I read an article last night about how a particular celebrity was verbally attacked for formula feeding her infant. It inspired me to write about this particular issue.
In today’s world, a new mother can count on hearing several voices in her head with regards to the health and nutrition of her child.
People like her obstetrician/midwife, her partner, her parents, friends, co-workers, the list could go on and on. With all these opinions flying around, it’s a wonder she can hear her own voice at all, especially when it comes to deciding whether to breastfeed or not.
In today’s world, this new mom will become well-informed through the media, signage, prenatal groups, mom and baby groups how breast is best. She’ll even read formula labels that outline that breast milk is always the ideal choice.
And with all this knowledge that breast milk is definitely best for baby, it makes sense that should said mom not be able to nurse, that she might feel guilty about it.
Maybe even more than guilt, maybe flat-out grief.
Ok, so let’s say said new mom decides she will breastfeed, but when the time comes, it’s not what she expected. Maybe, she’s had a c-section and needs to supplement. Maybe she was formula fed and changes her mind to follow that path instead? What if she doesn’t enjoy it? What if her milk dries up? What if she makes the best decision for both her and her child to switch to formula?
Will the mommy club ostracize her?
I’d like to think not.
The fact is, there are so many issues that can arise both prenatal and postpartum that can prevent a mom from nursing. Why is it an open forum on how a mom decides to sustain the life she’s grown inside her own body? I find it decidedly appalling to hear of fellow moms shaming each other for making different choices for different babies. The point is to be the best mother you can be, whatever that means for you, isn’t it?
Aren’t we all in this together?
So, to the formula shamers out there:
It’s absolutely wonderful that you’ve decided to give your baby the best you can for as long as you can. It’s fantastic that you enjoy it as a calm bonding experience with your baby. I feel proud to be a woman when I see you feeding in public, covered or uncovered. I think it’s an incredible gift we’re given, one of the most special things we can share with our babies, but in the end: