Fotolia

11 Things Moms Need To Stop Saying About Moms Who Formula Feed

By
Share
Ad failed to load

I was such a "perfect mom" before I had my first child, especially because I planned to breastfeed. In fact, I was going to exclusively breastfeed my daughter until she politely asked me to stop. Little did I know that breastfeeding wouldn't be the best choice for my baby (or me). However, before I figured that out I was pretty sanctimonious, and even mean, to moms who formula fed. There are so many things us moms have to stop saying about moms who formula feed. Not just because they are unkind, but because they are inaccurate, untrue, and anti-feminist.

I was pregnant with my daughter the same time one of my co-workers was pregnant with her youngest son. With her first, she had tried unsuccessfully to breastfeed and then happily, and without a second thought, switched to formula when he was a few days old. I was horrible to her. I remember challenging her plan to formula feed her next baby from the start. She wasn't even going to try. I couldn't believe it. Didn't she know that "breast is best?" I asked her so many inappropriate questions and even tried to quote "statistics" and "research" to get her to change her mind. I was such a b*tch. Seriously. I have no clue why she didn't tell me off.

Her second child was born a week before my daughter. She choose to formula feed him without a second thought. When breastfeeding my daughter didn't work out, she was literally my only friend who helped me navigate how to choose and use formula. She was also my only friend who didn't judge me, make nasty comments, or try to change my mind. Everyone else made me feel terrible to the point I started thinking that I had failed as a mother.

Ad failed to load

No one deserves that.

Formula is awesome, and thank goodness it's available. Next time you feel the need to say something to a formula feeding mom, stop and think, "Am I being kind?" If the answer is no, you might want to just stop talking, or try, "Good job, mama," instead.

Ad failed to load

They Are Lazy

GIPHY

Being a mom is hard. Period. I don't understand why some people think that the way you choose to feed your baby has anything to do with how lazy or hard-working you are. When you formula feed, you have to find the right formula, buy it, and make bottles. When you breastfeed, you have to learn how and work through challenges and barriers. Both are hard. Parenthood is not a competition.

They Are Selfish

I have heard this way too many times. "You're selfish for not wanting to use our breasts for their "intended purpose" or to not wanting to give up bodily autonomy for months (or years)." Huh?

I'm selfish for wanting my partner to share in feedings? I'm selfish for "giving up?" Making a choice that's right for my family is not selfish. Also, I'm confused: are formula feeding moms lazy or selfish? Which is it? After all, I'm pretty positive it can't be both.

They Don't Love Their Babies Enough

Courtesy of Steph Montgomery

Just stop. That's ridiculous. I can't even.

Ad failed to load

They Should Have Tried To Breastfeed (Or Tried Harder)

I have heard the phrase, "Well, at least you tried," and the question, "Why didn't you try harder?" too many times to count. As if, a) anyone has a right to say what I should or should not do with my body, and b) you know how hard I tried or didn't try to breastfeed. Ugh.

That Their Babies Will Get Sick

GIPHY

The health benefits of breastfeeding in an industrialized country are hugely overstated. This doesn't mean that breast milk isn't awesome, because it totally is, but it does mean that blaming negative health outcomes on formula is not only insensitive, it's inaccurate. The research about breastfeeding is mixed, and there are many health-related reasons why a baby might need formula to thrive – breast milk supply issues, jaundice, intolerance to breast milk, and poor breast milk quality – just to name a few. I am so grateful formula was available for my babies. It saved their lives and helped them grow healthy and strong.

They Should Breastfeed "Next Time"

When I got back from maternity leave after my first child was born, a co-worker actually said this to me. Again, I don't have to do anything with my body that I don't want to do. Besides, how do you know there will even be a next time? As if this baby is broken, but it's OK, because I can try again with the next one. My daughter is not broken. And, what would you have me do? Should I return her to the hospital and say, "Breastfeeding didn't work out with this one, I'd like to try again with a new baby, please." Gimme a break.

Ad failed to load

They Won't Bond With Their Babies

GIPHY

Again, there are so many ways to bond with your baby. When you imply that breastfeeding is the only way to bond, you are also saying that adoptive parents, breast cancer survivors, gay parents, dads, and people physically unable to breastfeed can't bond with their babies. What a terrible and untrue thing to say. Also, I can say from experience that I didn't really start bonding with my daughter until I started feeding her formula.

They Are Uneducated

When someone tells you they formula feed their baby, don't assume they are using formula because they are "stupid" or lack information on the topic. Also, don't try to "educate" them on the benefits of breast milk or the dangers of formula. That's so rude.

Formula Is Poison

GIPHY

Stop. Formula is amazing. It is. Before formula was available, babies died. Formula has also helped enhance women's autonomy and their ability to work outside the home and advance in their careers. Not to mention it enables all types of caregivers to feed and nourish babies. Formula is one of the most highly regulated foods available. Formula = science milk.

Ad failed to load

They Have Failed

This one is a hard one for me, because I did try really hard to breastfeed and I spent years beating myself up for not succeeding. Now I know that breastfeeding isn't the only way to be a good parent. Fed is best.

They Aren't Good Parents

GIPHY

It took me years to get over the guilt of feeding my daughter formula, largely due to statements like these. It's now been seven years since I started exclusively formula feeding my daughter. The memories of these comments still hurt, but when I see how healthy and amazing she is, they seem so petty and empty.

Can we please get over the mommy wars? You seriously shouldn't have to cut someone else down to feel good. There are many ways to be a great parent. Let's support each other no matter how or what we feed our babies. Because #fedisbest.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack