14 Comments

  1. Fantastic post Abi!! I’ve been really annoyed reading a lot of the comments and posts slating Jamie Oliver. I listened to his little segment and I feel that yes his wording could have been better but that if it means more support for women who wish to breastfeed then I am all for him being behind it. Support is so important during the early days and maybe having a man behind a campaign will mean men will more likely listen and learn to support their partners during those early days whilst getting feeding established and maybe even support extended feeding past 6 months/ a year/ 2 years.

    • Thanks for your comment – it is spot on! It’s all about support and I don’t mind who it comes from, as long as it comes from somewhere. Jamie is definitely on to something so I hope with a little more research on his part, he’ll come back fighting!

  2. I have read a lot of comments and posts about Jamie Oliver’s breastfeeding debate and felt very much that he waded in ignorantly etc. BUT I hadn’t actually read anything about what he said (look who’s the ignorant one!)…it’s interesting to see it transcribed here. On the whole, yes, he makes very good points. I also don’t have an issue with him being a man…I think having an issue with him being a man is a tad sexist, as you say he’s a father.
    Equally, however, I do think his wording is unfortunate. Perhaps it’s unfair to pick up on it so much, but then again perhaps he could have thought it through/run it by a few people first! He must be aware of the can of worms breastfeeding it. Easy is a really hard one to get over. It’s such an emotive subject. I breastfed for 18 months. It was rarely easy. It was, in fact, the hardest thing I’ve ever done and i wonder if being told it’s easy is not only irritating but also feels a little judgemental. What was I doing so wrong if everyone else finds it so easy? That sort of idea.
    It’s unfortunate that breast vs bottle seems to have been done to death too – that’s not his fault it’s just a shame. Any talk of mummy wars saddens me immeasurable, it’s not my reality and I feel so sad when people feel it needs to be there’s.
    Support is the real issue and I agree with you, if him throwing his weight behind a family issue like better maternal care and support then I’m for it.
    The real sadness here could be if the backlash he has faced means people don’t see increasing support across any maternity care (but breastfeeding really does need support, there are so many people who WANT to breastfeed who are not getting the support they need, particularly on ward, early days) as something they could fight for, for fear of being turned against.
    Thank for sharing such an informative post.
    Lucy
    #marvmondays

    • You make some very good points. The biggest issue with this whole thing I feel is that people haven’t actually listened to what he said – his comments are being taken out of context. I agree his use of the word easy was wrong BUT I think this was more due to being put on the spot. I don’t think this was a planned speech at all and so he didn’t think carefully about what he was saying. I’m sure his wife has given him what for ever since!! Thanks for stopping by x

  3. thebrightnessofthesedays

    I totally agree with this. He could have used better words but the sentiment was right. Great post #MarvMondays

  4. You’re right that breastfeeding rates need to be increased, and I totally agree that a Jamie Oliver campaign could help this. But Jamie does need to remember that this is a sensitive subject for lots of women, many have ‘breastfeeding guilt’ when things don’t work out and he needs to think about his use of language – natural? Yes. Easy – no way! Enjoyed your blog – very well written ☺️

  5. Yes, I largely agree with you. I actually don’t like Jamie Oliver much – think he’s sanctimonious. However, I do think people have massively overreacted to this. I think he phrased it very badly (I suspect mostly because he wasn’t prepared), & he was guilty of using over-exaggerated statistics (but he did admit that he was not certain of his research), but I agree – I don’t think he meant to cause offense or pass judgement. I think he was trying to highlight the need for more support for women who WANT to breastfeed because there are issues with that and our rates are low. & he’s not wrong on that. I also agree that men can have an opinion, though they can’t do it themselves (although I think they should steer clear of claiming something they have never done is easy – but I expect he realises that now!)

    I very much disagree with the pressure and guilt that is put on women for formula feeding by the breastfeeding lobby. BUT I do also think that it is important not to go the other way & be so sensitive that no one is allowed to support breastfeeding because that is offensive, as it should be remembered that it is actually breastfeeders who are the very small minority, & most are not ‘lactivists’ or judgemental in anyway. It is just as wrong to let those women become the unsupported, silenced ones because people have become too easily offended. It needs to be a situation where everyone gets the support they want and need for what they choose or need to do. #marvmondays

    • This is so well put. I am passionate about breastfeeding but it’s more because I’ve learnt a lot about it and so many women out there are not informed enough. Having said that, I’d like to think I’m not pushy and will give the information I’ve learnt to those want it! Thanks for reading x

  6. This is the first time I’ve actually read what Jamie Oliver said, rather than selected excerpts. I don’t disagree with him about most of it. Women wanting to breast feed do need more support and help. I don’t agree with him when he says it’s easy. I think that’s unhelpful as it isn’t.

  7. Similar to what someone else said, I had also read a number of posts which took offence to what Jamie Oliver had said and on the face of it agreed that perhaps he may have bitten off a little more than he could chew this time round. But having read your post, you make a lot of very good and valid points. There is actually nothing offensive about the crux of what he said, but as you point out, perhaps it is unfortunate phrasing on his part that has led to it being take out of context and miscontrued. That said, this is a very emotive topic and I think anyone would be hard pressed to raise the points he has raised without being criticised. Great post, its been so useful to read it and truly understand the heart of the debate 🙂 Thanks for sharing it on #MarvMondays. Emily

    • Thanks for your comment – it is a very emotive comment and I don’t think anyone is ever going to get it right! But I hope it doesn’t put people off trying to help those who want it in the future.

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