A Toast To Formula Feeding Mothers

I was on a social networking site the other day, when I came across this one mothers picture and post. The picture had a baby and the topic was "The Breastfed Baby" and on this picture was all the different benefits the breastfed baby has over a formula fed baby. The comment this person wrote was "look at what formula can't do for your baby."

I try not to be judgy... I know it doesn't feel good and motherhood alone can feel impossible on certain days without the comments and stares from people, thinking you are a total fail at parenting. For some reason this one post bothered me. It was as if she was pointing her finger at every mother who didn't try hard enough to breast feed.

When I was pregnant with my first, I had envisioned what "type" of mother I wanted to be. Turns out that doesn't really happen... who would have known? Still, its nice to see that somethings I held my ground on. So what if I didn't end up using cloth diapers and saving the environment. Okay, maybe the "make my own baby food" idea didn't last long. Maybe my children don't always eat the healthiest of foods. And despite my firm beliefs in being a stay at home mom and not putting my child in daycare, with my second child that is exactly what I did.

Back to this breastfed baby picture... it was kind of disappointing to see another mother be so judgmental in her comments. I tried, I really did. But in the end I just couldn't. See, some people have problems producing enough milk supply, especially when both of their children were in the NICU and had to be fed a special supplemented diet. It's hard pumping and feeding separately, but even that was not why.
Each time I had to throw in the towel, I was devastated. As if I was letting down my baby or not being a mother by providing the basic need of food. I cried for weeks with my first one. I was so determined that I would with the next one, that I pushed even further. I made it this time to a month and a half and not once was she ever feed from my breast, it was all pumped. I feel as though I have missed out on that bond but I can't look back.

It just really irritates me when people ask if you are breastfeeding, as if the answer to this one question determines you as a mother. I just want to tell all of you mothers out their who have breastfed that have this stigma against mothers who don't....

"Yes I understand all the help benefits of breastfed babies... I was given all of that information when I was seeing my doctor regularly at my prenatal visits"

"No you don't need to rub it in that you stuck with it despite how hard it was"

And finally,

"Yes, I do feel bad that I wasn't able to provide the nutrition and good health to my baby like you...."

Even though my oldest daughter was only breast fed for a couple weeks, she very rarely ever went to the doctor besides her normal check ups. Even though breastfed babies tend to have a higher IQ per say... my daughters language abilities are beyond her age. So it looks like the formula over the breast milk didn't really have that big of an impact on her after all.

Looking at my children today, I'm not disappointed at the "type" of mother I am or will become. I see my children healthy, happy and gosh darn it, amazing!!! I must have done something right in all the wrongs to have raised such an incredible little almost 3 year old!

Here is a toast, to all the mothers that were not able to breastfeed. It's hard enough to be a mother, lets not criticize those that were not able to. We already get it.

Posted on February 22, 2012 .