Contrary to what the media, posters at your doctor's office, and sanctimommies on Facebook say, you cannot simplify or boil down the right way to feed your baby into the three word phrase, "Breast is best." In fact, there are so many moments that prove "Breast is best" is reductive and totally unfair.
I've been there. Before I had babies, I was a total lactivist, a breastfeeding absolutist, and a perfect mother. I soon realized that breast isn't best for all moms and all babies and saying so is both diminutive and harmful. I remember one evening with a friend, while I was pregnant with my first baby, chatting and gossiping about and seriously judging a mom friend we knew, who was ruining her "breastfeeding relationship," by letting her husband give their baby a bottle of formula so she could sleep at night. How could she, right? We thought she was so selfish. I wish I could go back in time, un-clench my pearls, give her a high five, and say, "Good job taking care of yourself mama." Seriously.
Like most things in parenthood, and life in general, reality doesn't always match your or society's expectations. So, yes, feeding your baby is a helluva lot more complex than the statement "breast is best" can capture. In our culture and cult of perfect motherhood, "breast is best" has become synonymous with good parenting. That's a load of crap. There's more than one way to feed and nourish your babies, and with the diversity of experiences each baby and family faces, "breast is best" has becomes a reductive false equivalency.
I get it, it's hard to wrap your head around the fact that an idea that has been repeated so many times by so many people can be false. I'm definitely not saying that breast milk or breastfeeding isn't awesome, either. It is, but only when it's right for you, which is one of the many reasons why "breast is best" just isn't helpful. It forgets the "when it's right for you," part.