I am a proud breastfeeding momma. But I DON’T think formula feeding moms are lesser moms or that they are doing wrong by their babies. I think however you choose to feed your baby, all moms are doing the very best they can; giving it all they’ve got, doing what they feel is best for their child.
As I have said before, I think it’s sometimes a matter of health, financial responsibility, family obligations, low production of breast milk, a modern family structure, your sanity or simply a personal preference or choice.
Formula is not poison it’s one of the best things you can offer your little one. It’s also not easy to prepare , like many believe. Consider waking up in the middle of the night, getting out of bed, boiling and cooling water and waiting until it’s the right temperature to feed the baby. It’s not the easy way out. I just pull my little one closer to me, adjust my night shirt and feed. All the while staying in bed the whole time (her cot is placed right next to where I sleep). But I’m also not a mom who thinks formula is better than breast milk. Since of late I have gotten constant criticism from family and friends for choosing to exclusively breastfeed my little one. People around me are increasingly getting on my nerves with their theories. If you give formula you can get out more leaving the baby with someone else, if you give formula the baby will feel fuller for longer, if you give formula you can get more sleep, if you give formula you can work more hours, if you give formula the baby will gain more weight, if you give formula it’ll be easy to wean the baby later, if you give formula she’ll get used to a bottle for comfort and wont depend on you and, sometimes, ‘if you give formula it’s better for the baby’!
Have you considered the fact that I am willing to make the sacrifices of getting less sleep, not having a great social life, that I don’t mind taking a few more months to wean her, that I am okay that she looks to me for comfort, that I WANT to do this? That this is MY choice, like offering formula is YOURS. I respect you and your decisions as a mom. Why is it so hard to respect me and my decision to breastfeed my baby?
And your statement about formula being better than BM is simply not true. Do you read material available to you via scientific research, pediatric publications or just use google?! Do you know that having breastfed my baby exclusively for 6 months (and then introducing solids while breastfeeding), I have greatly reduced her risk of developing allergies? By breastfeeding for this long, that I have protected my baby’s intestinal tract so that it can now begin to produce antibodies? That continuing to breastfeed alongside solids is aiding the digestion of those other food so that my baby will not be prone to constipation or indigestion? Do you know that my baby now had a lower risk of developing eczema, asthma and obesity later on?
No? Well, let me be the one to tell you that breastfeeding your baby is not the wrong thing to do.
I think it’s time all us moms stopped judging each other. Let the moms who formula feed their babies be. Let the moms who breastfeed their babies be. You can choose what is best for your child. Let the others have their own journey as moms. I am amazed everyday by moms and dads who do so much for their little ones; their strength, commitment and compassion are truly inspiring. So let’s not criticize each other, but support one another and become a community that thrives on positivity, helping each other out and being there for one another the best we can.