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A story to make every Mum’s blood boil

28 Mar

I’m not an angry person but this morning I saw a news story that made my blood boil. It’s an awful example of the media casting totally unfair judgements on a new mum, for no aparent reason, other than complete nastiness. In its wisdom (not), The Daily Telegraph published this photo of radio personality, Jackie O, and her daughter, Kitty, crossing the road. It was accompanied by the following story, which is written in a cowardly way inferring, but not saying outright,  that Jackie O is a bad mum. Totally unfair, I say.

WITH books by Libbi Gorr and Jessica Rowe being launched this week, there seems to be no lack of information on the subject of caring for one’s baby. Yet in all the literature, we are yet to spot a single chapter which touches upon feeding newborns while crossing the road. In a quick search, Confidential found that professionals generally agree the preferred position for feeding a three-month-old is sitting in a chair or in a bed. Radio star Jackie O might disagree after being snapped bottle-feeding baby Kitty while crossing a street. Mothercraft and Nannies director Jenni Waldron gently suggested: “It would be best to sit comfortably in a chair and hold your baby correctly while feeding.”
OK. So, this article is insinuating that Jackie is a bad mum on three counts
1) she’s carrying her baby across a road
2) she’s bottle feeding, as opposed to breast feeding her baby
3) she should be sitting down to feed the baby

How unfair! Whoever wrote this story has cast some very harsh judgements without knowing ANYTHING about the situation. At a guess, the baby is three months old. At a guess, she was probably very hungry. As any Mum knows – when a baby is screaming with hunger, you would do ANYTHING to feed them, including doing it while crossing a road. I have a three month old, and when she is desperate for food, I’ll feed her any way I can – standing on my head if I have to. The hungry cry is a very distressing sound – it’s designed to be that way so you feed the baby straight away. It’s like an inbuilt survival mechanism.

As for how she’s feeding the baby (ie with a bottle) – all I can say is – the feeding of babies should be a judgement-free zone. Mums need to do what works best for them – and for the baby. If that’s a bottle – great! If it’s breast – great! Mums tend to beat themselve up enough on this issue – we don’t need the media to do it for us.