Not a Bad Mom: A Mother’s Decision to Formula Feed

image courtesy of Ani-Bee, Flickr

This article comes from guest contributor, Laura Savio. 

I came across an article on Buzzfeed recently about breastfeeding versus bottle feeding your baby, and I must say, when I got to the end of it (go ahead, finish reading, I’ll wait…….), I was just short of outraged. Why?

Because I am a formula feeding mom.

That’s right, I said it. And I’m not ashamed. I was formula fed.  I chose to formula feed my first child. And I will do so for my second, as well as any subsequent children I may have.

Truth be told, I did try to breastfeed. But if we’re really being honest, it was not really for any maternal need, instinct or desire I felt to do so. I tried my hand (boob?) at breastfeeding mainly because of the pressures I felt by society that if I didn’t breastfeed, I’m a bad mother. That I wasn’t giving my child the best possible form of nutrition. And that his future and life as a whole would suffer as a result of my selfish actions. That’s how I felt, anyway. So I gave it the ol’ colostrum try, but after a month of stress, tears and lots of supplementing with formula anyway, I was given some advice by my baby’s pediatrician (a real, live, medical professional). She told me she’d rather have a happy mom and a formula-fed baby than a stressed out mom and a breastfed baby.  All the stress and pressure I was feeling was going literally, directly to my baby through my milk.  And that was definitely no good for anyone involved. So after my six week-long attempt to get my son to breastfeed, I, with good conscience, gave up and switched to the Godsend that is instant formula. Now, with baby #2, I am skipping the entire stressful process to begin with and going straight to the bottle.

Moms who choose to formula feed their babies should never have to feel like they are a bad mom. They should never feel like they are doing something wrong. And most importantly, they should never have to justify their decision to anyone else.  To bottle or breastfeed is a decision that I alone needed to make. It doesn’t matter what my doctor thinks (for the most part). It doesn’t matter what my friends think. Hell, it doesn’t even matter what my mom thinks. And it sure as hell doesn’t matter what random strangers across America think.

 

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