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In a perfect world, breastfeeding would be a snap for all new moms. They'd feed their babies with all the nutrients they need with ease and contentment while racking up enough catnaps between feedings so that they felt tired, but happy.
But, as dad Chris Kornelis writes for The Atlantic, that scenario doesn't play out for all parents, and once he and his wife, Betsy, decided to let go of frustrating failed attempts at breastfeeding and switch to formula, life -- well -- it got a lot closer to perfect.
According to Kornelis, making the switch to formula allowed him to bond with his son, let both parents get much-needed sleep and afforded Betsy a little alone time. But, still, the parents couldn't help but wince at the "Experts agree breastfeeding is best" sticker on the box of Enfamil.
"I've never seen a sticker on the outside of a box of frozen chicken nuggets that says 'experts agree, feeding your child chicken that's definitely chicken and not covered in breading is best.' Our pediatrician told us it was no big deal to switch to formula," he writes. "Do you think he'd say the same for a steady diet of fast food?"
Yes, breastfeeding is considered ideal, Kornelis admits, but he points to a friend -- a single father -- who didn't want to look at his family dynamic in terms of simply making the best of a situation.
"He wanted to find the advantages that his daughter would have growing up with parents and families in two different homes," he writes. "How refreshing. That's a line of thinking can be brilliantly extended to the formula debate."
We agree. All moms should be allowed to make the choice that's right for them -- and if that's not breastfeeding, they shouldn't have to suffer the stink-eye for whipping out a bottle filled with formula. Breastfeeding is amazing when it works, but really challenging when it doesn't. And supporting your wife -- and baby -- when you can't quite set up residence in a perfect world? Well, we think that, in itself, is pretty darn perfect.