Formula was never part of my plans, so I felt cheated by my undersupply. However, now that I've seen my babies thrive on formula, I seriously love it. Unfortunately, I've experienced all kinds of shaming for formula feeding from other moms, from subtle comments about "breast is best" or that I need more "education" or "support," to saying I don't love my babies enough. How do you even respond to that? I had no idea. Since then, however, I've thought up some great ways to respond to moms who shame you for formula feeding. I wish I could go back in time and share them with my past self, because it would have been so satisfying (and better than crying).
The first time I felt shamed for formula feeding, the comments weren't even directed at me. I was at a party with my newborn, and some of my friends were gossiping about another new mom who let her husband give their baby a bottle at night so she could get more sleep, which, apparently was the worst thing imaginable. They called her selfish and ignorant. "After all," they said, "didn't she know she was going to ruin her supply?" As if a woman's breast milk supply is the most important part about being a mom. They wondered if one of them should tell her. In that moment, I started to defend her, then I bit my tongue instead. They didn't know that I had to supplement with formula. When my daughter was hungry, I was so ashamed that I hid in the bathroom to feed her. Yep, I fed my baby in a freaking bathroom.
I am now a more confident mom than I was back then. I know what I am doing (or at least I look like I know what I am doing), and I stand up for myself and other parents. I don't let other moms get away with formula shaming, because it's honestly none of their business how people feed their babies, it's unnecessary, and it's unkind. Read on for a few responses for formula haters, and feel free to use one the next time someone shames you. Fed is best and I support you.