I have something to get off my chest. Both literally and figuratively. I am writing to you today about the topic of feeding your baby. You know, "breast is best" and all that jazz. Except today I am sharing my story on how I chose formula feeding for my daughter from day one, and I couldn't be happier in my decision.
Let me start of by saying that I think breastfeeding is truly amazing. I commend each and every one of you who were able to not only attempt it, but stick through it. Some of you even end up doing it for YEARS! What a truly remarkable accomplishment. You deal with so much on a daily basis to do that for your children, and I have so much respect for you.
But many women don’t breastfeed their babies. Some try, but it doesn’t work out. Some can’t for medical reasons. And others just plain don’t want to. And you know what? All of this is okay.
It is time that us women stand together and support each other for the choices that we make for our children; have some community over competition. I for one am sick and tired of standing by while moms who formula feed get thrown under the bus like they are some spawn of Satan for making that choice. At the end of the day, it is none of anyone’s business how you chose to feed your children. Plain and simple.
So today I am sharing why I chose not to breastfeed our daughter. That’s right, not only did I not breastfeed her, but I made the choice before I ever even had her. I always knew even as a young adult that breast feeding was not for me.
I had anxiety over having to breastfeed in public. The idea that I had to handle every, single, feeding made me want to cringe. The fact that my body would have to continue being at my child’s beck and call whenever they wanted made me feel trapped. It was an easy choice for me, breastfeeding was never an option.
As soon as I got pregnant and went to my prenatal appointments, I started getting bombarded with peoples opinions about how “breast is best”, even after I had made my view clear on the matter. I was pushed by hospitals, relatives, friends, and even coworkers to breastfeed my baby. Sometimes I felt so intimidated by it all that I would even lie to some people and tell them that I was planning on breastfeeding.
From the get go I was made to feel ashamed for my choice. I was made to feel as less of a mom for not breastfeeding. I should have took a stand then, but I just coward and tried to keep as low of a profile as possible.
Then I had my daughter and the shaming began again even before we left the labor and delivery room. They had multiple lactation consultants available for me around the clock to help me breastfeed. When I told them I was formula feeding, they pushed again, saying that even a few sips of milk in the beginning would be for the best. When I pushed back again, I was given a bottle of formula for my daughter and zero help on how to feed her.
Yet I still held my feelings aside and kept on doing my day to day. I am very blessed to have a very supportive husband and family who didn’t care that I was formula feeding. So for a while, there was no pressure at all.
Now the government is deciding to get involved and push moms even further to make the choice to breastfeed.
So now I say, enough. I know this post probably won’t change the stigma and judgement you will get from other people if you choose to formula feed, but that is not the point. My point is to tell you that you are not alone, and that you are in no way less of a mom for making your choice.
My mother formula fed all of her children. And you know what? We all turned out amazing. Heck, my brother is even a Harvard Law graduate.
I chose formula feeding for my daughter, and I have zero regrets. Heck, I am proud that I made that choice because she is absolutely amazing, and she also has a mom who is happy.
So whatever your reasons, whatever your choice, know that it is the right one. It’s time to stop pressuring other moms based on their choices, and start supporting them. In the end, no matter if your a mom who breast feeds or formula feeds, we all bump their heads when putting them in the car seat.
Josephine is a motherhood lifestyle blogger who is based out of Chicago, Illinois. She blogs at Better as Us where you can find weekly tips that help you rock motherhood, recipes to keep you fed, and affordable shopping finds to keep you and your children stylish on a budget! You can find her at betterasus.com, or on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.