We’ve all seen the ads, the posters in Dr’s waiting rooms, in hospital birth centres, labour wards and antenatal clinics. The ones that are given to you before birth, after birth… Probably during birth in some places. “Breast is best”. That slogan promoting breastfeeding. Breast is best for your child. Nothing else is as good.
Lately we’ve seen a new phrase pop up. “Fed is best”.
I posted an article a few weeks ago regarding celebrating ALL mothers and how they feed their kids. The article spoke about “fed is best” and one of the comments that popped up was along the lines of “I don’t agree with fed is best. It implies that even if you puree a bag of popcorn and give it to a newborn it’s ok”. A Google search saw me looking at lots of similar comments. “Fed is best? So if I give my kid gummy worms is that best?”
Really? We can all be ridiculous. “I don’t agree with breast is best. I mean what so if I puree a chicken breast and give it to a newborn it’s ok?” Sounds stupid, right? I agree. It sounds just as stupid as implying that “fed is best” means feed your child whatever you want.
I have to say, I’m a huge fan of “Fed is Best” because it is true! It doesn’t shame anyone. It doesn’t put anyone down and it doesn’t make anyone superior. It’s the food equivalent of “You there! Feeding your child! You’re doing a great job!” What I fail to understand is why people pick at it. As a phrase I think it’s pretty good at empowering mothers to feed their babies the best way for all involved. Considering the fact that some of these mothers may have had a very difficult breastfeeding journey that has come to an end because of lack of support, isn’t empowerment important?
My point is that we all know what is meant by “fed is best”. We all know that it doesn’t mean “feed your kid whatever you want as long as they have a full tummy”. But, as usual, people pick holes in these things. As usual people go to extremes. We all know that breast milk is made for babies. That’s the point of it. That’s the whole reason it exists, is to feed babies. But most smart people know that there are many other factors that come into play when a family is deciding how to feed their child. And formula does the job for those who can’t or don’t want to feed breast milk for whatever reason. Let’s not be dicks about it. We can all live side by side.
If breast is best for you and your child, that’s great. If bottle is best for you and your child, that’s great too. If you need to tube feed your child and that is best for them and you, that’s great. Breast milk or formula, whatever works for you is fine. Let’s empower women for their choices. You are feeding your child! You’re a great parent!
Whether tube, bottle or breast, it’s clear that fed is best.