Were you judged harshly for choosing or using formula instead of breast milk?

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Were you judged harshly for choosing or using formula instead of breast milk?
22
Fri, 09-16-2011 - 4:02pm

I predicted last year that as more and more women started out BFing, it would get harder for those who chose formula from the start - or have th choice taken away from them. If you have been lurking and have some experience with this, I would love to hear how it was for you?

What did people say to you - and who said it? How did it make you feel? How did it affect your experience as a new mother?

"Breastfeeding has really taken off since the 50s and now it is far more common for women to breastfeed, at least for the first few months. The unfortunate side effect of this breastfeeding craze is that now it is almost taboo to bottle-feed. I literally heard a nurse gasp at the hospital when a woman told her she did not want to even try to breast-feed. Women today are judged harshly for making the choice to feed formula instead of breast milk."

Read more:

Pages

Avatar for zions_daughter
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2001
I got mixed reactions. It was easier and more acceptable to feed my baby in public when I bottle-fed (with the first), who had latching issues and also appeared to have a milk sensitivity. (We've gone back to soy with him since the 3 1/2 yr mark, at about which time I discovered I'm now lactose intolerant.)

BFing in public is still going to get you looks, even with the changing trend. And yet, if you're in a mum's group or take your kids to a playgroup, bottle-feeding will get you a bit of judgment, even in places where they claim to be judgment-free.

The thing is that we all say BFing is better for the baby, but it isn't better for every mum and every baby, just like milk-based formula won't suit every baby. (My first baby screamed at night from what I assume were stomach cramps, because he couldn't digest the milk.)

We need to set aside our tendency to generalise and look at each case individually - I couldn't get the second babe to drink from a bottle, so until he started on a sippy cup, I had no option but BFing and yes, I did it discreetly in public settings. ("Sorry, my breasts aren't for display, I just need to get the hungry baby to eat!" LOL)

I think it's kind of expected that strangers will judge, and even pry when they ask during pregnancy whether you intend to breast-feed. (Why do they need to ask that? Unless maybe they're a lactation specialist...)

The hardest is when a family member is uncomfortable with your decision and you don't know what to say or do. I became quite at ease most of the time with BFing the second babe, but my husband wanted me away from everyone else's sight when I fed him - not because it's digusting or anything, but he wanted to spare them any discomfort from seeing more flesh than they usually do! At first I felt like this was a bit much because I'd have to hide in my own house during a visit from relatives or friends, but it became an easy thing to do and really didn't take long at all since I had an efficient eater. LOL

(My oldest sister was hurt by my dad's opinion that she should have tried BFing her daughter longer. I learned this when I had my first babe and only survived BFing for around the same length of time as my sis. Then my mum told me about my sis' experience and I really didn't think it was my dad's business. A father's business, yes, but not a grandfather's. Out of your hands, dude. ;) )

Hope my rambling made sense! I'm in the middle of the breastmilk vs. formula debate 'cause I've experienced both and did what was best in each case.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008

Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005

I never felt like I was judged harshly for either one - breast milk or formula.





Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

welcome

Welcome to the debate board. It's wonderful to see you posting here and I hope that you will stick around and post more often.

I remember hiding away when I was BFing my first. For me, it was part of reason I didn't want to keep BFing him. I was determined after my next son was born that I would not hide away.

I find it strange that people are having so much trouble with nursing in public nowadays - I BF my boys anywhere and everywhere in the last 70's and late 80's and never once did anyone says anything or give me a look. You would think with all the work done to help improve the BFing rates, that situation would get better, not worse.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

<

Community Leader
Registered: 06-10-2008
I don't feel as though I was ever harshly but so many people needed to tell me the 5000 reasons why breastfeeding didn't work out for them.
Photobucket
Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

<>

I had the same experience. Just sitting quietly BFing my baby, not looking around or "making a statement" - and someone always had to come over and tell me why they could not BF.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

My youngest weaned nearly 19 years ago, but even young mothers today will say why they don't. Undersupply is rife, it seems, and in one young woman's case, she had told me she couldn't because of anti-depressants. I gave her lots of information about safe anti-depressants to take, as she said she really wanted to breastfeed the next baby. Within a month of that baby's birth, the discussion had turned to what brand of formula she used, and saying she had not had enough milk. A month is not a serious amount of time to try breastfeeding and iron out any early issues, and supply can in most cases be improved.

Teresa

Community Leader
Registered: 04-18-2003

Yes.

Gail

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
abrose94 wrote:

Yes.

Pages