Formula vs. Breast milk, will this battle ever be over? The truth is probably not, but we sure wish it would. It is a topic that is usually meant to be handled with care, as it is incredibly easy to offend someone, sometimes without you even meaning too. When we are pregnant, we get the term “breastfeeding” shoved down our throats. It can get exhausting, but we are led to understand that this is what is best for our baby. Maybe we are sending the wrong message, maybe when people say that breastmilk is what is best for your baby, women hear that if you don’t or can’t give them that then you obviously do not care about them.
The truth is, no matter how or what we feed our babies, we love them all the same. A mother’s love does not change dependant on what they feed their baby. The decision to formula feed is dependant on a lot of factors. If a mother can not physically or medically breastfeed, if they can not get a baby to latch, or if they just do not want too. There is no invalid reason to choose not to breastfeed, it is the mother’s choice, and a very personal one.
In a world that should be so advanced that we should never have to worry about being judged, it continues to happen. Unfortunately, some who breastfeed, feel like there is something lacking in the bond between a mom and her baby if she formula feeds. This, among many others, are simply not true. There are (at least) 15 things all exclusively formula feeding moms want everyone to know, especially those moms who breastfeed.
15 I Am Still A Mom
To think that anyone could say that dependant on how your feed your child dictates whether you are a mother or not is absurd. Those who choose to formula feed are still mothers. They still went through the 9-months of pregnancy, the hours of labour, and experienced the overwhelming feeling of love for their babies. They are the same mother you are.
Most mothers who choose to formula feed their babies did not have that expectation. Some already know that they are going to formula feed, that is their choice as a mother. However, there are a lot of moms out there who wanted to breastfeed. They read the books, talked to specialists and it just did not work out that way for them. At the end of the day, no matter how a mother chooses to feed her baby, she is still a mother. Beyond that, she is still a person and does not deserve the judgement for her choice.
14 They Feel Guilty Without Your Help
Now, this is not the case for all moms who formula feed, some are very confident and sure of their choice. There are some that are left with a lot of guilty feelings about their inability or lack of want to breastfeed, they definitely do not need anyone else’s help to feel this way. A lot of responsibility for this guilt has to fall on the shoulders of the healthcare system.
It seems weird, but it is true. There is so much pressure placed on an expectant mom to breastfeed. She is constantly told all the benefits of breastmilk, of the importance for mom and baby bonding and how it is “liquid gold.” When a woman is unable to breastfeed, or just does not want too, she can be left feeling incredibly guilty for something that is sometimes beyond her control. They want you to know that this is a time they should be feeling supported and not shamed.
13 It Is None Of Your Business
Here is the thing, everyone likes to be in everyone else’s business. This is the same when it comes to being a mom, we constantly feel like we are under a microscope and that there are people out there who are just waiting for us to screw it all up. Moms who formula feed want you to know that how they choose to feed their baby is really none of your business; especially if you are a stranger.
Do you go up to a random stranger and ask what they had for lunch? And, if it wasn’t an answer you wanted to hear, would you judge them for it? Of course not, this would be absurd, so why do we do it with moms and their babies? We do not need to ask mothers how they feed their baby, and if it comes up in conversation, we do not need to input our ‘words of wisdom’ on them. They know what they are doing and would much rather you just mind your own business.
12 They Really Don’t Need That Brochure
Moms are smart, they know what they are doing. One thing that infuriates a formula feeding mom is when people try and push literature on them about the benefits of breastfeeding, they know. They do not need to be treated like they don’t know what they are doing. They have read the pamphlets and the internet blogs about the many benefits of breastfeeding, and they have more than likely made an informed choice regarding how they will feed their baby.
This is related to minding our own business. Unless you are asked specifically for information, it is best to just leave it be. Unless, of course, you are OK with them giving you information on the benefits of feeding a baby formula. That would only be fair, right? Best to keep all your information to yourself, and just focus on your family.
11 There Are Benefits
One of the main things that a formula feeding mom wants you to know is that there are benefits to breastfeeding. As shocked as you may be, there are some pretty valid reasons to formula feed your baby. They don’t want to shove them down your throat, but they want you to know that they are there.
Again, society and the healthcare profession want women to breastfeed, they practically drill it into their head that they should at least try to breastfeed. No one has any problems listing the negatives to formula feeding, just as no one has an issue listing the benefits of breastfeeding. What formula feeding moms want is exactly what breastfeeding moms want; to be told they are doing a good job and receive support and not judgement. Even just more well-rounded information on the pros and cons of both types of feeding.
10 We Know ‘Breast Is Beast’
Here is the problem with breast is best, everyone knows it. Formula feeding moms know that scientifically and biologically breast milk is generally better. The problem formula feeding moms have is that when people say breast is best, they mean that anything else is bad. This is not true, formula is not bad, poison, or a lesser choice.
They do not need it to be stated over and over again, they get it. When it is repeated everywhere you turn, it further creates a stigma attached with formula feeding, when there doesn’t need to be one. This is why they came up with fed is best to battle those who say that breast is the only way. We are an in advanced world, and we know that there are many reasons medically why a baby can not handle breastmilk, or a mom can’t produce. We should be better than this.
9 We Still Bond With Our Children
Here is the lovely bonding section, woman who exclusively breastfeed always rant and rave about the special bond they have with their baby, all because they breastfeed. This is infuriating to formula feeding moms as they feel the same bond. Maybe the bond between a mother and her baby has nothing to do with the method of feeding, but more to do with the fact that mom carried that baby for 9-months.
Mom is all that the baby knows (sorry dads), and this is the real reason behind that special bond between mom and her baby. Formula feeding moms want you to know that there are a million ways to bond with their baby, and they want to ask you that if you have only breastfed your babies, how could you possibly speak about the experience of formula feeding? It is best to stick to what you know, and join a breastfeeding support group if you wish to talk about breastfeeding so much.
8 Woman’s Right To Own Choice
There are many people who are legitimately wondering why in 2017, people are still trying to control any choice that a woman makes. Formula feeding moms want you to know that whatever choice they make, it is their choice and it is their right to make these choices. We are already fed up with people trying to govern what we do with our reproductive rights, we are almost fed up with people telling us how to feed our babies.
When a choice is not one that is causing harm to the baby, it really is best if people do not try and tell a mom what to do. Whether this be about vaccinations, cloth diapers or formula feeding. Keep your opinions to yourself, she has had enough people tell her that she should be breastfeeding, telling her what she should be doing with her body. Not your boobs, not your business.
7 They Really Can’t
There are a lot of sanctimommies out there who think that moms who formula feed their babies are just too lazy to put in the effort to breastfeed. That there is no reason on earth that a woman would not be able to breastfeed. Well, they want you to know that it is true, they really can not breastfeed. They also do not want to have to list them to you, or justify their decision.
There are many medical reasons why a woman can not breastfeed. She may be on certain medications that prevent her milk from being safe for the baby, or her body may not be able to produce milk, or enough of it. There are also issues regarding the baby. If baby is unable to latch this will make it very difficult to breastfeed. If baby is allergic to mom’s milk, it can be a lot more serious that just ‘change what you are eating.’
6 Formula Is Awesome!
OK, there it is, we said it. A phrase that will cause all breastfeeding moms to gasp in shock. Formula is an amazing product, believe it or not, that fact will not change. Formula is safe, healthy and regulated. Not only is it already awesome, it is getting more and more awesome by the minute. By the time you finish reading this, they may have discovered another way to make it a wonderful alternative for feeding our babies.
Formula is not the enemy, which is what a lot of breastfeeding moms think, they are almost afraid of it. There is nothing to be afraid of, formula came and saved the lives of a lot of babies. To be able to give them an alternative to breast milk, and help them thrive makes all formula feeding moms very proud to be formula feeding.
5 We Are Not Selfish
Formula feeding moms have been inaccurately labelled as selfish, that they took the ‘easy way out’ when they decided not to breastfeed. This is the furthest thing from the truth, and we want you to know it. There are many benefits to formula feeding, someone else can feed baby, we know the exact amount baby is taking in, and we don’t face the judgement breast feeders in public sometimes face. However, this was not a decision based on selfish thoughts.
Caring for a newborn is hard work, it is so much more than just feeding. There are a million tasks involved in being a mother, feeding is just one tiny thing at the end of the day. If a mother has made the choice to make just one of these jobs easier on themselves, it is totally OK, and we do not need validation from anyone else.
4 We Can Be Jealous
As we stated earlier, a lot of moms who formula feed had original thoughts and dreams of breastfeeding. It is not always a decision to formula feed that was made while pregnant. When this happens, yes, there can be times where formula feeding moms can be jealous. They can be at the mommy groups or at the park and see a mother breastfeeding and feel a pang of jealousy.
One mom who was unable to breastfeed exclaimed that she was incredibly jealous in the beginning. She watched her friends and family breastfeed and was jealous of the life they were all living. As she watched her babies thrive and grow on formula, the jealous feeling eventually faded as she realized that formula was the right choice for her babies, and she was proud. We wish we could breastfeed, but we are comfortable with the choices we have made thank you very much!
3 It Is NOT A Competition
Here is the thing, motherhood is not a competition. It is not a big race, where at the end of the day there is a winner for the mom who did the best job possible. There is no judge waiting and watching, giving you points based on how you fed your baby. Breastfeeding moms are a proud bunch, and they should be, but there reaches a limit when their boasting turns into shaming, and this is where the line needs to be drawn.
Having a conversation about feeding, there is no reason for a mom to gloat about how much milk she was able to pump out of her boobs while the other mom is opening up about her struggles. We get it, you are proud, good for you. The thing is, we are also proud, and we have very good reason too. At the end of the day, we should all be proud, not matter what we are doing.
2 You Can Stop
Now, this is not meant to say that formula feeding moms want all breastfeeding moms to stop breastfeeding. We aren’t some kind of weird formula cult trying to recruit members. What we do want you to know is that if you are a breastfeeding mom and are struggling, it is OK if you want to stop. Formula is not the enemy, it has worked for thousands of parents.
Being a mom is hard, and there are constant struggles, and if you are having a hard time breastfeeding and feel like throwing in the towel, give yourself a break. The mom must thrive too, and if she is not at her best, no amount of breast milk will save her, or her sanity. Try not too feel guilty either, which is probably the hardest part when a woman decides to hand in the breastfeeding towel.
1 We Just Want Peace
At the end of the day, all formula feeding moms want is some peace. They want the world to know that they have struggles and successes as well, and that is what makes them a mom. We just want peace in this world, and we want that to start with mothers. Mothers should not be shaming or judging other mothers, it is part of the mom code.
What we really want you to know, is that we are really and sincerely happy for you all that you were able to breastfeed, we just wish the same could be said for us! We want to feel accepted and not pushed aside because we choose not to do what you think we should do. More importantly, something that we sometimes are physically unable to do. If you can’t run a marathon, I won’t judge you. I expect the same in return if I can not breastfeed.
Sources: romper.com, mom.me/baby.com