Dealing with people against bottle feeding

Jenny - posted on 01/27/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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Do any of you have to deal with family members or other people being critical of your choice to bottle feed instead of breastfeed? When people assume I am nursing and I tell them I'm not they can get really upset with me... even strangers!

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Sarah - posted on 02/03/2010

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A lot of people don't realize how difficult it truly is to breastfeed. So many moms try and try and try to breastfeed with no luck & then we are made to feel guilty for choosing formula. My son had a very hard time latching on in the beginning, but I was determined to make it work. But, it definitely was NOT going well.

My son weighed 6lbs & 6oz at birth and at his 2 week checkup, he only weighed 6lbs. The doctor was very concerned about his weight, so she said I HAD to supplement. I started feeding him Similac after each attempted breastfeeding session & in only 6 days he gained 9oz.

Even though he was doing well on the Similac, I STILL tried my hardest to breastfeed at the same time. I even bought a breastpump, but was discouraged when I only got out 1-2 oz at a time. It was stressing me out & I KNOW my son could sense my frustrations. Instead of feeding time being a calm, pleasant, bonding experience, I spent my time feeling horrible about myself as a mother.

Finally after 2 months of struggling with breastfeeding & supplementing, I decided to just go exclusively with formula. Some people love to make formula feeding moms feel SOOO guilty for choosing not to breastfeed & I get so tired of it. I used to let their opinions get to me, but now I feel much better about my choice to feed him formula (my son is 4 months now.) He's happy, healthy, and growing & feeding time is no longer a stressful, frustrating thing. :)

Briana - posted on 07/20/2010

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My son was exclusively bottle fed his first 3 weeks. People would give us looks when we would whip out the bottle. Now he is EBF and won't take a bottle and it frustrates me. Before, when we were doing both, if someone said something, I would say "Um, a BFing mother needs a break!". Well, at least I do haha. And, they have the gall to ask if it's breast milk or formula. Yes, I supplement with formula when he takes a bottle. And the looks and comments are sometimes horrendous (sp?).



Because I struggled with latch the first 3 weeks, and when he finally did the pain was crazy, I understand why a women would choose to bottle feed and/or formula feed. It's touch to breast feed. I don't mind it MOST of the time, but I do need a break sometimes. And I feel for you ladies who exclusively formula feed and the horrible things breastfeeding nazi's say to you. You are wonderful Mommy's who are just simply feeding their child :) I am a formual fed baby, and I am healthy.



ETA: My next kid will be FF by choice :)

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Deborah - posted on 01/27/2012

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Granted I am a big supporter of Breastfeeding, but today we are lucky enough to have a choice in the matter. Dads/Grandparents/Siblings get more involved that way, the shared responsibility of feeding the baby takes a LOAD of stress off Mom, it allows other family members to bond with the new baby -- there are a lot of positive things about bottle feeding too. It can also be a life-saving factor if the mom is unable to produce milk, etc. I know a lot of people who bottle fed, and there was never a question as to how they wanted to feed their child.



Get indignant about it, look at them as if they have insulted you (Which they have) and tell them that how you care for your child regarding nutrition is NONE of their concern! Your child is healthy and you are making sure s/he is cared for properly, so you would appreciate it if they would take their nose out of your business.



There are lots of reasons people choose to bottle feed, and you can point out all of the positive aspects of it to strengthen that point.

Pam - posted on 01/26/2012

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I'm breastfeeding my second child, breastfed my first for 2 years but I dont make comments to other mothers about how they feed their kids because I dont care. I'm only concerned about my child's next feeding. So in perspective, not everyone is against you. In retrospective though, I do believe that too many people concern themselves with mothers and what they feed their kids, like if you choose to give your toddler some pudding, there are some other mothers out there that condemn it as junk food, but I enjoyed it when I was young and think kids should be able to enjoy kid things when they are kids. Its an over-opinionated society overly concerned with personal issues and concerns. How we choose to feed, dress, and/or spend on our kids is our business and at the end of the day its us who do all the work with our children not them. As for childless people, what are they doing with their lives? Enjoying some quiet time at the end of the day? I sure am not, its easy judge when you have time to think about it.

Tammy - posted on 01/23/2012

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People need to learn to mind their own business and keep their hurtful, one sided opinions to themselves! It seems that every era spawns a different taboo issue. I remember when breastfeeding was considered primitive and people looked at you with disgust if you did it, but then again, people gave you the same look if you drove a foreign car.

I chose to bottle feed my daughter for personal feelings about the issue and I just kept it to myself. If anyone saw me doing it and made a comment, I just gave them a sarcastic or sweet smile (depending on my mood) and ignored them. Even my sister with her 3 boys, who still breast feeds her 3 year old, learned to not make any comments about it.

Jamie - posted on 01/22/2012

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I can't believe people would judge this...



As a breastfeeding advocate I feel like all the work people put in to normalizing breastfeeding backfired a little- now we're stuck with people being judgmental towards bottle feeding. And it is wrong.



A lot of my friends that adopted infants are experiencing the same kind of negative judgement from strangers. Really, the gall of some people.



One of my friends who got major PPD that cleared up when she stopped breastfeeding (it was a risk she took, not knowing if it would help, and it worked)- when friends asked her about breastfeeding she told them she had a mastectomy. That shut them up. I'm not advocating that response, of course! But it really makes you realize how personal of a question it is, and no one's business.



I'm sorry anyone goes through this.

Christy - posted on 01/18/2012

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I think there is judgement and condeming on both sides. I breastfed my two oldest and am currently breastfeeding my youngest almost exclusively (-once a week when my husband gives a bottle of breastmilk). I have given bottles of breastmilk and formula when necessary. Breastfeeding is hard. I agree that there are those in the breastfeeding community who look down on women who bottle feed but there are also women who bottle feed/ formula feed who look down on women who breastfeed. I have heard some interesting comments from both sides. My thought is that YOU are mom and it is YOUR responsibility to make sure baby is getting the nutrients they need to grow. Period..however that needs to happen. I believe breastmilk is best but I do not judge or condem a mom who chooses too formula feed her baby. Let's face it. there are issues that come up with breasfeeding such as latching issues, flat nipples, overactive letdown, medical issues, mom going back to work,etc that may cause a mom to decided that breastfeeding is not worth the frustration it is causing her and her child. I have had some of these issues to work through myself. She has to do what works for her and her baby. You can still bond with a baby who is formula fed. That's my two sense.

Katie - posted on 01/13/2012

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No mother should feel guilty over what she is lovingly able to feed her child!

Liz - posted on 03/03/2011

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I've not had anyone get upset with me but I do feel the seeming disdain when I say I am not breastfeeding. I feel like I have to explain myself.

Like I am sure others have said, its no one else's business how I feed my baby. This is what was best for her and for me.

Amanda - posted on 03/03/2011

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Well 1. Its not their business. 2. Its about convenience and accessibility. 3. Its what YOU think is best for YOUR baby.

Vibhuti - posted on 06/28/2010

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you know what, i am tired of pretending to people that i am still nursing only to aviod being judged or given unwanted advice to. This has by far been the only thread/post that has given me encouragement to stop lying to myself and everybody else that I pump and feed as well as supplement and she is healthy and growing and I am not longer depressed and crying. She wouldn't latch on and when she did, she fell asleep at the boob. Anyway I just wanted to thank you all for giving me the strength to stand up for my choice on how I feed my child. I agree with PP's about EBF moms looking down on anyone who tried to feed their child with something other than the breast. They don't care whether its breastmilk or formula, as long as it's from a bottle, we are bad mothers who don't try hard enough. Anyway, I am done ranting. thanks all ♥

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I think that it is totally unfair! It is the mother's choice to make and if she chooses to bottle feed, then what gives them the right?! I was unable to breast feed, my milk flow stopped when I was diagnosed with depression. I really wanted to breastfeed but I couldn't and now people seem to judge me solely on the fact that I DO NOT breastfeed. It was heartbreaking for me and it makes me want to just scream at them. It's not like they know what it's like. Thinking that they are so wonderful because they were able to...

Laurie - posted on 04/30/2010

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The funniest thing about breast feeding advocates is that they claim no one understands them. That they have to feed their children in public and so on. Yet when someone comes into their sight who formual feeds, they go ballistic. I have actually heard verbal battering by breast feeders on a formula fed mom (not me, although I wish it had been me. I'd have torn into her). But if you stand up for yourself and formual feeding, then you don't understand them and are terrible! Breast feeders complain that people don't respect them and their "choice" but they refuse to respect anyone who goes counter to their believes.

Erica - posted on 04/19/2010

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I just tell them that this is what worked for me. They have/had a choice when it's their baby and I wasn't/won't be critical of them if they decide to breastfeed. If they continue being judgemental I simply remove them from my life for a period of time until They and I have both had a chance to cool down.

Melissa - posted on 02/13/2010

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my daughter was born 8lbs 8oz. i didnt know she had lost any weight on breast alone. i tried pumping but it never worked. breastfeeding is hard and frustrating, maybe with my next one it will be easier and work. i think the advantage to bottle feeding for me is the fact that my husband now gets to bond with her, because even though he didnt tell me this, i could tell that he wanted to bond with her and feel special in a way with her, that i get to.

Melissa - posted on 02/13/2010

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i have had people(some that are not mother's yet) get mad at me because i am not longer breastfeeding. i was breastfeeding up to 2 months(now my daughter is almost 3 months) when i took her to the doctor and she had lost 2 pounds on breast alone. I tried to combine breast and bottle but it didnt work. my daughter ended up getting confused of frustrated always switching, i would either nurse her first and then the bottle or bottle then nurse like people told me to do, and it just got hard on me and her, so now i just stick to bottle.

Iysha - posted on 02/01/2010

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I find it irritating that one of the first questions people ask is, "are you breastfeeding?" I would say no and then they would stop asking questions. It was very awkward after that. I just had family members that would push it past where I wanted it to go. I was done trying and was done trying before my baby was out of the hospital but decided to "try" a bit more to humor some people in my family and it sucked. lol. I just had to be like, "this isn't working so i'm not going to do it."

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