The Jamie Oliver Breastfeeding Debate – My Thoughts

21st March 2016

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you will be well aware that all hell as broken loose following Jamie Oliver’s views on breastfeeding. I’ll be honest, I saw the backlash before the original comment and assumed that Jamie had said something incredibly out of order.

blog post in response to the Jamie Oliver breastfeeding campaign in support of jamie oliver

I was shocked to see that he hadn’t criticised formula feeding mother’s at all. He is just keen to support those who want to breastfeeding. I don’t think Jamie means any offence to formula feeding mum’s, I think he simply used a bad choice of words, stating that breastfeeding is ‘easy’ probably wasn’t his wisest move. Breastfeeding isn’t always easy.

If you’ve read my breastfeeding story you will know that I struggled with it, I think I lasted a total of six weeks, and I only managed this by expressing milk and giving it to Aria from the bottle, during these six weeks, and up until the age of one, she also had formula. I am aware that some people would be disgusted with my decision to use formula, despite the fact that it was actually the Hospital who told me to put Aria onto formula because she had lost too much weight. I don’t think that this is what Jamie is trying to stop, he simply wants to try and encourage more women to give breastfeeding a go, by increasing support and getting the facts out there maybe he will.

I have experienced exactly how difficult breastfeeding can be, to the point that I’m not even sure if I will try breastfeeding any future babies. Yes, their mother’s milk is the best for them, but at what cost? Surely a healthy, happy mum is more beneficial to the baby than breast milk? I say this because I’m pretty sure that if I had carried on breastfeeding I would have eventually become depressed. I could feel it happening which is why I stopped.

I had a lot of support, and I’m aware that not everyone does, though I must admit I personally don’t think that the support helped, if anything it made me want to stop even more because I felt like I was under constant scrutiny and pressure, I knew that if I just went onto formula the continuous two hour appointments where we would put Aria in various positions to see if she would latch and the constant questions would stop. We could be happy, under no pressure, and most importantly Aria would be fed.

As a ‘failed’ breastfeeding mother Jamie’s comments haven’t upset me in the slightest, in fact, I support him and wish him the best of luck with this campaign. Yes, he shouldn’t have said breastfeeding is easy, because it isn’t. But surely campaigning for support of breastfeeding in public is something that we all want?

I personally feel that this whole thing has been taken completely out of context. Jamie himself admits that he isn’t an expert, just that he wants to encourage more people to breastfeed, if he feels that he can help give women the support that they need to carry on then why not let him try?

You can listen to Jamie Oliver’s breastfeeding announcement here.

What do you think of this ‘campaign’? Do you support Jamie or do you think he is out of order? What are your reasons for this?

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  • Reply Lizzie Williams 21st March 2016 at 9:39 pm

    I belive it's personal choice. No one should be belittled for how they choose to feed their baby. What matters most is that both mum and baby are happy and healthy. I started off trying to breast feed but my daughter had a 100% tongue tie and couldn't latch at all. She was also jaundice so we had to express but also use formula as a top up so she'd get the milk she needed to get rid of the jaundice because she wasn't getting enough through the expressing alone. Even with bottle feeding she struggled and often dribbled out most of the milk I expressed. Like you I had a lot of support from breast feeding support workers, however, I feel like they never listened to me when I told them that she wasn't able to latch and feed. Their answers were always keeps trying since I was a first time mum so it would take time. I constantly kept trying and it made me very upset personally that they wouldn't listen to me, plus on top of that I had a hungry screaming baby. I think more support is definitely needed and it's good that Jamie is bringing publicity to breast feeding support. Maybe he shouldn't have said it was easy, but at the same time he says he's not an expert. Even though I struggled the first time with breast feeding I'll definitely try with any other children I have x

    • Reply Leanne 29th March 2016 at 9:41 pm

      I completely agree with you 🙂 Everyone should be in a position to make their own choice based on the facts, and be given the support that they may need.

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