However, I thought I'd try for at least one post. But there is so much to discuss about breastfeeding as it's such an emotive subject, so I thought I'd take a different angle, to show that we breastfeeders sometimes feel excluded and despised too.
Now don't get me wrong, I am a confident breastfeeder. I don't feel the need to hide away and will happily breastfeed in a coffee shop, restaurant, well, wherever I need to really. But there have been times when I haven't found it so easy.
For example, when Felix was still tiny and I was trying to find my feet, getting used to being at home and having to find friends to spend my days with (either that or never speak to another adult ever again!), I went along to a local baby group. At first the breast/bottle divide was about 50-50. After the first couple of sessions though, I don't remember seeing anyone else breastfeeding. The plastic chairs (think school hall) were set out in a circle in the middle of the room. So there was no opportunity for discretion, and there was no way of making yourself comfortable. Nobody spoke to me whilst I was feeding either. I felt ostracised from the group, like an intruder with a disgusting habit.
I believe I gave the group one more chance after this. Nothing any worse happened but I felt no real desire to attend again. I went on a mission to find other breastfeeding mums to befriend and thankfully my antenatal class members came good (they weren't an obvious first choice as we were sent to an NCT group the other side of the city and we only made it to one class before Mr Premature decided to enter the world).
My point is, that it's often the formula-feeders that feel the breastfeeders look down on them, pity them or criticise them. It happens to breastfeeders too y'know. Nicknames like the Breastapo come from our need to display confidence in our decision to breastfeed. It's a defence mechanism to any negativity we may feel.
I think our own inner feelings of guilt or insecurity can make us imagine other people's prejudice in these situations. I know formula feeders who never even considered breastfeeding and are more than confident in their decision. They don't feel belittled by me and I don't feel embarrassed about breastfeeding in their presence.
How about you? Breastfeeders: did you ever feel excluded by the bottle-feeders? Formula mums: have you ever felt pity for or judgemental about another mums decision to breastfeed?