Are mothers who formula feed bad moms?

Jodi - posted on 01/10/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

2,694

52

175

My answer is no! But, I am getting very irritated with some of them messaging me calling me judgemental, quick to comment and quick to assume. Here's your chance to vent it out ladies!
Just for the record, this is how I feel about it:

Women who formula feed their children are just as good mom's as women who breastfeed or supplement their children! I do feel however that there are MANY mothers who are seriously misinformed, under-educated and unsupported about breastfeeding. I do feel that many mothers who use formula do so because they were incorrectly told or assumed that they weren't making enough milk or that their child wasn't healthy enough or gaining enough weight, either by a professional or a friend/family member. I also feel that many mothers give up breastfeeding because they feel it was too hard and that formula was more convenient. AGAIN, there is nothing WRONG with this, they are good mothers, but that is how I see it.

I understand that there are mothers who, for medical reasons, do not produce milk at all or not enough, but they are so few and far between there can't possibly be as many out there as some claim to be! I do feel that many mothers who are either told or just assume that they don't make enough milk do not explore all their options, such as herbs, medicines or proper support, OR they choose to supplement early on further decreasing their supply and making it harder.

Furthermore, in my personal experience, I was told by my pediatrician to supplement my daughter (and eventually was advised to switch completely to formula), but thanks to a great midwife and wonderful support system, I stuck with breastfeeding. My daughter lost 2 lbs total from her original birthweight before my supply was established, it took nearly 6 weeks for her to start gaining any weight back. We had a horrible time with latch, I suffered cracked, blistered and bleeding nipples, I cried every feed for weeks, I nearly switched to formula. It wasn't easy, does it make me a better mom for NOT choosing formula? Absolutely not, I was just bound and determined to breastfeed. Should mothers who use formula feel guilty...NO!

In summary, please stop assuming I had a breeze of a time with breastfeeding...it was hell for WEEKS and I was worried about my daughter's health at times. It was my choice to breastfeed, but the choice to formula feed is an option. Unfortunately, this country turns to formula first and breastfeeding is nearly unheard of. Formula is used for it's convenience despite studies proving breastmilk is the best milk for infants and babies. Many mothers claim that women like myself, who breastfeed and feel that formula feeding is an epidemic in the United States, are judgemental about mothers who formula feed...not so. I state my observations and opinions about the state of breastfeeding vs formula feeding in the United States, and why it is the way it is. So ladies, here's your chance...vent about the guilt you feel, about the judgements and comments...please get it out once and for all and stop assuming everyone is out to call you an unfit parent! Oh yeah, and stop private messaging ME and calling ME a bad person!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Diane - posted on 04/26/2013

11

0

0

When I was pregnant, I was determined to breastfeed. I went from breastfeeding class to breastfeeding class. I was almost obsessed with it. When I had Jenna, I had a few lactation consultants. I could not (and for the life of me) get my baby to latch. I had flat nipples too. I tried EVERYTHING. My baby knew what to do (I did not and could not. It was not because I did not want nor was undereducated. It was because I was not adept to it). My baby was losing weight! Of course, I switched to formula feeding. Formula feeding saved my baby's life! I was also depressed. I had to go on anti-depressants. How dare any mother say that formula feeding moms are bad. Saying that formula feeding moms are bad is like saying people who are poor in athletics are bad people.

[deleted account]

I hear ya!
I don't think moms who FF are bad moms, but it does make me sad when mothers don't even TRY BFing. I also agree that there just isn't enough information and support out there for new moms. There are so many things I think that a new moms needs to know when it comes to BFing. I'm so tired of hearing moms saying that they switched to formula or even worse, started solids, at around 3 months because their baby "wasn't satisfied by breast milk anymore". Why don't people know about growth spurts?! And what about parents who start formula in order to get their baby to sleep longer? Maybe it's just me, but I feel that that's wrong. My son is a year and he still wakes during the night. But I survived, and I'm pretty sure I'm still sane (mostly haha). Anyways, that's my 2 cents. If I keep going I might start to get a little harsh. But thanks for speaking out and sharing your opinion. Hurray for us lactivists!

Megan - posted on 01/11/2010

10

30

0

I don't think they're bad moms. But I know a lot of FF moms who do it for very selfish reasons and that does bother me. Sometimes breastfeeding isn't easy! My first two were really hard to get started, but I was determined. These last two were a breeze and sometimes I feel like I should apologize for that! Lol...

BUT...my son has severe allergies. My family and friends (who have all FF) think I'm crazy for continuing with BF because of my restrictions. But, honestly, breastfeeding my son is more important to me than a cup of coffee, or a bowl of ice cream, or a slice of bread. I just wish more moms felt that way! My ped told me that I was the first mom in her career that continued BF after a confirmed milk allergy! That's crazy and selfish, IMHO. Sorry if that offends!!

Sophie - posted on 01/11/2010

86

9

4

I agree with everything you've said!! I had a terrible time for the first 6 weeks and it wasnt easy but I had great support and was very determined. I am very proud that I carried on but I dont blame or think they should feel guilty if they couldnt carry on as there is not enough support out there for breastfeeding mothers.

If you choose formula it doesnt make you a bad mother especiallyh if you've tried to BF and encountered problems and couldnt get the support you needed but dont assume that if a BF mother says breast is best or seems proud of their choice that they are automatically judging you for your choice!

This conversation has been closed to further comments

10 Comments

View replies by

Jodi - posted on 01/11/2010

2,694

52

175

Thank you ladies! I'm so glad there are other mothers out there who understand what I mean when I talk about the misconceptions of formula! I feel SO many mothers (mainly one's who formula feed or supplement) misunderstand my pride in my own breastfeeding experience as scorn to those who use formula. I really had to vent that one out as I have had many private messages attacking me about my opinion on the issue out of misunderstandings. Thanks for listening ladies!!! I honestly hope that a few formula feeding mothers (specifically those that are sending nasty messages to mothers like myself) read this and come understand that we don't have any problems with the choice to formula feed...just the lack of support and education the majority women face in terms of breastfeeding! Breast is best! (But formula is good too!)

Nicole - posted on 01/11/2010

131

4

11

I agree with everything said here so far. It's a personal choice for some people and for others it comes down to lack of proper support.

I wish someone had told me about the first 6-8 weeks with honesty. I very nearly quit because of all the pain and problems. Thankfully I stuck it out. We are doing great now. If someone who were crying in pain at every feeding like I was for a while, I wouldn't judge them for switching. It does take time to sort out problems and a strong will to go with it. I am a very stubborn person :)

I think a lot of people read too much into others' posts on here. I also think we perceive a tone that may or may not actually be present in posts. Then there are the times when people are just plain rude and those are the comments/attitudes that stick. Then maybe we start to hear that attitude in others' posts when it really isn't there??? ... just a theory...

Amanda - posted on 01/11/2010

234

10

28

wow I couldnt have said it better myself, I also had a hellasious time for the first month or two, latching problems/ flat nipples, but I stuck with it. Then when I had to have major back surgery when baby #2 was a mere 3 months old, and had to stop bf due to the major pain meds I was put on I thought I would have a nervous breakdown, I allowed other people to make me feel bad about myself for using formula. I had no reason to feel bad! I pumped like a mad woman up to my surgery and because of that she was still able to have breastmilk for a few weeks after I had to stop, I even felt bad when my mother in law commented that she thought I would have already stopped when she saw me feeding my baby for what would be the last time, just hours before my surgery, instead of alowing her to make me feel bad with her comment I should have been proud that I was commited to bf to the last moment.
My lactation consultant really did the most for me one day when I called her crying feeling like a bad mom, she said, hey the object is to feed your baby, you did everything you could and since formula is the way you have to go now, so be it. You are still nourishing your baby.
I live in a pretty economicaly depressed area and I wholeheartedly agree that too many women are just not being properly informed, however I also try to keep in mind that bf just is not appealing to some women, I know that when I personally try try to bf when I am cross it is just not a good feed session for baby or me. If there are some women that truly would be miserable bf that would be defeating [part] of the purpose. bf is an intement, close bonding time for mom and baby, if mom is hating every milisecond of it then baby will sense it and probably end up weaning itself too early anyway.
My opinion is that we moms commited to bf should make a point to try to educate as many moms to be, as possible, who knows maybe the next pregnant mom who sees you bf your baby has decided to formua feed for an misinformed reason and just a few words from you could change her mind!!!!

Nicole - posted on 01/11/2010

25

26

1

asyou statedi think that alot of women are misinformed too. i always heard about the sore nipples, the pain...really nothing good. i was lucky enough not to experience any of these things. my son too lost quite a bit of weight and was scared i wasnt doin my job. i stuck with it and feed him more and he gain 2lbs 10oz in 2weeks.

i dont feel that feeding formula makes you a bad mother, you are feeding your child. some women dont want to, cant, or dont know how too. doesnt make them bad. i get equally odffend when people find out that i breastfeed and get wierd looks, mainly from people my moms age(majority of them formula feed).

i feel as long as your child is growing and doin good, youre doing good. some people dont breastfeed, some dont use pacifers, some Moms are stay at home...these are all person decision which do not affect your "quality" of parenting..

Anneke - posted on 01/11/2010

317

61

29

Not all mothers are able to breastfeed and not all want to, I except this and am happy I can do it. I dont think they are bad mums, I was formula fed but glad of it as my mum smoked and was always at work. I didnt bond with my mum at all, we cant stand each other sadly.

I to have been told i look down on people who ff when I dont, I mentioned once i breastfeed in my status and was leaped upon by someone who was sick of breastfeeding mums looking down on everyone and that breastfeeding was all rubbish. I was shocked, I didnt even mention any negitive things or forula feeding for that matter just that I breastfeed and liked it. If I mention how well my son is getting along and even say its because he is breastfeed i get shouted at and told that their kids bla bla forumla blablabla. I have no anger towards anyone forula feeding even though thats what I thought you where meant to do as I was told when IO was pregnant and before breastfeeding wasnt good! can you believe that.

Turn the tables, its bf mums that get alot more stick for breastfeeding where as formula seems the norm now. The women at the hospital delivering the forumal to the rest the mums in my ward was shocked I wouldnt take it off her. And the other mums where watching me and kept repeating how they didnt know how I done it when they never tried and their babies where throwing up all night and mine was sleeping and eating well.

Jodi - posted on 01/10/2010

2,694

52

175

I would like to add something, I apologize if I ever came across self-righteous about breastfeeding in previous threads...it was never intended, but I am extremely proud of having gotten through the worst of it and came out none-for-the-worse on the other end.

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