Dear Formula Feeding by Choice Mothers –
You have made the decision to formula feed – but where is your support? I was in your shoes about a year ago. During my pregnancy I started searching for personal accounts of formula feeding, but I all I could find were stories of women who had attempted breastfeeding before formula. All I wanted to find was a personal account of choosing not to breastfeed, not an article about supply issues, or reasons that forced formula feeding. Often formula feeding mothers get an earful about how breastmilk is better, and can feel alienated in their choice. But, what if formula feeding is simply the right choice?
Even before I was pregnant, I knew that I didn’t want to breastfeed for a variety of reasons, including:
- I wanted my husband (and other family members) to be able to feed our daughter.
- I wanted to have freedom.
- I didn’t want to have the emotional struggle/responsibility.
- I wanted my body to become mine again.
I don’t have a medical condition that would have hindered breastfeeding (I can assure you that my milk came in). However, I stand by the fact that formula feeding was the right choice for myself, my daughter, and my family.
While I understand the positives to breastfeeding – I also want everyone to realize that every child, mother, and family have different needs. For some of us formula feeding is the right choice. I spent months researching formulas before deciding on one. I had so many judgmental comments when I said I was formula feeding, and often friends would ask the dreaded “oh you didn’t produce enough?” question. I honestly never let it bother me too much – but I think formula feeding is a choice that some of us make and are happy with. No mother should ever feel ashamed about choosing formula.
In addition I hate seeing the guilt mothers put on themselves when breastfeeding doesn’t work out. There is no need to feel guilty over how you feed a child. As long as your child is fed that is what matters most. Mothers have so much stress on them that this battle over how we fed our children needs to end. If something works for your family no one else should judge that decision.
Many will argue that breastfeeding makes for healthier babies, but I am happy to report that you can have a healthy formula fed baby as well. My daughter drank formula for 12 months and I can tell you that she was only sick once that entire time and does not have any known allergies. She sleeps great, transitioned to milk just fine, and has always been able to stay with my husband, or family when I needed a break. She is happy, healthy, and I am happy and healthy as well – and that my fellow moms is what should matter most.
A mother who chose to formula feed.
Disclaimer: I am in no way shaming breastfeeding mothers, in fact I give you all so much credit. Breastfeeding is difficult – and whether you did it for a day, week, month, or year you are still amazing.