why do moms who FF feel the need to explain themselfs to moms who BF??

Morgan - posted on 03/17/2010 ( 41 moms have responded )

1,116

44

167

Its so strange, and even I do it I could not breast feed my DD because she was in the NICU for some time and I dident get along with the breast pump, and I find myself explaining that to alot of BF moms, and even catch my self feeling guilty about it.... why cant I and tons of other moms just be proud of how we feed our little ones???

we are all great moms♥ boob or not :)

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Krista - posted on 03/17/2010

12,562

16

845

Well, it's like this:



Everybody and their dog is hammering home the message that "breast is best". We hear that message repeatedly. So, if breast is best, then it stands to reason that formula is NOT best, right? And what mother doesn't want to do what is best for her child?



So, those of us who formula-feed are constantly receiving the message that we're NOT doing what is best for our child, which cannot help but create a certain amount of defensiveness among us.



But, what we have to keep in mind that a generic "best" is basically useless when it comes to each individual family. What is "best" for your family might not work at all for mine. I don't doubt that breast IS best, for those who are able to breastfeed. But breastfeeding isn't best for those who can't actually do it.



So after awhile, you just have to shrug and say, "I am doing what is best for my child, given my particular set of circumstances" and then ignore those who would make you feel bad.

Kat - posted on 03/20/2010

8

33

0

As a breast feeding mother , I would like to attempt to explain why some bf moms get upset with some ff moms , although I do not agree with any mother judging any other with how they choose to raise their children . This is the reason formula feeding mothers that say things like , I wanted to keep my boobs nice , or I didn't want to have to wake up all night , or you look and feel like a cow when you breast feed , these kind of statements make breast feeding mothers jump on the defense , one because we don't like being compared to a cow for doing what's natural for our child , and two because the mothers that make these statments are usually the ones that are disguested by pubic breastfeeding , this works both ways ladies , please don't think that bf mothers aren't judged as well , for all sorts of things " you breast feds to long that's gross " . "How could you do that in public there are children here " ....... and so on .

Kat - posted on 03/20/2010

8

33

0

As a breast feeding mother , I would like to attempt to explain why some bf moms get upset with some ff moms , although I do not agree with any mother judging any other with how they choose to raise their children . This is the reason formula feeding mothers that say things like , I wanted to keep my boobs nice , or I didn't want to have to wake up all night , or you look and feel like a cow when you breast feed , these kind of statements make breast feeding mothers jump on the defense , one because we don't like being compared to a cow for doing what's natural for our child , and two because the mothers that make these statments are usually the ones that are disguested by pubic breastfeeding , this works both ways ladies , please don't think that bf mothers aren't judged as well , for all sorts of things " you breast feds to long that's gross " . "How could you do that in public there are children here " ....... and so on .

Morgan - posted on 03/18/2010

1,116

44

167

you have to be somewhat trusting Kathy.....
If you cant breast feed what other options do you have, you cant let them starve!!!
and maybe its just me but I'll be the first to admit even if they still had "wet nurses" or breast milk was made avilable I would be less trusting and less likely to use that, than formula from a can.
but thats just me.

Johnny - posted on 03/17/2010

8,686

26

322

I both breastfed and formula fed my daughter. I got it from both sides (although only on the net, never in real life). I have always felt like I had to explain myself both ways. I am now still breastfeeding my 19 month old and I'm starting to feel the judgment coming about not having weaned. Unfortunately, the world is very hard on mothers, and women are often quite terrible to one another. I think that the best we can do is know in our own hearts that we did the right thing for our baby and ourselves and try to grow thicker skins.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

41 Comments

View replies by

Anna - posted on 01/25/2011

134

18

1

Here's my theory (I breastfeed by the way). Mom A (this would be me) is a bit self conscience about breast feeding in public, so she compensates by awkwardly prattling on about benefits and what not, not realizing that this is interpreted as 'looking down' on all the formula mothers. Mom B takes this to me, 'she thinks I'm a bad mom' and starts talking apologetically about how she couldn't breast feed or whatever and the whole thing circles and everyone feels insulted by everyone else, which was never anyones intent.
We're all doing our best. Let's try to assume the best intentions.

Anne - posted on 03/22/2010

5

3

0

Breast is "Normal" and every human baby has a right to human milk. Sorry about that, however, not every mother can breast feed (for whatever reason) and "normal" for those babies is formula.

[deleted account]

Hello all, I couldn't breast feed my little boy when he was born and I will not explain why, just as I didn't when he was born... the doctors, myself and my husband knew why and that's good enough for me. I personally didn't feel the need to explain to anyone and told them that is was actually none of their business. I didn't feel guilty for not BF as there was no choice, all that I cared about was that my baby was being fed and was healthy, I did speak to a pediatrician and was told that the formula they have now is so close in matching BM that my baby would be perfectly healthy on formula alone. Most of all yes I am proud of myself as my little on did and still does get great reports at every check up. He is also a very happy little boy. I think you should all be proud of yourselves, at the end of the day you feed your baby, you love your baby, you protect, teach and cherish your baby...what's not to be proud of???

Jane - posted on 03/19/2010

1

3

0

My children are 21 and 18 and its sad that new mums are still being made to feel guilty about not breast feeding. I battled through for 6 weeks (and it was a battle with lots of tears from both mother and son) but decided to give it a huge miss with my daughter. I did feel guilty and I feel almost obligated to explain. Looking back I wonder why I wasted so much energy explaining my decision to people who meant nothing to me. They are now just faceless detractors. My children grew up healthy and loved. And my close family loved the fact that they could get to feed the baby. Bonding all round. I know its hard to ignore all the comments, especially when they are negative (the very ones we should be ignoring). Just enjoy your bub now that you have her home and keeping remembering your last comment - we are all great moms - boob or not.

Heather - posted on 03/19/2010

85

1

9

I have the opposite problem. Most people around me FF. I'm the only person I know of in person who is breastfeeding. I even had a nurse at my doctors office tell me I need to stop breastfeeding! My daughter is 14 months and when people learn about me breastfeeding, they give me the weirdest looks. I think it might be because they automatically assume I'm going to start bashing them for not BF and they're just going to beat me to the punch. Lol. I happen to think BF is great and I'm really proud of myself for doing it but I'm not at all against FF.

Tanya - posted on 03/19/2010

518

35

83

This will and can go on forever. We all want what is best for our children and of course we all are going to listen to other mothers and media and news and studies and tests and everything else in between that pops up about what is best for our children. Yes studies show one thing and but life is always going to give you another. I think when I was a mother of one I felt this get under my skin more and no matter what the judgement was about I felt I needed to explain my reasoning for the way I chosse to do anything with my children. I think that I was the same even after I had my second but when i was pregnant with my third I have had enough experience (with motherhood and caring for others children) that I knew that being a mother was a live and learn experience no one has the answers to every question nor does anyone know what is best for our children more then the mother herself. I have learned that I have a choice as to what question I answer that others ask me I have no problem letting people think what they want about me as a mother. I know that at the end of the day I have done everything I can to keep my children healthy and happy and I know that I am doing the best I can and still learning along the way and that is what makes us great mothers, not what we decided (or not decided) to feed our children after they are born. Its what we learn along the way to make us who we are. strong, loving and never giving up MOTHERS!

Jennifer - posted on 03/19/2010

31

11

3

wether it's breast feeding or formula, I think maybe that you are also dealing with the added issues of a baby who needed extra care. I choose to breastfeed and was able to with ease, but my first was premature. It took more time and dedication to breastfeed her, it was a real fight, but my milk was never a problem- that is just my body and not luck or desire. I know how hard it is to feel like no other mom's really know how hard you had to fight just to get to where you are in caring for your baby. I used to tell strangers who asked that she was two months younger than she was because I got tired of explaining she was early. Like it or not, having your baby in the NICU changes your prespective as a mother, and mom's who've only had full term healthy babies can empathise, but never really understand. You did what you could do for your baby, and now your baby is home, healthy and growing right? You, more than any mom who delivered and just left the hospital, had extensive education about what is best for your baby before you ever left. I work at the hospital I delivered at, and I have to admit that I couldn't even go near the main entrance for almost a year after Kayla was born, it was too painful for me to see the happy mommies leaving with their healthy babies and could never understand what my own experiance was like. I know it's a little childish, but I was horomonal, and needed to protect my happiness. I am fine with it now, and had a full term baby with my second time around. Breast, bottle, and fed and cared for baby is what is important, and you are a good mom. Try to relax and just enjoy this time you have while your baby is still a baby. Things sure change as they grow up!!!

Angela - posted on 03/18/2010

525

43

122

this debate has been going on for aaaaaaaaaaaaages now. WHO CARES HOW YOUR BUB IS FED....AS LONG AS IT IS GETTING FED!!!! I've been able to breastfeed my little girl and i also acknowledge how difficult it can be for some mums who have tried and can't or for those who choose not to breastfeed. Whether you breasfeed or formular feed, it makes NO DIFFERENCE in the type of mother you are to your child!! This is very similar to the debate 'Natural labour Vs c-section'. I had to have a c-section due to unforseen circumstances and am opting to have a c-section with my 2nd child due in 4 months BUT that does not make me less of a mother because i have chosen to not go natural!!! You do what is best for you and your child...whether its breastfeeding or formular feeding, Natural or c-sect!!!!

Leah - posted on 03/18/2010

1

25

0

Hi Morgan, i am a BF mum but i hated it!!! and i am thinking am FF my next child, even though i am going to get shot down for it. I know alot of mums who FF and they are doing a great job and there child/ren are doing awesome! I think this 'Breast is best' thing a load of crap! BF is just cheaper thats all. I am sure you are going a good job with your child.

Sarah - posted on 03/18/2010

1,499

10

40

The topic of breastfeeding vs. formula feeding used to get me SO fired up! I have a tendency to be VERY long winded when I type, so I am going to try and make this as short as I can. :) When my son was only 5 days old, he as admitted to the hospital for jaundice and a slightly low blood sugar. He was lethargic for several days & wouldn't latch on, and let's just say we had a very rocky start with breastfeeding. The doctor ordered me to supplement with formula when he was 2 weeks old because he wasn't gaining weight. I wanted to breastfeed SOOO badly, so I tried to build my milk supply back up after having to supplement. After 2 months of struggling with trying to get him to latch on correctly and fighting with a damn breast pump, I decided enough was enough. Feeding time, which is supposed to be a calming experience, was always stressful and frustrating for both of us. My son is 6 months old, formula fed & is happy & healthy. I felt horribly guilty and ashamed for going to formula, and I became VERY defensive when I would see some BF moms treated FF moms like absolute crap. I have seen some horribly negative stuff posted about FF moms and about formula in general...calling it "toxic" and "poison." Give me a freaking break. I no longer feel like I have to defend myself to the critical BF moms. (Which not ALL BF moms are critical, of course!) I'll raise my kid how I want to & you raise yours how you want to. That's the bottom line. (And I made that longer than I intended to! Sorry!)

Jennifer - posted on 03/18/2010

49

20

7

I say as long as your baby is healthy and happy and mother is too.......why should it matter if you FF or BF.
There is so much more involved in raising loved,healthy, happy, secure,well balanced children than whether you BF or FF......surely this is what we all strive for as mothers!

I know plenty of mothers who have FF their babies from day 1 because they either could not or did not want to BF, this does not make them a bad mother, they chose to do what was best for their child and themselves. I might add that many of these mothers have very healthy children.

I BF all 4 of my children and it did not come easy, I had many problems with latching on, cracked nipples, nipple thrush and mastitis....but eventually it worked itself out.
I also have felt judged.....because I chose BF.
I had other's telling me I should give it away because of all the problems I had.
I had people saying maybe you are just one of those mother's who cannot BF.
I was also judged because I BF 3 of my children for approx 13 months and my last for approx 18 months. I have recieved dirty looks and snide comments when BF my child in public........and it's not like I had my breasts or my nipple out there for all to see - I felt I was quite discreet and always had something covering my breasts.

Unfortunately we will always have other's that will judge and pass comment and all we can do is know within ourselves that we are doing what is right for us and our children.

Paige - posted on 03/18/2010

1

15

0

Don't ever feel bad about formula feeding your baby! I breast feed, but I was formula fed. I in no way feel like my mother let me down in any way! There are so many other important things to worry about and mommies should be more supportive of one another! You are obviously a loving mother and your child is very lucky to have you! Stand tall and proud little momma, love is the best thing you can give your child!

Andrea - posted on 03/18/2010

566

29

56

I didn't want to breastfeed because I saw the horrible time my sister had. I also couldn't breastfeed because of medication I am on and plus my milk never came in. My son was in in the NICU for 5 weeks and he was released earlier than the doctor had expected. I believe it was because of the care he received, not because of what he was eating. I really can't look at 2 people (one BF and one FF) and tell you which one is which.

Penny - posted on 03/18/2010

2

23

0

I decided not to breastfeed because I didn't want to as I didn't want to feel like a cow and be tyred and drainied all the time and I wanted my boobs to stay nice. (Little did I know its carrying them that makes them drop I think anyway). Yes I am sick of hearing breast is best for the govrnment offices and it even says on the formulae tins so the govenment rules everything. I also chose not to because I thought I would go down the PND path as mum had it and though this was a good risk managment strategy to reduce the likeihood of this happening and therefore I would be a better mum that is happy not sad.

Shelley - posted on 03/18/2010

5

16

0

I am a proud formula feeding mom. With my first I wanted to breast feed I tried and ended up with mastitis and breast absceses ( rock hard lumps in my boobs). I was on antibiotics for 6 months and the lumps didn't go away for a couple months after that. I had to see a surgeon for months because if the lumps didn't go away on there own they would have to do a surgical procedure to get the infected fluid out. With my second child I in no way wanted to go down that road again! I remember being on the floor crying from all the pain for weeks with my frist and I only breast fed her for 2 weeks. So I am proud of bottle feeding and happy that it makes me happy. Happy moms make happy babies and my kids have been super healthy. My first didn't even get sick her whole entire first year of life and my second has only been sick once with a minor cold. They have both been 100% height and weight since they were born as well. Big and Healthy! Love my babies!



Why do bf mothers always want to know why we don't bf? Thats the real question? I get way more questions than my bf friends.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/18/2010

21,273

9

3058

I am tired of hearing about this debate. If a breast feeding mother is being a jerk and making a formula feeding mother feel bad...then that is exactly it...they are a jerk. I BF my son who is almost 4, and it was the most painful and exhausting experience ever. Until he was about 4 months it hurt like hell. I am very proud that I lasted 7 months, and I think any BF mother deserves to feel accomplished....cause it is a huge chore. But FF moms should not be made to feel inadequate for WHATEVER reason they do not BF. But also, should acknowledge the fact that it is very difficult, and should try to understand why BF mothers feel proud. On the other hand, BF mothers should feel ashamed if they are making you feel badly...some women only want to BF and cannot produce, or like you..you did not have the real opportunity to even try. That is just not fair, and VERY hurtful to FF mothers that wanted to BF. As long as your baby is happy and healthy, who the hell cares if this mom BF, and that mom FF.....10 years from now, no one is going to give a damn. Sorry, this is the first time I have responded to a BF debate...and I only did becouse I am sick of these threads popping up. We are all mothers, and we will all do things differently. Get over your milk producing boobies BF mommies, and stop being so sensitive FF mommies. (fyi, I am 3 weeks away from my next child, and I am planning on BF...I am up to the task, but I can't say it is any fun.)

[deleted account]

I agree with most of the posts on this thread. I think judgement works both ways though. I wish I could say that it gets better once the milk stage is over, but I'm sure you're all familiar with the other debates on this site to know that this is not the case. Some women will always find an excuse to bash other women. Parenting is one of the main excuses for it. The majority of the authors of parenting books/studies are men, nuff said. They aint worth fighting over!!!

Rhonda - posted on 03/18/2010

3

13

0

Totally true...you are right I guess I wasn't thinking about that. My husband used to say my bedside looked like a dorm room when I was ff because I would lay everything out. It easier at night to bf no doubt! lol! I guess we should all just admit it is hard no matter what you decide but seeing our kids healthy is the reward! ;)

Morgan - posted on 03/18/2010

1,116

44

167

breast feeding is hard thats no lie but formula feeding is in no way easy.
you can wake up in the middle of the night and pop your LO on you boob, no sterilizing your bottles, measering, heating, or dealing with much more gas, in my opinion breast feeding moms who think formula feeding is the EASY way out are sadly mistaken.

Julie - posted on 03/18/2010

619

35

72

"why cant I and tons of other moms just be proud of how we feed our little ones??? "

---------> I wasn't ... I desperately wanted to BF, pumped for my little man in the NICU for 14 weeks and got horribly sick and couldn't keep up the pumping or driving (he was in 4 months). I am not proud that I FF, but I did what I had to do. I never got challenged by anyone (lucky for them) so I didn't have to defend myself to anyone.

OTOH, I am proud I was able to pump enough to mostly feed him for that time. I like to think my effort is a reason he is doing so well today.

However, I do think we all are the best moms to our kids!

Rhonda - posted on 03/18/2010

3

13

0

I ff one child and bf my second. My first didn't want to be breast fed he just didn't like it. My second that is all she wants. Having done both I find it more difficult, challenging and get more ridicule and questions because of the bf. When I was ff I never heard a word and it was easy. Now I bf and when I go out in public and I have to ask for a chair at a resturant to be put in the bathroom, or I go into a dressing room to bf, or when I can't find anything I have to deal with the stares because I have a blanket over me and everyone knows what I am doing. I get ridiculed. I have even been approached by strangers. Let's face it this society makes it easy to ff and hard to bf. I find myself staying home alot instead of going out and that stinks too. If you are getting crap from women who bf I would just ignore it...they are probably just grumpy because it is harder. It shouldn't matter what you chose...every child is different. My ff son is just as healthy as my bf daughter.

Beth - posted on 03/18/2010

36

10

0

I know what you mean! I breast fed for 7 months (still partially) but I just started using formula because I got sick with a stomach infection and couldnt breastfeed at the time, so now I catch myself explaining why to my friends who did breastfeed, and I would say it is because they think it's better to breastfeed. I find my friends who breastfeed talk about the importance of it a lot, and you feel looked down on for formula feeding. I can't lie, I thought so too when I was strictly breastfeeding, but people make their own decisions, formula feeding moms shouldn;t be looked down on!! They are not starving their babies...all that matters! :)

[deleted account]

"if formula milk is not good for your baby then they wouldnt sell it breast milk" - must admit, Bex, I'm not that trusting of ANY company!

Bex - posted on 03/18/2010

2

11

1

i bf both my sons but that worked for me if formula milk is not good for your baby then they wouldnt sell it breast milk would be the only option, as long as baby is bing fed and well lokked after and is putting on weight why does it matter which milk thay had.
Also i would feel uncomfotable if a mum who formula fed started to justify themselves to me ! I agree we are all great moms boob or not !

Claire - posted on 03/17/2010

309

39

44

As long as your kids are fed, who cares if they are FF or BF? I did both and my kids are perfectly fine.

Amy - posted on 03/17/2010

206

25

30

I don't explain myself to anyone. When I hated the question was when I was pregnant. Why do you care how I'm going to feed my child. As long as my child gets fed and the nutrician she needs "Back off". I chose not to BF my first because of my age and circumstances and then found out I had a vary rare medical condition with my other 3 so I couldn't. Every mother should be able to choose the best thing for their circumstances.

[deleted account]

If someone is going to judge you for how you feed your child, that's their problem. If some one has a problem with me whipping my boob out the the mall I don't care. Your doing the best for your child in your circumstances.

Cassie - posted on 03/17/2010

0

0

0

Heather, your last sentence was a judgment of breastfeeding mothers whether you realize it or not.

It really goes both ways and it all should stop.

[deleted account]

I'm a breastfeeding mother (grandmother now!). I don't put down those who chose to or had to formula feed. I don't think there are many of us who do - the breasfeeding mums who come over rude and arrogant embarrass us all! I don't think anyone has the right to put others down.

As Krista says, breast is best as a general rule, but people don't follow general rules - individual circumstances and needs and wants have to be taken into account.

Sometimes my enthusiasm can get the better of me, and though I hope I don't come over all insensitive, I might, unintentionally. So if that happends, feel free to sit on me!

[deleted account]

i ff both of my kids, and they are fine, healthy normal little adults, but sometimes SOME mothers (not all and i know that) who BF have this mind set that anyone who doesnt BF is not natural and that formula is nasty and so on. i have a hot head =) and i dont like it when people judge me (or others) because of how i fed my kids... it makes me so mad, because i dont judge breast feeding moms who whip their boobs out in the mall... = p

Dana - posted on 03/17/2010

11,264

35

495

Krista, you've said it the best way I've seen yet!

I actually breast feed but I've never felt anything different towards a mother who formula feeds. I was formula fed. Sometimes I wish people would just let it go from both sides. It's such a stupid thing to get all worked up about in the grand scheme of things. There are good mothers and bad mothers who BF and there are good mothers and bad mothers who FF.
Chances are though that even in this thread, that is a nice thread, there will be someone who puts the other side down.

Aurora - posted on 03/17/2010

30

15

9

Hi :) .. My son was FF because I had a medical condition that made me unable to BF. I am not sure if I would have BF even if I could have.. **Yes I can hear the gasps of horror from the BF community** While he was in the NICU for swallowing fluid on the way out I was repeated lectured about my need to BF even tho I was physically unable too. I explained it was not possible to each new shift of nurses who came in. I felt horribly guilty for being a bad mother due to that. Talk about adding to the baby blues and the overwhelming changes and stress I was already dealing with. This is not how any mother should feel over a choice like that. After the 8th day of this behavior on their behalf I lost my temper and started to throw an fit. I understand that it is better to BF but when the choice is made that it should be left at that. FF is fine. Children thrive on it and grow into healthy children and adults. If you are a FF mother you should not feel guilty for you choice and if your a BF mother you should not try to shove your ideals down other mothers throats.

As long as a child is healthy, happy and thriving... who care how they got there... :)

Heather - posted on 03/17/2010

71

11

0

hi Morgan I am sure you are a great mom.I understand what you are saying I really wanted to BF my last baby but my milk never came in because I hemoraged after I gave birth I felt guilty and I felt the need to explain it to BF moms. My daughter is now almost 1 year old and is still and has been from 1 day old formula fed and she is a healthy happy baby

Krystal - posted on 03/17/2010

345

17

17

hi morgan i too couldnt breastfeed, for medical reasons and my son wouldnt latch on. i have to admit i do find myself explaining myself to BF mums. i get so angry sometimes when BF mums try to put me down and tell me im wrong for formula feeding and they seem to think all mums should breast feed if you dont your a bad mum. BUT not all BF mums are like that which is nice, i go to a baby group and there are 4 BF mums there that talk to me like im a good parent and even tho they BF and i FF they still treat me with respect and that makes me feel confident that not all BF mums are snobs. the ones that do put us down seem to think they know every thing and they think they know whats best for your baby even tho they dont know your situation, so i find when they have a go at me im forever trying to defend myself, because it wasnt my fault that i couldnt breastfeed but they just dont seem to get it and they think if its not boob its not natural or good for your baby. i am trying not to explain myself anymore but its hard because sometimes i get offended and hurt when they say horrible things. but all that matters is that my son is happy, healthy and thriving. my son is FF and im proud! :)

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms