On Jamie Oliver & Boobs

I’m not going to sugar coat it. If you can’t see that Jamie Oliver shining the spotlight on lack of support for new mothers to breastfeed & the gaps in funding / care / knowledge across the UK is nothing but a good thing then you’re delusional.

Jamie Oliver Breastfeeding
Maybe you’re coming from a place where you thought you couldn’t breastfeed, maybe no one helped you, maybe they were too quick to offer formula – you have a right to be angry about this. Someone somewhere failed you.

That doesn’t mean you have to attack every pro breastfeeder that crosses your path. Can we not stand together? I personally support your right to be pissed off at the fact that someone failed you and I do not for one second think that formula feeding means that you failed your child.
You absolutely have the right to choose what you do with your own body & you know full well Mr Oliver isn’t here to force you into breastfeeding. I know that many many women would have breastfed for longer if they’d had the right support and it’s simply not acceptable that they didn’t.
Yes he might be a man and not have first hand experience but he’s a father, a son, a human being and in my opinion attacking him for standing up for women on the basis that as a man he doesn’t have the right to comment is absurd!
Surely the ultimate expression of equality is when one gender is prepared to fight for the rights of the other?
So I stand with Jamie Oliver, and anyone else who wants to use their position of influence to do good.

 

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36 Comments

  1. 19th March 2016 / 9:23 am

    I totally agree! More education is definitely needed. It doesn’t take away anyone’s choice, just allows them to be informed and supported in that choice.
    My little girl was tiny and poorly from the start and we were put under a lot of pressure to formula feed. Luckily I was pretty educated about breastfeeding and carried on. We then found out that it was allergies that were making her poorly and a bottle of formula could have killed her! Anything that makes breastfeeding more supported and normal can only be a goid thing ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 19th March 2016 / 6:54 pm

      You’re so right lovely! I feel so lucky that L & I managed to get off to a good start with BF, if things hadn’t gone so well I don’t know that I would of had the knowledge or backbone to step up and push through.

    • 20th March 2016 / 3:43 pm

      I totally agree. I believe that there also needs to be more support for health visitors too so that they understand how to speak to women and how to be sensitive. I know many women who had horrible experiences with certain health visitors who spoke to them very agressively and failed to foster an environment of support and positivity around breast feeding. As a result many women said that they felt like failures as they struggled to feed their babies; something that should be a beautiful, special experience between a mother and her child. Xx

  2. 19th March 2016 / 9:33 am

    I haven’t seen his comments or know anything more about that story other than “Jamie Oliver’s next campaign is encouraging breastfeeding and he seems to be getting some stick for it.” That is the extend of my knowledge. But based on that alone, like you, I fail to see anything bad there. People still have their rights to choose. Same as they still have a right to feed their kids burgers for lunch every day. Jamie Oliver is not God, he does not make the rules and his opinions are not law. If you don’t like what he says, fine. But in a day and age where such a natural thing gets reactions from Doctors such as “Oh it’s nice to see a breastfed baby for a change” (true story) then I think it’s very important that someone started to stand up for this and bring awareness to the fact that yes, people do struggle, yes, people need more support and any publicity is good publicity. People will always choose to formula feed and thats up to them but lets help those that don’t choose it, lets help those that feel its the only option. Educate and support!
    I don’t understand why a celebrity using his influence for good is seen as a bad thing!
    PS Boobs to you too!
    Leslie Rickerby recently posted…The MAD Blog awards – Vote for me…. Please??My Profile

  3. 19th March 2016 / 10:47 am

    Love this Hannah! Absolutely agree, I’m sick of the grief he’s getting. People complain that they were let down by lack of support, yet complain that someone is trying to do something about it!x

    • 19th March 2016 / 6:52 pm

      I know like seriously you can’t do right for doing wrong! Give the man a break. He’s hardly an oracle but at least he opens his mouth when he feels passionate about something.

  4. 19th March 2016 / 12:22 pm

    Thank you for brightening my day against the grey thunder of man-bashing and pro-bf bashing that twitter and facebook are spewing a the moment ๐Ÿ™‚ it is much appreciated

    • 19th March 2016 / 6:51 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment!! :):) Glad you enjoyed the post xo

  5. 19th March 2016 / 2:11 pm

    I agree completely!
    He isn’t judging anyone, he is simply saying that if there was more support available then more women would be able to continue breastfeeding.
    I stopped earlier than I wanted to and it haunts me everyday.
    At least he bloody cares, so many people are in a position to do good and waste the opportunity to!
    X

    • 19th March 2016 / 6:50 pm

      Absolutely. I think more and more celebrities are taking advantage of their position to promote worthy causes and I applaud them! Also, you are an amazing mother and should never ever doubt that. xox

  6. Clare
    19th March 2016 / 2:31 pm

    Well said. Thank you for taking the time to do this. I hope Jamie sees this x

    • 19th March 2016 / 6:48 pm

      Flip so do I! Maybe he’ll have me round for dinner ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. 19th March 2016 / 4:51 pm

    Fantastic Post, I totally agree with you, I work as a breastfeeding practitioner and we are one of a few places that have a dedicated team to offer help and support to women who wish to breastfeed, but I know that our area is VERY lucky to have such a service, so good on you Jamie and well done for speaking out!

    • 19th March 2016 / 6:48 pm

      I’d love for that to be my job! Must be so rewarding ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. 19th March 2016 / 5:13 pm

    I can’t help feeling it depends what his ‘angle’ is. He said that you never hear that breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer, yet I was told this numerous times when pregnant – I’d not heard that before, but why would I? I was unable to breastfeed then! If he intends to spread the message that “breast is best” then that message is already out there without him.

    If, however, he is campaigning to increase support available after birth then I am all for it, after all, this is greatly needed.

    The fact he described breastfeeding as “easy” makes me concerned it is the former and to be honest made me cringe a little. So, I’m reserving judgement so far!!

    • 19th March 2016 / 6:47 pm

      Totally agree with you! I’ve since seen that he’s posted a bit of a retraction – probably due to all the hate he’s been getting but I really hope he sits down and does his research and does lobby the government to provide more funding and support where it’s needed.
      I believe the easy comment was a misquote.

  9. 19th March 2016 / 5:24 pm

    Totally agree with this. I really hope I get the right support when I breastfeed my third. Well done sharing this post!

  10. 19th March 2016 / 7:37 pm

    Completely agree, what women need is more support to continue feeding and get past the difficult but. I know too many women who were told to just give them formula as it’s not worth the pain they were in. If only they had more/better support they could have continued feeding. It was and is easy for me to breastfeed, so it wouldn’t upset me if he did say that, but I know its not someway for everyone. I think he’s great for highlighting an important topic in the nutrition of young children and the hope for better health for their future.

  11. 19th March 2016 / 8:13 pm

    Apart from his comments about how breastfeeding is “easy”, I’m totally with Jamie. Good on him.

    Like you, I think everyone has the right to have an opinion on breastfeeding (unless it’s an ignorant one, of course), even a man, especially when that opinion is to spread support and help.

    You can tell he cares, otherwise he wouldn’t bother. I wish more celebs took this stance.

    Great post. I was going to write something (maybe I will) but this sums it all up.

  12. 20th March 2016 / 12:06 am

    Agree with most of this. I support what he is doing. Breastfeeding isn’t easy, no, and it is unfortunate he seems to have said that, but speaking as someone who has exclusively breastfed twins (still going and they are now 12 months old), I am glad I haven’t had to wash and sterilise dozens of bottles, make up feeds in the middle of the night, or lug around bags of milk powder. Nothing ‘goes off’ and so there is always a fresh supply of milk at a second’s notice. And I have saved a lot of money by breastfeeding. I forgive Jamie for saying it is easy – maybe his wife had a lot of support and therefore it looked easy to him? Lucky her. Lucky him. With more support, it could be Lucky Us, too. Breastfeeding is certainly difficult if you don’t have any support.

    I judge no woman who has formula-fed their child, but if you wanted to breastfeed and it didn’t work out because you didn’t get any help with it, you should support what Jamie is trying to do. I don’t care that he is a man. If an influential man started saying, ‘Let’s make women’s menstrual cycles easier by removing tax on sanitary products, and offering free pain relief’, would we say, ‘How dare he interfere, he can’t have a say because he’s a man!’? Why are we shooting ourselves in the food over this??

    • 20th March 2016 / 12:08 am

      Foot* ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Emma
    20th March 2016 / 7:07 am

    I feel that lots of women truly believe they made a ‘choice’ to breastfeed, based on the first few weeks being painful, or the first few months being exhausting. What they don’t realise is that their ‘choice’ was made in a context where they didn’t know enough (but noone knows they don’t know enough – if you did, youd seek to learn more), weren’t supported enough or properly (again, if you knew that better support existed, youd ask for it), and where formula is the cultural norm (in ALL peer groups after a certain age). And I therefore understand why people think we are attacking their choice. We are not. But nobody wants to hear that they could have had a chance to do better by their baby, so they are defensive. There is even an ‘I wasn’t supported so why should others be?’ element. I have bf both of mine, but I combi fed my daughter (a bottle of formula per day) from 10 weeks due to misinformation from peers (“she will sleep better”) and lack of my own knowledge. The expectation of expressing being easy also really doesn’t help.

  14. 20th March 2016 / 8:17 am

    I have no issue with more support for breastfeeding. It’s tough and we all need help. I do have an issue with zealotry of any type so I never want to see it cross over into Breastapo territory.
    That’s fine. We all agree it’s a good thing and support is a good thing. We all agree that men can be feminists too…it’s just that Jamie Oliver isn’t. He’s not on the side of women who struggle – he’s shaming them in his comments. I could quote but I’m not that humourless.
    I don’t want to listen to mansplaining on any subject. I’m too smart to put up with that. I’m also too smart to put up with anybody assuming that I can’t make my own informed decision.

  15. 20th March 2016 / 8:47 am

    I fail to see anything bad in what he is doing. Would he be getting the same reaction of he was a woman?

  16. kay
    20th March 2016 / 9:05 am

    Personally id like Jamie to be about choice not about breast is best. I do agree that no one should have to say I tried but couldn’t bf, as the help and support should be out there. But also if a mother knows all the information and is well educated and still chooses to bottle feed no one should try to make her feel bad for that choice. What is important is that we as mothers are supported by professionals and other mothers into making the best choices for our families.

  17. 20th March 2016 / 9:36 am

    Yes!! I hate that you can’t say ‘breastfeeding is good’ without the fear of being called a boob nazi and being told you’re making everyone else feel bad. I’ve shied away from writing a post about breastfeeding because I’ve had three great experiences and I feel like its insensitive to say that, even if it was your experience. As a citizen of the world (never mind a father of four) Jamie Oliver has every right to say how he thinks babies should be fed in an ideal world.
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  18. 20th March 2016 / 1:23 pm

    After the first few weeks with dd1 and first few dats with ds bf was was for me. Not just easy, it was a joy, helped me to feel competent as a mum, was pretty much the solution to every unhappy baby moment. Saved my sanity, cheered me up. Made me relax. I miss it!

  19. 20th March 2016 / 7:31 pm

    I agree with anyone putting forward their opinion, we all have a right to share our ideas and opinion . Jamie Oliver is a great example of someone standing up and voicing their ideas. I have recently written about my ideas on breastfeeding, having fed mine for 18 months (each!)
    https://familyux.wordpress.com/

  20. Louise Andrew
    20th March 2016 / 11:36 pm

    As a new mum I find everything I’m hearing about lack of support for breast feeding totally alien – it doesn’t match my experience at all. My son was very premature, we were given wonderful support by the neonatal unit which had a dedicated breast feeding counsellor. However, after six weeks, a lot of stess, a lot of tears and a very tiny baby who just needed to be loved and fed we switched to formula. It was the right decision for us. Breast feeding may be best for some but not for all and it isn’t the only way to express love.
    I feel far from in the majority when it comes to feeding. I often feel judged by other mums and feel the need to justify myself.
    If Jamie Oliver wants to campaign for every hospital to have a well informed and caring feeding consultant like the one I had that’s great. But if this is lending support to the breast is best message if question if it’s needed – the message is everywhere already and a celebrity endorsement frankly just feels like another thing to make mums who can’t or choose not to breast feed feel even more like a crap mum than they already do.
    Perhaps what is needed is a reminder that people make choices for reasons that we don’t always understand, what women need is support to make those choices and respect no matter what that choice is.

  21. Glenda Grove
    22nd March 2016 / 4:13 am

    I’ve been a breastfeeding counsellor since 1985, and I was incredibly excited when I first saw that Jamie Oliver was getting behind breastfeeding. It is just common sense, if you are going to try to get the world to eat healthy food well the logical beginning of this is to have babies have breast milk. Breast milk is quite a miracle substance, we are still finding out how it helps mothers and babies and we already know lots about what a great substance it is for all sorts of reasons. We certainly are in the throes of a great social experiment in not giving our babies our milk, as mothers have breastfed since the beginning of homo sapiens. We are yet to see the harm that will be the result.

  22. Jessica
    22nd March 2016 / 11:02 am

    Your article is spot on. Well done! I was born in the UK in 1965. My mum was the only one in the maternity ward to breastfeed and this was against the ‘advice’ of the midwives. Fortunately she had the support of my dad and her mother and went on to breastfeed my sisters as well. My children were born in Australia and although I had no family around I had fabulous breastfeeding information and support from the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) as well as well educated health professionals. We moved back to the UK when my youngest was 9 months old and I noticed immediately how far behind the country was in breastfeeding knowledge, support and practice, not to mention how few mothers breastfed in public. This was particularly for babies over the age of 6 months and the only toddlers I ever saw being breastfed were at breastfeeding mother meetings.
    I strongly believe that if a mother wishes to breastfeed (and most mothers do when given the true hard facts) she can if given enough of the right support, information and help.

  23. 26th March 2016 / 10:36 pm

    Thanks Hannah, I’m definitely glad that a fellow parent who is very involved with the art of parenting, publically expressed his view about infant feeding. It’s a shame some mums feel attacked, but Jamie can’t be blamed for this. The issue of breastfeeding has so many ramifications and it obviously needs more attention in the UK. I, like you, definitely stand with Jamie and others who use their position positively.

    #BritMumsBreastfeedingRound-upFeaturedPost

  24. 10th September 2016 / 10:50 am

    Totally agree, I never saw anything bad about Jamie Oliver supporting breastfeeding. There is definitely a lack of support for quite a lot of women luckily I never experienced this. More help and education needs to be given and not just for women but for the health professionals as well.
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