I Breastfed My Babies

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For eight whole months.  At that point they were both moving so fast, had too much else to do.  They didn’t want to stop long enough to snuggle with mom and nurse.  They wanted to run.  For the record, both of my children crawled/walked/ran at very young ages, between 8 and 10 months.

To try to get them to stop moving to nurse was, impossible, and though I may have shed more than a few tears at the thoughts of giving up that special baby time, I knew when they were done.  I was sad yes, but they were not.  They were happy, healthy and quite thrilled to be able to take their milk on the run with them.

The breastfeeding vs formula debate has been going on for as long as I can remember, and quite often I try to steer clear of controversy. But with the more recent debate of advertising on Babble, and the cry to ban formula advertising all together, I feel the need to speak my mind.  And so I shall.

What right do you think you have to tell me what I should and shouldn’t see?  

Formula advertises their product just like any other.  They, and their competitors are fighting for a spot in the market.  The market that is there.  The market of moms who don’t have the ability to breastfeed, due to production difficulties, mediciation or pain.  The mom who has spent the last 4 nights up every hour with their cluster feeding baby and is in tears due to lack of sleep.  The mom who just needs a break.  The mom who can produce when baby is at breast, but can get but a drop when using a breast pump.  Moms who should NOT be shamed or made to feel guilty about their choice to use formula. But mothers are not alone in these decisions.  What about dads?  The dads who see their wives struggling for months and months over breastfeeding, and when she decides to try formula, he agrees in hopes to see his wife happy once again.   The fathers who have lost their wives to illness or accidents.  The dads that have no choice but to offer formula to their babies.

Who are you to make them feel ashamed?

Who are you to insinuate that they can’t provide a healthy upbringing for their babies because they use formula?

What gives you that right?

I’ve known many young mothers, and I’ve talked with them all about the benefits of breastfeeding.  Both the health benefits and the finanancial ones (money talks).  And though some of them did chose to feed their babies formula, all of them at least tried to breastfeed. When it really comes down to it.  Trying is all you can do.

Formula is here, it’s here to stay.  You do what’s best for your family and the rest of us will do what’s best for ours.

Thanks.

And by the way, I was formula fed…

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Comments

  1. Love this Jen! As a Mom who bottle fed, it’s rare to have someone stand up for the choice! The truth is, it’s NOT always a choice. I come from a long line of bottle feeding-even way back when. My Mom bottle fed, my Gma bottle fed. I TRIED to breastfeed, for four LONG days. The nurses would come in, babe to breast, help me get her on….no milk. Then, I’d be put on the pump for 20 mins. No milk. By Day 4 I was a wreck! Not because I couldn’t breastfeed (as I said it’s not something that was “done” in my family so I wasnt opposed) but because the nurses were aggressive, critical and mean about it. I felt like a huge failure and was crying and anxious. On the verge of total breakdown, a nurse came in, closed my curtain and asked in a whisper if I wanted a bottle because she could see me struggling and breaking apart. YES, I said. From there, totally different baby and Mom-and my husband loved the ability to play just as active a role. By the way, my milk NEVER did come in. Today I have two allergy free, extremely healthy kids. Formula was needed in my situation, and it’s going to continue to be needed by many, for all the reasons you stated. New Moms need support, understanding and encouragement-not judgment and disdain. I applaud you for taking a stand for me, for all Moms.

  2. As Mom’s we need to ban together, support one another is all of our choices and decisions. Not judge, not preach…just support. Thanks for commenting Tracey.

  3. I couldn’t agree more, I breastfed for a year and a half and have no problem at all with people choosing formula (for whatever reason). I was formula fed and I’m fine. People need to find a new hobby and stop judging and preaching and let mothers make their own decisions.

  4. I agree. I was formula fed. I breastfed each of my babies for 6 months and then switched to formula. I am no less connected or bonded to my babies for having switched to formula after 6 months, nor do I think I would be if I had fed them formula from the beginning. Breastfeeding physically exhausted me, even when we were down to just 4 times a day. I was a better parent without the exhaustion! I have 2 happy, healthy kids.

    Everyone should make their own (informed) decisions for his or her family. We’re all just trying to do the best we can. :)

  5. I choose t formula feed all 3 of my children and 2 of them are now teenagers. They grew up just fine and were not sickly and i dont like to made to feel bad about not breastfeeding them. I was not comfortable with it and choose not to do it. Also somewomen physically cannot breastfeed.

  6. I agree completely! Thanks for sharing! I breastfed my daughter for 12 months and it was not exclusive for the last 3 months. In my mind, it was a huge accomplishment! But people (even mommy bloggers) still judged me because I wasn’t breastfeeding exclusively or even beyond 12 months. I wish we could just support one another – its a personal choice and as you stated formulas is Ok. Moms shouldn’t have to be judged or feel guilty for choosing formula when sometimes its painful and impossible to breastfeed.

  7. Oh…the ever so popular debate. Love your post! Here’s my two cents.

    I was formula fed as well…so the second I found out I was pregnant I knew I would as well. I was called selfish for not even “trying”. I didn’t give this person a reason why I was not going to breast feed because I didn’t feel she deserved an answer and well really…it’s my choice right. My reasoning was that I suffered and still suffer from depression. Why would I do that to myself knowing how miserable I would be, and I knew that feeling would be put upon my newborn. I knew myself, I knew what I wanted to do and what I could do. That alone is a good enough reason.

    I must say though. Formula today has changed so much over the years it is pretty darn close to that of the breast. That being said…when those lactivist preach about why you should breast feed…what about the missing vitamin in breast milk? No one ever brings that about.

    I have a 3 year old who is amazingly healthy. And while I am sure it is just coincidence…she is healthier than her breast fed peers who suffer from constant ear infections and allergies and general sickness.

    All in all…..I wish all breastfeeders would give us formula feeders a break. We are all doing our best to do what is right for OUR family. Let’s just support eachother. It’s hard enough out there.

  8. Love this post! I breast fed my first son, but after 2 months, my milk dried up. So, I had to switch to bottle. And he is perfectly healthy today. With my second son, I bottle fed because my breast milk upset his stomach. He is also healthy. Different choices for everyone, and that is just fine! It is hard enough being a mommy without all the guilt others can give us about bottle feeding.

  9. I managed to breast feed for over a year with both BUT I had to spend almost two weeks combined in hospital for csections. Does it make me a bad mother that I labored for 68 hours and never managed to push either one of those large headed monkies out?! No! We are all different and like most of this above me agree we should all just help each other out.

  10. Amen! I breastfed, but my milk production wasn’t the greatest. I figured whatever they got from me was great, but I would supplement when necessary. They are all very healthy children. You do what you need to do as a mom.

  11. Breastfeeding can be hard, very hard. My objection to the debate going on right now with Babble is that a formula company is offering breastfeeding advice which could very well be biased. I had a nurse try to push formula onto me in the hospital and it brought me to tears. There was no need for it as he was nursing perfectly. Thankfully I had the support of an awesome midwife who stepped in to help. My concern with ads like the one on Babble is that someone will call looking for breastfeeding advice and they won’t get it. Instead they will be told to supplement with formula (there is a blog linked up in the PhD in Parenting post that shows that this is what happened when the blogger called to ask for advice).

    I don’t think anyone should be made to feel bad for how and what they feed their child. I just think that there should be more unbiased resources out there for parents who are looking for answers with regards to feeding their babies.

    And trust me I completely understand where everyone who has posted is coming from. I constantly feel like I am being judged because I am still nursing our 2 year old.

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