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Linda: the stigma of not breastfeeding

Linda describes the stigma that she felt because she was not able to breastfeed her baby.


I remember going into mum and baby groups.

One of the Public Health Nurses that were running the sessions, they said: oh lets split you guys up: who’s breast-feeding and who’s bottle-feeding? They split us up into groups!

And so there I am with the one other mum, (laughs) and they wanted us to talk about our experience and I’m like: this is so, this is like traumatic. You, you’re actually, you’re actually alleviating that stigma. Like, you know, like elevating that stigma, I mean. And so, so that was a very bizarre experience. And I was so sleep-deprived that I didn’t really, couldn’t process what was going on, but I remember thinking afterwards: that was just not right. Because that would make any mum feel horrible. So but it is, it’s intimidating. And I always hear about it from  other mums when they have to be in public places they almost kind of shun from having to feed their baby in public, right? Because they, then that means you have to admit that you’re not breast-feeding.

Luckily it wasn’t as horrible for me because, I guess, because I was more accepting of it. But it wasn’t easy, like I’m, do I openly tell (whisper) oh yeah I didn’t breast-feed my child. Like I don’t openly tell people that, right? it’s so, yeah.