

    I know it's not unusual, for god's sake, breastfeeders are in the minority in this country, we're at about 40% leaving hospital, which is a false statistic, as it's not realistic.

    I'm not trying to beat anyone up. I was trying, in some way, to show why I feel the way I do. To show why it is such a concern for me. You feel that I have the moral highground on this argument, but I fel that breastfeeding has been so demonised and is hugely misunderstood and undersupported here.

    I don't seem to be able to put it any better than I have. I so did not mean to attack anyone. Perhaps I made the wrong call, it's hard to be torn between what you believe in and people who are important to you, perhaps I made the wrong call.

  9. I think a big part of the problem is that in Ireland, it's not an informed choice. No, it's really not. People aren't given the info that they need to make a decision based on medical evidence. I mean, there are still people out there who think that an okay formula to give people is condensed milk and corn syrup! Or that it's okay to give babies cereal in their bottles.

    These have all been shown to not be okay, and I think it's safe to say that we all know that. But a lot of the myths and info on breastfeeding isn't given properly by doctors and midwives. Sure, you can make a choice, but I think people do take more into account when buying a car then when deciding to breastfeed or not.

    Yes, there are some who say "Nope, not for me." Fine. But if someone stands up and says "It is better for the child", don't kill the messenger. And for the others, who think it's dirty or it's disgusting? Don't. Freaking. Look. I'm not walking into your house and saying "You don't use bleach?! Don't you know that it's better?!"

    I avoid most of these discussions (yes, I do, really!) because of the feelings it brings up. MW was right, why can't we all just get along? We can. Jo was saying that it was bothering her that she didn't speak up before. This is her speaking up *on her personal blog*. If someone else said the same stuff on their personal blog, I'd go to theirs and comment there. I'm not commenting on her post there, but hte post here that is getting her slightly flamed.

    I've always told friends what you put on your blog is about's your feelings, your opinions, and if it pisses people off, all the better. Means that you're onto something.

  10. I have said all I have had to say on this subject, and I hope to god we can just get over this shit and move on, it is spliting the group in a big way not that I am one for not enjoying debate but please this blog is turning into a breastfeeding blog, I am so sorry I ever brought up my wife experiences in a comment, and have learnt never to do so again.

    As a male I am not partaking in any more of these conversations, there just aint no point.

  11. I could go on with this but we really have to end this here. Out of the nearly 1000 posts we have, only two have ever caused this level of acrimony, both on the same subject.

    My final thoughts on the subject are that I'm not with Polka on two things: I don't think that stuff you blog about that pisses people off is, by itself, all the better (particularly in a close knit group such as ourselves that aspires to socialise with each other from time to time) and to suggest that MW and I didn't make an informed decision all those years ago is, at best, incredibly patronising. The exhaustive level of research we did into every aspect of parenting at the time is something we should not have to illustrate here or anywhere.

    I've spoken to two people today who have both voiced the possibility of leaving the blog because of the hassle and upset created by this subject.

    Enough. Please.

    Save this issue for your personal blogs if you wish unless you want to cause more serious personal upset to your fellow LPBs who do not want to have to justify any choices they made about their lives in the past. Nor should they have to.

    Please. Dictators don't use that word often.