So this is something that came up on the course today. The language we use. The words we use and the messages they give.
One of the common slogans we hear about breastfeeding is “breast is best”. There are two things in that phrase for me: The first is the message that anything else is worse, or not good enough – not a good message for the mother who wanted to breastfeed and didn’t (for whatever reason), or the mother who chose to feed her baby formula because she didn’t have enough information to make an “informed” choice – this often leads to the “if only I’d known that” type of sadness or regret later. The second is that word “best”. The word best kind of feels like hard work. Best isn’t about something being normal or “right” for the job, fit for purpose – best is “special”. Your “best” dress for some special event, “best” seats in the theatre… best means putting in extra effort… and breastfeeding shouldn’t be about having to put in extra effort or doing something special. Breastfeeding is, and should be talked about, as normal.
Breastfeeding is what our body is designed to do, breastmilk is what the human baby is designed to expect, for optimum growth, development and health.
Breastfeeding is not BEST, it is NORMAL.