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Jo Swinson says there is ‘guilt culture’ for parenting

Jo Swinson and Duncan Hames with baby son Andrew

Jo Swinson and Duncan Hames with baby son Andrew

Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson has claimed that new mothers are being made to feel guilty if they do not breastfeed their baby.

The equalities minister says there is too much of guilt culture around parenting and that new mums and dads should do what feels right and stop worrying about official guidance.

Jo Swinson, who is married to fellow LibDem MP Duncan Hames and gave birth to their son, Andrew, the week before Christmas, also said that new mums and dads feel judged about returning to work.

She believes that parents should folow their instincts when it comes to parenting as parenthood is difficult enough with societal pressure about how it should be done.

Ms Swinson said: “There is, I think, far too much guilt generally in society around parenthood, about whether or not you breastfeed or bottle feed.

“We know the evidence is very strong in favour of breastfeeding and the benefits of that, but it shouldn’t mean we make people feel bad if they can’t do that for some reason.

“The whole stay at home or go back to work (debate)...mothers and fathers - particularly mothers, perhaps - end up feeling judged and guilty about decisions.

“We need to get away from this guilt culture in terms of judging other people’s decisions as parents, It is difficult enough and it’s not necessarily for others to judge.”

 

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