Thoughts from a Formula Feeding Mom

I formula-fed my baby. And, I’m not ashamed of it. I never wanted to breastfeed and, though I did try it, it didn’t work out well for us. Lucy lost weight, and I didn’t enjoy it or feel like I bonded any more with her than I would have if I bottle fed her. So, I stopped.

And, it was the best thing ever for us. I was happier. I was more rested. And, in turn, she was happier!

Yesterday, a Facebook “friend” posted an anti-formula rant, going so far as calling those who bottle feed their children “selfish”. I try not to let the opinions of those who differ from me bother me, but this really did – perhaps because she really was insulting those who use formula and insinuating that they’re not as good of mothers.

And that, my friends, is wrong on SO many levels. I wasn’t comfortable with breastfeeding. Doe that mean I judge those who are or criticize them for being “gross”? No. Although, I will say I would prefer if moms would use nursing covers when out in public, like at church.

What happened to supporting fellow moms? What happened to every woman being able to make a decision for her and her child without being chastised? There is so much “mommy guilt” out there, and it’s not cool to add to that by telling someone they made the “wrong” choice as to how to feed their baby. And, it’s just as wrong to tell them their selfish or are a bad mom. Formula-feeding doesn’t make you selfish or lazy. Period.

If I’m being honest, this kind of judgmental reaction is one reason why I never really talked much about my failed attempt at breastfeeding. I didn’t want the pressure of people possibly telling me that I just needed to keep going or judging me for giving my child formula. And, it’s sad that, because of society, I have to feel that way.

I don’t think I’m alone, and I hope I’m not. I’m proud of feeding my child formula and, if we are blessed with a second, we will be feeding that one formula as well. It’s what’s best for our family, and it doesn’t make me a bad mom.

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Hi! I’m a wife to a wonderful husband, mom to a beautiful and active (to put it lightly) kiddo, and fur-mom to 3 crazy cats. I’m a former journalist. I quit my full time job two years ago. Now, I am a freelance writer and a virtual assistant for several bloggers!

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Comments

  1. Whitney says:

    Well said! I agree some women can be so judgmental about that when we should actually be supporting one another. There is no wrong or right way, just different options! I remember feeling the same way..almost as if I had to justify and explain why my baby drank formula instead of breastfeeding. I’m pro breastfeeding but i also believe that sometimes formula is best for the baby too. I think women do the same thing about a lot of mom-related issues such as epidural vs natural, discipline techniques, homeschooling vs public school, etc. I agree we should be building one another up with support rather than tearing one another down with criticism.

  2. Molly Cesario says:

    I am a HUGE supporter of breastfeeding, however I would NEVER put down a mother for formula feeding! I tell any mother I talk to that yes breastfeeding works for us and I still love it, but its OK if you can’t/don’t want to. Your child will not starve, feel any less loved, or suffer in any way from formula. I’m sorry this mother has nothing better to do than make other mothers feel bad. I wish we could all just support each other and realize that our way of mothering isn’t the only way! Best of luck to you!

  3. Jenn says:

    I was formula fed and turned out just fine – 6’1″ and healthy as can be. I had twins 4 weeks ago and was on the fence about breastfeeding, I could take it or leave it. One of the boys was willing to try, but the other wasn’t, and I found it to be too stressful with two kids hungry and frustrated, trying to figure it out. So I am pumping instead and supplementing with formula – about half and half. I’ve had my days when I feel guilty and wish I had tried to truly breastfeed a little longer, but then I come to my senses and realize that whatever it takes to keep yourself sane and babies healthy is all that matters.

  4. Emma says:

    Good for you! You have to do what is right for you and your family. If you’re uncomfortable breast feeding, that isn’t going to be best for your baby. And like you pointed out, you had more energy and was more rested, and therefore was able to focus more on your baby. Never feel guilty for doing what works best for you (as hard as it is sometimes…)

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