This week one of the subjects discussed on the Jeremy Vine show was “cross feeding”, a story born out of an unwell mother’s FB request for other mums to help her breast feed when she couldn’t. I sat in my car and thought – here we go, someone said breastfeeding, let’s all get nasty and say breast is best and all that jazz. Anyway, without going into the bones of it all, I found myself thinking this discussion is NICE! Of course Jeremy Vine is a master of drumming up evocative debate whilst keeping it warm, fair and with just the right dose of devil’s advocacy but surely even he couldn’t stop a convo about breastfeeding going tits up?
But sure enough he did. A breastfeeding discussion about cross feeding and no one seemed all that cross, just nice! I love Jeremy Vine. During the debate a few things came up about how feeding babies in the UK is such an emotive issue and how as a country we are just a bit unnecessarily squiffy about it. One caller had been told to cover up or leave a coffee shop for breastfeeding. I’ve heard SO many stories like that. And seen that great viral shot of the woman staring someone down who was giving her the evil eye for feeding, in a coffee shop again. To be fair this woman had practically removed her whole top, which didn’t seem entirely necessary but still not something that deserved any kind of eye let alone an evil one.
The curious thing is that there’s squiffiness about formula too – haven’t you heard breast is best?
It was then I got to thinking, the thing that seems to fuel the nastiness about feeding babies generally are “these people in coffee shops” of which there are 2 distinct types:
TYPE 1. THE BREAST SHY COFFEE SHOP BABY-FEEDING FANATIC:
Hypothetical victim’ example:
“I was in a coffee shop breastfeeding my baby and a lady/man tutted at me and said that’s disgusting, you should go and do it in the toilet…. Etc etc”.
TYPE 2. THE FORMULA HATING COFFEE SHOP BABY-FEEDING FANATIC:
Hypothetical victim’ example:
“I was in a coffee shop bottle feeding my baby and a lady/man told me I shouldn’t be feeding my baby that poison and didn’t I know breast is best”
Who are these fanatical feeding obsessives hanging around coffee shops all the time? Why don’t they just sit and enjoy their coffee? Do we need to agree that the formula is poison lot go to Starbucks and the put it away love crew go to Costa?
Moreover though, why don’t these people just basically pipe down about all of it? Any baby who is being fed is a happy and likely healthy one. It’s a baby who’s NOT being fed that you’ve got to worry about. These coffee shop baby-feeding fanatics just don’t seem to want babies to be fed. THEY ARE THE VILLAINS. If they got their way coffee shops would be a screaming hell!
Anyway the points of this post are that the cross feeding debate was nice. The events that lead to the debate were nice. Jeremy Vine is SO nice.
It’s just these darn grumpy folks in coffee shops.