Jamie, Jamie, Jamie.
I love your books. I love your cooking. I even love your slightly annoying Friday night TV programmes. But enough is enough, I have to speak-up. You are getting right on my tatties and I'm not talking potatoes. Look you had a point with your healthy schools campaign. Although it did rather grieve me when I was unable to get my bacon butty in the school canteen on a morning. Sometimes a teacher just needs a bacon butty. However, I agree you were on point, school meals were disgusting. Who wants a deep fried dinosaur with that? Or perhaps a turkey twizzler with a side of chips. Yes, you were right to get rid of the beige food and bring in actual vegetables. I even understood your frustrations when it came to the parents passing their children McDonalds over the school fence.
I then understood why you felt the need to campaign for sugar tax even though it smacks of a nanny state and I may have turned a blind (and slight sceptical) eye to the fact that you just happened to be outside the House of Commons when this news was announced. However, I cannot turn a blind eye to your latest campaign - getting more mums to breastfeed.
Thank goodness for you Jamie, why hadn't we thought of that before. You are right, it really is that simple, let's get all mums breastfeeding. Wow who knew that it would take a chef (not a doctor, midwife or nurse) who also happens to be a man, to point out that all mums should be breastfeeding.
There you were Jamie, on your soapbox again, spouting some rather alarming statistics which every pregnant woman has heard before (yawn):
"If you breastfeed for six months woman are 50% less likely to get breast cancer." That doesn't offer my friend who breastfed both her children past six months much comfort. She must be one of the other "unlucky" 50%.
Bottle fed babies are at risk of "stunting, obesity and ill-health". Such a lovely non-emotive statistic, don't you think?
He talks like these statistics are ground-breaking, like no pregnant woman has ever heard them before.
But we have Jamie. All. Of. The. Time. I had these facts rammed down my throat by my midwife. I remember repeating those facts in my head when I struggled to breast feed Oldest, I remember repeating the mantra, "breast is best" when I tried to breastfeed in the middle of the night, oldest screaming in agony whilst tears streamed down my face. I persevered because my midwife wouldn't listen when I said Oldest wasn't feeding and when I said we were both miserable. She didn't even listen when Oldest rapidly dropped below the healthy weight percentile and again, she didn't listen when we ended up in hospital with Oldest. A night that was spent anxiously watching our baby as she was hooked up to machines.
The midwife just kept repeating "breast is best" but do you know what, sometimes it really isn't. Sometimes for what ever reason a baby doesn't take to breast feeding. The day I smuggled Oldest a bottle was the day everything became easier. Although I never stopped beating myself up. I was wracked with guilt. I really felt like I had let my baby down. With hindsight it is crazy that I felt this way but it is hardly surprising when you consider the breast is best propaganda I was subjected to.
Jamie's belief that woman don't breastfeed out of ignorance demonstrates why he has absolutely no right to speak on this subject. I didn't breastfeed my oldest daughter because I couldn't. It was destroying both of us and as a result it wasn't healthy. I gave her bottles because I wanted the best for my daughter, I wanted her to thrive. I gave her a bottle because I was being her mum. For the record I was able to breastfeed my second daughter. What did I do differently? Nothing. Can you tell the difference health wise between my two daughters? Is oldest stunted, suffering from obesity and ill-health? No. Oldest is six years old, yet she wears clothes for 9-10 years old, she towers over everyone in her class. She is also intelligent and today confidently played the piano in a concert. She is also sporty, healthy and eats well. On the other hand Youngest who was breastfed is very funny with her food, has a really sweet tooth and would just eat biscuits all day if she could. If one of them is likely to turn obese I would put my money on Youngest who was breast fed.
This is one campaign Jamie Oliver is not qualified to lead or speak on. How can he even lecture us on breastfeeding when he couldn't breastfeed, even if he wanted to try to.
So Jamie when you grow a pair.... come back and I might listen to you. In the meantime please carry on with the cookery books, I loved your latest one ;-)
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