For several women, the breastfeeding decision depends on both medical and personal reasons. Choice is a wonderful thing if availed, and not many are able to do that, but Kelly Osbourne is not only sticking by her choice to stay on medication and not breastfeed also but owning it amidst varied opinions following her decision. The pressure for women to breastfeed is real, and society, including well-meaning friends and family, fails to understand that one woman’s decision to breastfeed cannot invalidate another woman’s decision not to.
Four months after announcing her pregnancy, Kelly Osbourne made an appearance on a talk show where she defended her decision to stay on medication and revealed her choice not to breastfeed for her baby’s health and also her own. The singer-designer and television personality appeared on the Red Table Talk show which is hosted by Jada Pinkett-Smith, her daughter Willow, and Pinkett-Smith’s mother Adrienne Banfield Norris.
Suggested reading: Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy: Mothers Explain Pressure They Feel To Stop
Kelly Osbourne Chooses Not To Breastfeed
37-year-old Kelly Osbourne took to social media in May this year to announce the news of her pregnancy. In a heartwarming post on Instagram, she shared the picture of the ultrasound film conveying that she is welcoming a baby with her boyfriend, Sid Wilson.
On Wednesday, in an episode of the Red Table Talk show, Osbourne communicated with the hosts how she is at a point in life where she is facing harsh judgements about motherhood. She indicated that the decision to continue taking her medicines and not breastfeed wasn’t going down well with a lot of her friends and extended family who have been questioning her choice.
“It has to be what’s best for me and my baby”
Osbourne further went on to defend her decision sharing that she would not go back to destruct her health because her body currently requires medication and that the choice to not go ahead with breastfeeding was completely personal and in the benefit of her baby’s health and her own.
“What kind of mother would I be if I gave in and not see to my health and my baby’s,” she said.
Choosing not to breastfeed doesn’t make one a bad mom
It’s not surprising to see that Kelly Osbourne has to defend her decision in the first place considering it’s her body she is deciding for. Osbourne notes on the show how motherhood is judged in so more ways than one, and that people feeling the need to constantly pass opinions on someone’s decisions around their baby is a disappointment, to say the least.
Osbourne is one of many women who are judged when they make decisions that are considered unconventional around raising their infants, especially with breastfeeding. The experience of pregnancy, the days following the delivery of the child, and the mother’s personal and medical requirements can all solely or together contribute to a decision to choose. There is no one indication to follow, no one method that can work for all mothers and all infants. The fact that every personal experience is different from another itself unboxes the generalisation new mothers are put into.
There are no stopping endless regimes designed for women, endless judgements saved only for women’s bodies. From regulating if or not a woman can get an abortion to whether or not a woman deciding to breastfeed is agreeable, women’s decisions around their health and bodies have been curbed for ages. The pressure of any kind can lead to serious health issues including postpartum depression for new mothers, and giving them the space to evaluate, analyse, choose and decide for themselves will only help them deal with their experience better, if not more.
Every woman’s pregnancy story is different, hence the decision of what they should or should not do for the utmost benefit of their child and themselves during and after the birth of their child is personal, and the only decision that should matter.