I must say this is something that annoyed me throughout pregnancy and has continued to irritate since Frankie was born. Information, advice and guidelines I know are there just to inform, advise and guide but when there is no real evidence to back up huge claims such as the occurrence of miscarriage and SIDS if said information, advice and guidelines are not adhered to, I think this is no better than propaganda and scaremongering.
This post may prove controversial but it is merely my opinion and I feel quite an informed opinion since I am the actual Google Queen. I feel I may have contributed to the widespread use of “I’ll Google it”, obviously not but I do Google everything.
When I was first pregnant and I just wanted to look up foods to avoid and what I should and shouldn’t be doing, I found that rather than give much information regarding the reasoning behind everything it just said that I was at risk of miscarrying should I not follow the “rules” 😳 This is such a scaremongering thing to advise mums to be and I can honestly say that some of it did really affect me for the first few months.
Following on from that, when I tried to ask health visitors and midwives advice about sleeping arrangements or feeding etc the responses I was given were simply that it was to avoid SIDS. One actually said that if my baby wasn’t asleep in the same room as me for the first 6 months then the risk of SIDS was trebled. Bullshit. So if he was 5 months and 29 days the risk is triple to that the following day?! I don’t think so.
You may have guessed that I harbour a lot of breastfeeding guilt and issues still and I think most of this comes from all the advice given whilst I was pregnant. I had EVERY intention of breastfeeding exclusively. And once I started this intention was cemented as I loved it! Until the agony arrived that is and the unknown infections and milk drying up. I had been told by midwives and breastfeeding specialists that formula was extremely bad for my baby and that I was making the right choice by breastfeeding rather than going down the “lazy route”. None of this really resonated until I had to to make the decision to formula feed Frankie at about 3 weeks and I was devastated. Still am. All of this information has stayed so deeply imprinted on my brain that I worry every day that there will be something wrong with Frankie at some point and it’ll be my fault for not giving him breast milk after he was 3 weeks old.
I should clarify that I did have a couple of fantastically supportive midwives and health visitors but the majority were so judgemental and unfortunately I only remember that negative advice everytime I make up a bottle. I think advice should be more balanced and more explanatory than just “this is what you do or else your baby will die”. It’s horrendous and extremely damaging.
I should add that I have been writing this post since my first post and it has taken me this long to properly finish and have the nerve to post it. Sorry for another rant!!