I need to get something off my (err, rather large) chest. I don’t breastfeed. There, I said it. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants me to feel ashamed, embarrassed and less of a mom for this.
When I gave birth to my son Ian in October 2009 at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, the nightstand drawer besides my bed was stocked full with mini bottles of Similac formula. This time around, I had to specifically request one tiny bottle each and every time my daughter was due for a feeding every three hours. (Aware of the Mayor’s breastfeeding initiative, “Latch on NYC,” I had even checked beforehand if I should pack my own formula and bring in my hospital bag.)
Bloomberg made me feel like I was branded with a scarlet letter “F” for “FAILURE AS A MOM.” He’s turned it into a big issue where stranger hospital roommates, as well as medical staff and hospital personnel, listened to me demand formula to feed my newborn. I felt as if I was requesting “liquid gold.”
Breastfeeding is a very personal and often private issue/experience. It’s nobody else’s business why I am not doing it. I shouldn’t have to feel inadequate and negative about myself and my mothering style. I am providing my offspring with nourishment and all the necessary vitamins. I couldn’t love my baby more or be developing a closer bond.
Now if you excuse me, it’s time for Greenlee’s bottle which I will be giving to her on the couch while I slurp my Big Gulp!
This is why we shouldn’t allow a three term mayor. I’m not interested in his moralization. Whether its drinking soda or feeding formula, it’s not a politician’s concern. I already have a father. I didn’t elect him to be mine.