Formula is NOT the F-word...

...And I say this because there are lactation consultants in the LA area who say it is. And that's not cool. In fact, I'm thinking maybe I should start a support group for formula feeders: The Fa Formula Foundation. Any takers?

The thing is? I LOVE breastfeeding and I've blogged extensively about my experience doing everything I can to do so. I even wrote a piece about breastfeeding after reduction, here. 

Still, few things piss me off more than the people I love (myself included) getting ridiculed for giving a baby a bottle of formula no matter what the reason. And to those who think it ok to ridicule? A Momversation starring the lovely Dana and Maggie with you in mind: 



Phew! I feel much better now. What about you? What do you want to get off your chest this Monday morning?

Spill. I'm listening. 

GGC

104 comments:

Sarah | 8:33 AM

Women who keep using fertility treatments when they already have 6 children!!

Scary Mommy | 8:43 AM

I wish I'd seen that video when I was trying to breastfeed. I did not produce ANY milk and wore the same bras all through my pregnancies (all 3 of them!) It was a really tough time and even my closest friends were all judgy. Formula is sometimes the only option and it's nobody's business.

vertigobcooks | 8:44 AM

When I breastfed my son, my mother-in-law and her idiot friends gave me flack. People in public gave me that look. They acted like I was insane to even want to breastfeed.

I could never ever figure out why it mattered so much to anyone else. Why did they care how or what I fed my infant?

Breastfeeding was the best choice I made for both of my children, but it is not easy. It would be nice to get support as a new mom, either way, formula or breast. Why get so judgy about something that doesn't involve you?

Anonymous | 8:53 AM

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I was someone who went into motherhood thinking I would breastfeed, and quickly found out my daughter wanted nothing to do with my boob. I feel like this is one of those things where people should just mind their own business.
My boobs, my kids, my business.

Girl Friday | 8:53 AM

I find it amazing how some people in this world feel the need to criticize mothers and how they mother. URGH. I would've nursed much longer than I was physically able to but I wasn't physically able to.

I say start the support group. I'll join.

Erin | 8:56 AM

Girl. Friend. I pumped for almost five months--through three trips to the ER, a gallbladder surgery recovery, and a terrible case of mastitis. How dare anyone judge. Here's the thing: I would be asked if I breast or bottle fed. Well, I bottle fed, but the juice was coming from my boob. Yet I still felt the eyes of condemnation upon me. So what's the big damn deal? Why is the bottle a symbol of evil, ay?

On a separate note, I'm also sick of people who happily find reasons to criticize Obama already. Let's just say the last 8 years haven't turned this country into a land of milk and honey, flourishing with love, acceptance and prosperity. As far as I see it, critics don't have a leg to stand on right now.

jenifer | 9:00 AM

Here, Here! I wish I read this when I was having a terrible, impossible time breastfeeding Gus instead of the downright mean comments I received. And guess where I received the saddest and meanest comments... at the la leche league about 5 days post partum. nice huh? they left me in tears and told me I might as well give up if I wasn't going to try. I will never ever go back there should I have another.

Anonymous | 9:09 AM

Here is what I have say to those effing morons - HOW THE F*CK do you know if what I am bottle feeding my child is NOT breast milk that I pumped? YOU don't effing win man. If you go out and whip out your boob you are told to please go elsewhere and so then if you go prepared and bottle feed it breastmilk then you are told shit aswell. People need to mind their own effin business.

K

Dina | 9:16 AM

I will say that I had the hardest time chosing breastfeeding or formula. My daughter was born with several issues that required our first two months of her life to be in the N.I.C.U and though I tried to pump to provide her with breast milk...the countless hours of sitting in the hospital and stressing over her left me high and dry. We made the decision to switch her to formula since I couldn't pull myself away to pump enough to give her what she needed and we never looked back. She is five now and is just fine. All the nay-sayers can just shut it. Who cares what you choose as long as your child is healthy and happy? There are much bigger things to worry about!

Tricina | 9:17 AM

Ooh, you know what gets to me? The pregnancy food judgment. If you put salt on your food, if you have a take-out coffee cup. Never mind that it's none of their business and they don't have any idea what's actually going on.

Stephannie | 9:26 AM

Yeah! Ditto! I tried to breastfeed Noah while I was in the hospital. He tore the Sh*t out of my nipples and I tried and tried and tried - bawling EVERY SINGLE TIME he attempted to latch on!
When I got home, I pumped and then after 2 weeks of that I gave up.
I remember lying to the public health nurse who wouldn't LEAVE me alone, constantly calling to "ask how breastfeeding was going."
I finally just lied through my teeth, making up feedings and crap, just so I wouldn't have to hear the effing benefits of breast milk.
Yeah! Right on! I SO wish you'd been around to slap me upside the head and tell me it's okay to give formula...FUCK is the f-word, not formula!
:D

Lori | 9:36 AM

Amen! I wish I had've seen this before I started breastfeeding almost 11 months ago. I, too, had a BR and do not make very much milk. I had been told for months when I pregnant that if I didn't/couldn't nurse, I was a bad mom, so I refused to use a bottle because I felt so bad. One night, my husband, got the formula mixed and told me to go outside, and he fed my DD. Then, it got a little easier to give formula, but it took several months. I hate that. I will do things much differently w/ my next child.

Sandi | 9:39 AM

I would have loved one of those morons to approach me when I had a bottle in the babies mouth. Why didn't I ever get this opportunity?

Miss M | 9:41 AM

Alright breastfeeding mommies, here's a question for you... What do you do/say when someone gives you flack FOR breastfeeding in public? I'd pregnant and plan on breastfeeding, and am prepared to take on the "formula is the F word" people should I encounter trouble, but I'm super self conscious about my boobs cause they are HUGE! Like 36 H huge. What did/do you do when people question your choice to publicly breastfeed or ask you to go somewhere private??

Katy | 9:58 AM

Wow, I just found reason number 500 as to why I am not having children.

If you want to let your kid hook a straw up to a soda fountain, how is it my business to stop you?

I did have one lady comment to me about my step daughter and sweets, when I bought her a cookie at our local Farmers Market.... She was not too happy about her reception when I replied "Oh, thanks..... I didn't know that I was asking strangers for unsolicited advice, so let me take this opportunity to suggest that you should go and fuck yourself."

People are fucking judgmental morons. they can all lick me.

toyfoto | 10:06 AM

Here's what I'd like to get off my chest: "Moms of all ilk! Stop complaining about moms of the other ilk!"

No one sets out to do the worst they possibly can.

And here's another one for the makers of formula: If you put shit that doesn't belong in the bodies of babies in there on purpose to trick out nutrition tests you are the lowest of the low.


That is all.

That one girl | 10:13 AM

Wow, everyone has A LOT to say about this. Here is my issue. First, I think if a parent makes an educated decision about what is best for baby and family then screw what everyone else thinks. Formula or Boobie, family bed or crib, cry it or not. BLAH!

My deal: I'm hugely against dairy, I was sick growing up due to it and am also sensitive to soy and would not be surprised if my offspring has the same allergy. I didn't want my kiddo on formula and am sooo happy I can breast feed. Eight months today and my baby is underweight based on normal growth charts. According to the W.H.O. charts for breast fed babies, he is fine, still on the smaller curve, but on a curve. I just had a long conversation with my sister in law who is also a nurse regarding this and though my baby is perfectly healthy in every way, here I am doing everything possible to continue to breast feed and he isn't measuring up. Eye-yai-yai.

I almost wish I was in L.A. going to those crazy lactation consultants and doctors who say that as long as he is healthy, I don't need to add the F word into his diet. :(

Mirinda | 10:14 AM

Without having watched the video yet (just a few mins of time!) I wanted to agree with toyfoto. Moms need to step off on the "other" moms doing something different.

With my first I did not produce hardly ANY milk- and I tried it all: herbs, continual pumping, that damn little tube you tape to your nipple that feeds formula down it while they nurse. I did it ALL and zip. My baby was on the verge of being diagnosed as failure to thrive. The kid had to eat.

My first trip to the grocery store I HID the formula under my groceries. You would have thought I was picking up some anthrax to give my 1 month old, I was so paranoid. For moms to be made to feel like they are harming their babies for giving them formula...well, that is just wrong. And these "nipple nazis" as we call them :) need to seriously chill the frick out.

Nicole | 10:15 AM

I'm pretty certain that the same people who decide to be asshats about breastfeeding are also vaginal birth tyrants. I would never go up to someone and offer medical advice, but god damn if its about childbirth this group of crazy bitches feel more than comfortable to tell me all about what I should and shouldn't do when I deliver.

Enough. Just because I'm having a child doesn't mean I am one.

Tanyetta | 10:15 AM

You know, I can't stand when people think their way is the right way.

If you can breastfeed, then do it, if you can't then don't.

But, I'll be a pigs uncle if I'm going to sit back and let anyone try to make me feel guilty for my choices.

I breastfed for THREE years because it worked for me and my son. I had close close personal friends that couldn't breastfeed and would cry, hem and haw and FORCE themselves and babies to go through so many hoops just so they could breastfeed. I would always tell them, formula is NOT THE DEVIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't stand people that judge others for their choices. Especially about breastfeeding get over yourselves already!

If you have infections, bleeding, sores, baby screaming, sleepless nights and everything else that prevents you from breastfeeding, WHY WHY WHY even go through all that?

There's a million brands of formula on the shelves at Target, Albertsons, and every other store known to man. Choose one and keep it moving.

Ok, I'm done. What was the question again???

:)

Anonymous | 10:16 AM

I wish I would have seen this video when I was still breastfeeding. I would have felt so much better about having to stop when my little girl was 8 months old. Instead, I suffered in silence and regret, listening to people say things in judgement every time I mixed up some formula to give to her. Thanks for posting this.

Tanyetta | 10:17 AM

p.s. Katy for president!

Tis all.

:)

Keri | 10:25 AM

No luck in subtitling the videos...? =/No luck in subtitling the videos...? =/

That one girl | 10:26 AM

P.S. I don't mean to say the F-word as a bad thing, I think it's kind of funny. It goes both ways, the B-word, ahhh!

coronalrain | 10:33 AM

Thank you to all of you for doing this episode. My daughter is 5 months old and refused to breast feed from the very beginning. So I have been pumping since I gave birth. And the amount of crap I get when out in public about why I am feeding her a bottle is insane. Perfect strangers ask me about it and I feel like I have to explain it to them every time and it infuriates me cause really it is none of their damn business! And seriously in the first few months when anyone asked me I would break down into tears. All I wanted to do was breast feed, but she wouldn't do it. So now she gets the breast milk from a bottle and still I am treated like I am some sort of failure because of it. Ahhh! So yes thank you for doing this episode and I think I will be flipping off the next jack hole who asks me why I am bottle feeding my baby!

Nicola Proctor | 10:45 AM

Amen, girlfrans. I too have had a tit-snip (reduction) and found breastfeeding my son more than a little tricky. I distinctly remember being visited by a midwife -- not my usual one, but her less nice crazed tag team midwife -- the 2nd day after I was home from the hospital, and, upon seeing the bottle on my nightstand, she glared, 'What. Is. THAT?' as if she'd just walked in on the Pope chopping out a line or two.

Wouldn't it be brilliant if, in a few hundred years' time our evolutionary mutations result in our glorious boobies being able to shoot a l'il squirt at a defined and desired target? Long range soakings? Short, rapid-fire stealth drops? I think this is probably the only way to deal with some of these nutbars who flare their holier-than-thou nostrils and push their busy-body views.

Anonymous | 10:46 AM

You make me laugh every. single. day.

sweetmelissa818 | 11:04 AM

I had to stop breastfeeding my youngest daughter when she was only 4months old. I loved breastfeeding and would have continued (as I did with my first daughter) much longer if I had the milk supply to support this, but I didn't. Then I encountered the woman at WIC. When she found out I wasn't breastfeeding anymore, she literally gasped. As if I didn't feel bad enough, not being able to do for her what I did for my other daughter.
GASP!

Punk Rock Mom | 11:09 AM

Thanks so much for this episode! I was right with a lot of you. I wanted to so badly breastfeed my daughter but just didn't produce enough milk. I would pump and pump for like an hour to just get 2 drops. I already felt awful about not being able to breastfeed that they little comments here and there were just kicking me while I was down.

thewhites | 11:11 AM

i just blogged about something similar to this, after posting my equally fucked up familiarity with the judgey idiots who told me "breast is best."
so, to answer your question, dear rebecca... i send you to my blog... wondering what the hell "normal" is anyway.
http://www.thewhites-babyblog.blogspot.com/

Jen | 11:17 AM

Ah, this is really on my mind lately. I'm pregnant with my first baby, and I can't breastfeed. I mean, I CANNOT. The equipment isn't there. I had a double masectomy and reconstruction last year, so I have no milk ducts or mammary glands. Already, people--STRANGERS--ask me if I'm planning to breastfeed, and then when I say no, they launch into long, poisonous diatribes about it. Which then gives me the choice of revealing very personal medical information to a stranger (and total a**hole) or standing there being judged. It makes me dread feeding the baby in public when she gets here...

Megan | 11:48 AM

Yesterday I was talking to a woman and it came up that I am still breastfeeding my toddler son and she stared right at my boobs! It was like she was saying, "What?? With THOSE??!!"

Miss M, if someone had dared to ask me to go and breastfeed in a baby changing room or whatever I would have asked them if they like eating their lunch in the bathroom (well I would have said "toilet" but I understand you Americans don't say that lol).

People are so jugdemental either way. I find that you're expected to do it up to 6 months, people are surprised and encouraging if you're breastfeeding up to 12 months and any longer than that and they're all, "How long are you going to keep doing that? I hope you're going to wean him before he starts school!" Um, yeah, well that's a few years away so there's a good chance I will.

Cassandra storrey | 11:53 AM

Thank you . Finally I have found women who know where I am coming from. When my twins were born last year, it was close to impossible to produce enough milk, I was told that I needed to supplement and I never really felt guilty until a woman confronted me in a Target and told me that I wasn't a good mother and that I obviously didn't care about my children. Imagine a new mother sobbing in a store clutching 2 cans of formula. It's no ones business but my own and if people don't want to see me hand my children a bottle in a building instead of baring both of my breasts, then I suggest they look someplace else

kata | 11:55 AM

I hated the lactation consultants. Few people have ever made me feel so bad about myself, in any context! Breastfeeding is a damned if you do and damned if you don't kind of thing: you'll be judged if you don't breastfeed but if you do, you'll also be made to suffer. Because who in their right mind tells someone who just went through the trauma of childbirth that she ought not, from then on, sleep for more than two hours at a time?! Lactation consultants, that's who. I just wrote about how under siege one is as a mother here.

Sorry I don't have time to read the other comments but the baby just woke up and needs to breastfeed...

dharmafrog | 12:13 PM

I had my first baby when I was really young and so with all the pressure of that plus prying eyes, I couldn't help but dry up within 6 months. So with my next two kids I decided to, like you, give anyone who said anything about breast feeding the finger. It is nobody's business period! Thank you for posting this. If we all help each other and support each others' choice then maybe one day there will be no more of this hatefulness.

Elizabeth | 12:21 PM

I think the consensus here is that there are many times when a woman can't/has a hard time/wants to but it won't work. Everyone has the right to do with their bodies what they want and you should make your own choices and not listen to others. However what does get under my skin a little, are the women that do no research, don't try and don't care to try. Breast milk is clearly what is best for baby and although I understand reasons for not doing it, I don't get women that simply don't care. I've had many friends that had children and from the get go had no interest in giving their babies what is best for them. I've heard, "My mom couldn't breast feed so I didn't think I could." Or, "It grosses me out." Does anyone else agree? Rant over. The end. :)

Lizgizzy | 12:58 PM

Hi- I've been lurking for a really long time, this topic made me feel particularly vocal.

For me, breastfeeding is like a lot of other parenting topics; what other moms choose to do, or not to do, in public or private, is none (with a capital N) of my business. There are only two times I would step out and say something about another person's parenting choices. One- is if I see a parent abusing their child. Two- if someone asked my opnion, and even then, I wouldn't push it too much.

There are so many reasons why a mother doesn't breastfeed, some of them good (physical issues, milk allergies etc.) and some not so good, even if it is for reasons that I think are silly, it is the Mom's choice to make. I can't assume to know what is best for someone else.

I desparately wanted to breast feed my son until he was at least a year old, and I didn't make it. I'm a working Mom in a high-stress job. Nothing inhibits milk production like trying to pump and work, or having you boss peeking through your blinds, making impatient huffing noises, because he can't get in to your office even though you've told him that door locked and blinds closed means pumping. He'd actually jiggle the door handle. I tried drinking more water, taking supplements, but finally gave up when my son was 9 months old. Working and pumping was just too much. I felt like such a failure and had someone said something about using formula over breastmilk, especially when they had no idea what my situation was, I would have wept in anger and frustration.

A | 1:27 PM

Of all my parenting pet-peeves, this is the second worst one (second only to the "you named your baby what?" comments). The guilt was tremendous.

Luckily, I had a great pediatrician (who's wife was going through the same thing at the same time) who comforted me and let me know that formula is not a bad thing. SO, when I still wasn't producing milk a week after our baby was born, he recommended a non-judgmental lactation consultant. She helped me remedy my "tore up" nips and was as comforting as a lactation consultant could probably be. She helped me to understand the supplemental milk system that we were using and all that business.
But...I have to say, some nurses that I talked to in the hospital were very forceful and not very understanding...which adds to stress....WHICH is proven to reduce the body's ability to make milk. And when my body wasn't making enough milk, we supplemented with bottles of formula...and after about four months of that, my daughter was not at all interested in my breast. I felt some retaliation from some people, but not from the MOST important people...being me, my husband and her doctor.
An unexpected benefit of formula feeding was the help from my husband and the bonding experience that he was able to have with our daughter.
Formula helped our baby grow, kept her healthy and most importantly, happy. To all those who "poo-poo" formula....EAT IT. Well, not literally.

Anonymous | 2:10 PM

I literally had a woman come to my baby shower this weekend and start TWO heated discussions with my friends about this same subject. I agree that women make the decision they feel is right for them and their babies and it is so sad that as women we feel compelled to rip apart other women who make decisions that differ from ours.

The Mrs. | 2:13 PM

Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

As a mom who desperately wanted to breastfeed and couldn't, this really hit home. My first baby is almost five, but the feelings of the failed breastfeeding experience still simmer close to the top anytime the subject comes up. As a first time mom I was so uptight about not being able to feed my child the "best" food that I lost out on some valuable bonding time with her those first couple of weeks. I had been brainwashed to believe that formula feeding would mean tons of ear infections, more illnesses, etc. for my first born child and I was sick about not being able to provide that for her. Add that to my c-section and I was certain my body had failed me.

After two weeks I finally said enough. I was able to feed my second daughter pumped breastmilk for the first three months which I was very proud of.

I wish they would show this video to all first time moms. So much emphasis is placed on breast being best for baby (which it is), but I think what's truly best for baby is a healthy, happy mom and for me that was making the choice to formula feed. I don't regret it for one minute.

Anonymous | 2:16 PM

I fall on the side of breast feeding is best. I know that there are many challenges for many women. I've had my share too.

If a new mom chooses not to breastfeed that's her choice. I just hope it is not due to lack of education on the benefits or access to supportive lactation services that can help with problems.

Formula vs Breast Feeding
-Increased Realitive Risk of illness in parenthesis- (What that means is that babies on fomula are x times more likely to get whichever condition.)

Allergies, Eczema (2-7x's)
UTIs (2.6-5.5x's)
Diabetes Type I (2.4x's)
Ear Infections (Otitis Media)(2.4x's)
SIDS (2x's)
Developed World Hospitalizations (3x's)
Developing country morbidity (50x's)

Source: Moreland,JC, Coombs J. Promoting and supporting breastfeeding. American Family Phyisician 2000;61:2093-100, 2103-4.

PS- I also now get the "You going to breastfeed till she is in school?" And I may. I had planned for a year, now we are at 18 months, who knows?

bmcisalmostreunitedanditfeelssogood | 2:19 PM

honestly? 30something hours to go! ARRGHGHEGEHGEGHREGHREGHREHGERGHREGHERGHER!

mommymae | 2:30 PM

i wanted to breastfeed all of my children and i've ended up feeding all 4 of them differently.

when i had my twins, i nursed exclusively until i went back to work for 6 weeks. i produced enough to nurse them, but didn't pump enough so i supplemented. once i stopped working they were breastfed for 15 months.

with the boy, i nursed exclusively until he started sleeping through the night (as opposed to nursing all. night. long.) and my milk went to hades at 8 months.

i've been exclusively nursing my littlest one so far, but will be fine if i have to feed her formula. this time, i plan to pump when she sleeps all night so my milk doesn't dry up like last time.

i don't like formula b/c it's more expensive, breastfeeding is easier for me and the smell of formula makes me want to hurl, but feeding my kids formula is BETTER THAN STARVING THEM.

Karen | 2:30 PM

Did Anonymous above REALLY just give us reasons why breastfeeding is better AS IF we've never heard that before??? Honey, please go somewhere else with that. You completely missed the point of this blog.

Thank you, thank you GGC for this blog entry! :-)

Anonymous | 2:45 PM

Ok, I only got through 1/2 the comments left so far, but I wasn't able to find a single person who said anything about women who choose to never ever try breastfeeding regardless of their capability to do so. I bring this up because that's the one case where I can't seem to stop being prejudice.

I COMPLETELY understand and sympathize with women who for one reason or another can't breastfeed or tried and it didn't work. But I know this one woman who recently had her first baby and never tried, never even considered breastfeeding. She decided long before the baby was born that she just didn't want to. Am I wrong, or is that a completely different scenario than what all of you have been talking about - the one where you tried and it didn't work, or you had to go to the hospital for surgery and it was too hard, or your boobs didn't produce enough milk, etc. This isn't like that at all. She never tried.

I guess what I found so frustrating about her situation was that I was sure that in order to make such a decision there must have been some sort of social pressure or some lack of education about the benefits of breastfeeding - the doctors in her south-eastern US town pushing formula? the women she grew up with being ashamed to breastfeed? I just couldn't imagine another scenario where a woman would just decide to never try even though she had no reason to think anything would go wrong. Can anyone enlighten me about this? I really really don't want to feel so judgmental about this, but right now I just can't help it.

Anonymous | 2:55 PM

Oh my God. Blah blah it's your choice do whatever you want to do blah, BUTLETMETAKETHISOPPORTUNITYTOHOLDYOUHOSTAGEANDTELLYOUWHYMYWAYISBESTANDIFYOUDON'TDOITTHISWAYYOU'REATOTALEFFIN'FAILURE!!!!

Seriously, if people don't know what a gaping asshole they sound like when they say shit like anonymous above up there, they're just not listening to themselves talk.

Not your choice. Say it with me. Not your choice. Not your choice. Not your choice. Not your choice.

Sorry to hijack your comments, Rebecca, but Jesus.

fpc12 | 3:02 PM

I could not agree with you more. I think that this issue marks a new wave in feminism to be honest.

The control exercised over women's bodies by this form of policing is criminal. It's cruel and manipulative and it says 'stuff you' to everything that women have fought for.

I b'fed my first for 10 months. My second for 10 weeks. Why? Because I was suffering from PND and it was just one way I wanted to gain greater control and deeper intimacy in my relationship with my baby. Latching was fine. Supply was fine. He was fussy and I was severely distressed. Cut out the distress and I now have a happy, bubbly, calm, beautiful boy with whom I have a deep and very special relationship. He's better. I'm better. I don't know why breastfeeding made it hard but for some reason it did. And I'd done it before.

For all those lurking mothers waiting to pounce on the bottle wielding new mother sitting fragily in the cafe, WAIT. You don't know the story. You don't know her psychological state. You don't know crap, basically.

STAY AWAY.

Ok Enough already. Thank you for this. So glad to hear people talking about. Women who have both breastfed and not.

Desiree Fawn | 4:13 PM

This vid is excellent -- I hope all new breastfeeding mom's who see it are inspired & can feel good about their choices.

My daughter was born four days ago and I am LOVING breastfeeding -- I would be crushed if I couldn't do it and I know how mean strangers can be and how judgmental they can be when formula comes into play. Formula is not terrible and no one who is trying to provide for their child should have to think so.

Love this video -- thank you so much.

PB Rippey/sleepless mama | 4:19 PM

My friend was just told by a breast-feeding group she was in that her baby was too chubby and that she should feed her less. Sadly, my friend listened instead of maybe checking around? She promptly got mastitis and had to use formula for a while. Unbelievable.

tam | 4:44 PM

Shit! YES! ThankYOU! Everything mothers do is politicized. People like to think that they are saving kids by accusing the mom. Like the "if you have a sip of alcohol while you're pregnant you must hate your unborn child" thing, too! It's crazy paranoia and it leads to intense guilt if
I breastfed and supplemented with formula. I had half a beer or glass of sparkling wine while in my third trimester (maybe second too?) and my kid is fabulous. To MOTHER magazine disciples: "Step the fuck OFF!" and raise your own damn kids.

Amanda | 4:50 PM

I couldn't agree more. I had a very hard time breast feeding my first. I did end up doing it for 6 months but also supplemented the entire time. I cried and cried about it at first. With my second child, I started supplementing right away and didn't give it a second thought. I will never get it though. I would never, EVER criticize a woman for the way she chooses to nourish her child. Who are these people that think this is okay? And also, I agree with a previous poster that some of these "people" tend to be the same ones who have very strong opinions about childbirth. As in, if the baby doesn't come out of your vagina, for any reason, you FAIL.

I had an emergency c-section with my first. I went through a lot. My baby, went through a lot. There was no lack of trying or effort on the part of myself or my doctor, thank you very much. I am now having my third cesarean next month. People can be so judgmental about this topic too. Heartbreakingly, ignorantly judgmental. It's right up there with breast feeding for me. I give the double middle finger to these people too. Okay. I feel better now, thanks!

Serena | 5:02 PM

Like a lot of other people have mentioned...it really is nobody's business or choice but the person making the choice. And that is what it is...a choice for them, for what works for them. I had people harassing me on both sides. My mom is vehemently against formula and my mother-in-law was vehemently against breast feeding. My mom raved about how wonderful and easy breast feeding was (she also had me at home and she and my dad delivered us...not what I wanted to brave or try). So I decided to nurse my daughter. It was wonderful, but it was NOT easy. It took a good 6 weeks of pain and a lot of tears. Then one day we clicked and it was great from then on. With my second, he was a natural breastfeeder and no worries...in fact I nursed him for 2 years. Anyway...I appreciate the video and hearing other people's challenges because so many people were shocked when I told them how much hell my MIL gave me and how she used to look at me like I was disgusting when I would nurse my children. It took me a while to erase that look from my memory.

Another interesting side note...my mom and former brother in law got into an argument regarding whether or not I should/was going to have medication with the delivery...I left the room and let them fight since they obviously knew everything about me and what was right for me...I didn't factor them into my decision at all.

Serena

Anonymous | 5:19 PM

Rebecca, you rock. Love reading your blog and the honesty with which you write.

Samtastic | 5:30 PM

I'm in to start this group!

I breastfed for 3 weeks and I was literally going INSANE. I cried 900 hours a day and wanted to throw my kid out the window. For real. So I stopped. And that is when I started to really fall in love with him. It's a choice I am so happy that I made.

M | 6:01 PM

I have not spawned, which is something I really look forward to doing.

I want to "weigh in" on the subject, however, as an adopted child. My brother and I were both adopted and if it weren't for goat's milk and formula, we wouldn't have survived. We're both intelligent, healthy, adjusted people. We don't lack anything because we weren't breast fed. We aren't lesser people for it and we were, in no way, harmed because of it.

Screw anyone who decides what is and is not good for your children based on their own personal opinions.

Anonymous | 6:01 PM

I think every mother needs to do what she has to do and it is no one's business what is in the best interests of her and her child. That being said I do believe it is best to breastfeed and mothers should commit themselves to doing so if they can.

It seems...unnatural to me for a mother to feed her baby something else, if she doesn't have to..biologically. It is how nature intended it and the health benefits to both mother and child are astounding.

BUT, I think that a lot of women lack the support and knowledge to successfully breastfeed. For example, women supplementing with formula a mere day after getting out of the hospital because they believe they aren't making enough milk and fear their baby isn't eating enough. Not true at all.

With the proper assistance and education about breastfeeding, I think more women would choose that route and skip the formula.

-Autumn, still breastfeeding her 14 month old son.

messyfunmommylife | 6:04 PM

I felt so guilty giving Aiden a bottle in church. (we sat behind the head of the la league! I mostly breast-fed but gave him a bottle sometimes and still felt guilty!
leche
I am tired of every judging parenting styles. If we spent less time judging and more time giving support OH how easy motherhood would be. haha

EdenSky | 6:13 PM

There have been lots of comments here about women who wanted to breastfeed but couldn't, my situation was the opposite. When I was pregnant with my first baby her father was studying holistic nutrition. Guess who assumed I would be breastfeeding for at least a year? I agreed to do it for six months because yes, I am aware of the health benefits thankyouverymuch. I made milk, the baby latched...I was miserable. I felt trapped and burdened. Every time I fed my baby she became a vicious life-sucking parasite draining my freedom away. I felt nauseated and disgusted every time I nursed and spent many nursing sessions in tears. Then one day I gave her her first bottle of formula and tears were running down my face because I was so happy. I was feeding her, she was smiling at me, she was my beautiful perfect daughter and not a leach at all. Bring on the guilt. Oh my God how had I screwed her up with all this resentment? Why hadn't I started feeding her formula earlier instead of fucking up our bonding entirely? There's no way the benefits of breast milk could outweigh the downfalls of depression. Formula was not the F-word, It was our salvation.
Fast forward 5 years to today. I fed my 18 month old the last bottle of breastmilk from the freezer. I nursed her for over a year and I was sad to stop. Breastfeeding worked perfectly for us this time around but formula was never the enemy. I knew that it was always there should it be needed and that knowledge was liberating for me.
To all the world I say: Do what works for you and to hell with anyone who judges without knowing anything about you.

Anonymous | 6:22 PM

Had to add:

I really think it is amazing that you continue to breastfeed even while supplementing formula. It would be easier to just do formula!
-Autumn

Karen | 6:49 PM

Autumn, please go away. You are not helping.

Hailey | 7:18 PM

I breastfeed for as long as I could. Now Em gets formula. My mom is a newborn nursery nurse. I call her the Breastfeeding Nazi. With my first child, Caroline (who is two now), she made me feel terrible when at 6 weeks I had to start supplementing with formula. She tried to do the same with Em. I finally just told her to suck it. You do what you gotta do. When your baby screams because she is starving you have to do something to save your sanity.
Thank you for this post. You made me feel so much better. I'm glad there are others out there that feel like me.

Anonymous | 7:59 PM

I used to take smoke breaks with a girl that was 6 months pregnant and we'd have super "fun" conversations about the 40 she was going to pick up after work. I know this isn't a fair comparison at all but just to something to consider, it isn't easy to watch someone do something detrimental to a baby (even if it's only my perception) and NOT say anything.

I'm not a mom, so I can't really relate 100% but I doubt that I enjoy strangers judging me or telling me what to do any more than the rest of you. However, I also [try really, really hard to] understand that by and large most people don't give me advice because they want to piss me off or ruin my day, even if they do.

And yes I said something, and no I don't give a fuck if it hurt her feelings, I hope it did.

sorry this is such a long comment! | 8:14 PM

One of the comments above said something about people not being educated/having the resources or support they need to make an informed decision. I agree that it would be best if everyone had this. No one should be scared into making a choice regarding their child without all the information. My sister was scared into feeding my niece formula, as was my sister in law.
No one should be stared at, judged, ridiculed, or made to feel bad in any way for formula or breastfeeding, either. If you see a stranger feeding their child, you have NO IDEA who they are, what their background, or WHY they are doing what they're doing, and have NO RIGHT to judge.
HOWEVER- even if you do know the person, know their background, know their reasoning, you have NO RIGHT to judge!
No one ever said anything to me about either breastfeeding or formula feeding my children (I did both). I don't know if the "looks" I got were real, or my own self-consciousness or guilt making me paranoid. But society made me both self conscious (BF) AND guilty (formula). Like others have said, you can't win.
But you shouldn't have to try. Of course there are benefits to breastfeeding. But there may also be benefits to formula feeding. Whether someone chooses to BF, pump and bottle feed, formula feed, or any combination of the three IS THEIR BUSINESS, NO MATTER WHAT THE REASON. Most people seem to be in agreement on this issue, but there have been a couple commentors who have said that they think it's ok to not BF if there are problems with it, but not if the mom just made the decision that it isn't for her. For those people, I'll say this- That is still being judgmental, and IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
Overall, I think that us moms have a big issue- we like to find "flaws" in what other moms are doing so that we feel better about ourselves.

"what??? you used and epidural! gasp"
"i would NEVER feed my child sugar!"
"My baby eats only organic"
"only wooden toys for my little precious"
"cloth diapers are the only way to go"

and on and on and on.
Newsflash- NONE of us are perfect, and are children won't be, either. We are HUMAN, just doing our best. Why can't we support each other?

jinxed baby | 8:28 PM

I realized the other day the judgment I will have to endure as a parent. God forbid I choose to use formula or...*gasp* DISPOSABLE DIAPERS!!!

Samantha | 8:48 PM

I was one of those women who vowed that formula would never touch my baby's' lips. Then I had twins and found breastfeeding them both to be exhausting and painful and difficult. All I can say is THANK GOD for formula. I still nursed them for a year (until my kids were all, "really, still with the boob?") but I supplemented the entire time with the bottle. I felt guilty and judged by all my la leche league friends but you know what? My kids are healthy and awesome.
Being a mom is hard enough. All hail moms who feed their kids however they can!

*mary* | 9:23 PM

I know! I cannot believe total strangers actually approach mothers about this, as though it is any business of theirs whatsoever.
I am STILL breastfeeding my child at 21 months(and boy are my boobs tired), but I have NEVER ever once lectured or thought poorly about anyone else formula feeding their baby.
Do these same people go to fast food places and lecture parents on the dangers of fatty french fries? I doubt it. So what makes it okay about formula?
Total insanity, I tell ya.

AlbertaMom | 11:16 PM

The nurse teaching my prenatal class actually said "people who say they couldn't breatfeed simply gave up". This is a course that is practically mandatory for expectant parents and paid for by my tax dollars (which also pay her salary, for that matter). I went out a bought a case of formula that day. And guess what? Before my milk came in my daughter's soft spot was completely sunken because she was DEHYDRATED and NEEDED FORMULA. She could have gotten very sick without it.

That woman is getting paid to spread lies and make new moms feel more insecure and incompetent than they already do.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 11:19 PM

Wow Alberta mom. Just wow. That's really upsetting. I'm sorry you (and so many other mothers) had/have to deal with that kind of pressure. Just UGH.

The Scholastic Decoder | 11:19 PM

I just wish people would give mothers the benefit of the doubt, and trust that they are doing the best that they can for their child. So what if one mother breastfeeds and another formula feeds? Yes, breast is ideal, but for man reasons, not always possible, and it is not always 100% one or the other, either. You can put breastmilk in a bottle, as I tend to do, you can feed some of each, you can find the way that you can handle. I think 90% of mothers are striving to do as much as they can, adn we have to allow them to figure out what they can manage. And I mean manage with whatever reasons might make things hard for them - physical limitations, emotional hardships, lack of support, whatever. Moms are trying, people. How about giving them a supportive smile instead of a vrbal flaming bag of poo?

Rachael | 11:57 PM

I couldn't breastfeed - no milk came in. I actually had a woman say "shame on you" in that joking but not joking way. I almost slapped her in the face - as if I didn't feel guilty enough already. Why is it anyone's business? My baby got nutrition the best way he could, and he was happier when he was EATING.

Kelly | 12:21 AM

Another fabulous discussion sparked by your momversations - keep them coming!!

A totally unrelated question... what's up with the bleeping and fuzzing out of the occasional "bad" word/gesture? I don't really understand the censorship ...

Charlotte | 12:31 AM

This from a new mom with flat nipples, whose boobs have been fingered by more nurses and lactation consultants in the past several weeks than by the sum total of all previous boyfriends (and I wasn't exactly a wallflower in my, uh, "prime" years): If the latching doesn't work, baby ain't gonna eat. If the nipple shield or the SNS doesn't work, baby ain't gonna eat. If the breastpump pumps less than 8 ounces a day, baby ain't gonna eat (enough).

The point here is to ensure that the baby survives and does so under the best possible conditions--note the word "possible" here. And yes, I'm doing formula and pumping the heck out of my freakazoidishly large, mysteriously unproductive milkduds, but what would ya rather have? That slick, sticky righteous feeling, or a fed and thriving baby? So there.

I'm all for trying ... I do, every day, and yes, the smell of formula makes me sick. But heck, my baby's doing well on the combo diet of mama juice and lab-engineered nutrition, and THAT is the final measure of success!

Kat | 12:43 AM

I was very lucky to be able to breastfeed for 9 months. He was then on full formula. I'm happy with him on formula - he is very fussy with food.

I, like Dana, had people glare and occasionally comment on me breastfeeding in public - in cafes and the like. Have you SEEN the babyrooms in shopping centres? they are gross and smell like baby poo. If I felt sick going into these rooms, how on earth was my son supposed to feed well?

I had friends constantly asking me when I was going to stop breastfeeding... even when he was 4 months old. I had a "friend" tell me he was getting too big to breastfeed. The pressure I got from people to quit breastfeeding was a huge shock and really upsetting for me.

formula and breastfeeding are there to do the same thing - so mothers can supply their babies with the nutrients they need to grow. As long as babies get that, why does it matter to strangers where it comes from?

Jump Mama Jump | 1:54 AM

I'm so glad that some of you mentioned feeling resentful of your baby when they're nursing. My kid's only 3 1/2 months, and I breastfeed (to be quite honest, the biggest motivating factor for me is because it's free) and am fine with it but sometimes I just cannot take it anymore and I give him a (formula) bottle or let someone else give him a bottle. Being able to take that time away and to finally have some physical space is just such an immense relief and, quite frankly, I think it makes me a better mom.

I'm always nursing him in public, though, I don't give a fuck, and one time a woman offered me her jacket, and I said, "Oh, no, thanks, I'm not cold." And she said, "No, for him." And I said, "Oh, thanks, but he's not cold either." And she said, "No, I mean..." and she sort of waved at my chest. I was in a room with a bunch of people who I know, and I was just like, "Um, thanks, but they've all seen my boobs. It's not a big deal."

I had an experience at the WIC office that was really unfortunate. I was nursing him, just walking around, doing my thing, holding him onto my boob with one arm, and the women there were all so impressed by how easy it was for me. Then they took me into a room with a pregnant woman and gave us a pro-breastfeeding pep talk. The woman had other children, had tried (unsuccessfully) to breastfeed them, and was planing on using formula. I was on her side, but they kept badgering her, telling her, essentially, that she wasn't trying hard enough. Meanwhile, the kid's latched onto me just fine, munching away, and I felt really terrible, like they were using me as a sort of guilt agent or something, you know?

Tiana Barbaza-Cousineau | 4:47 AM

My mom said she wouldn't give me formula. Never. But one day I bit her hard and tasted blood and never went back to the boob. So she had to feed me formula or else I wouldn't have eaten.
With my little sister, she started doing the formula thing as well as breastfeeding, and my sister breastfed until she was 2 1/2.
My brother had the benefits of both as well and he's doing fine because he had formula. Just last night, my 7yr old brother beat my father at Scrabble with a score in the 200s. And he's 7.

I'm only 15, so I can't say I'm there yet, but I know that I'd probably have issues with breastfeeding as I have a condition which makes me extremely sensitive to touch. Any skin-on-skin contact gives me physical pain. A baby sucking on my boob? I'd die. When baby gets teeth? Nope. Not sucking on my boob.
Formula is always an option. They wouldn't make it and keep selling it if it wasn't working.

I'm a little freak, reading Mommy blogs when I'm still a teenager, I know. But I'm a writer. I read them because many of my stories include teen pregnancies. I'm glad you did this Momversation because one of my characters, a 14 yr old girl, was unable to breastfeed and had to use a bottle. This helped me understand how she'd feel in certain situations and how I should write in reactions.
So thank you. :)

Molly | 4:54 AM

I have to say, after reading all these comments, that if more people were like your readers, there would be so much less angst about parenting. We could all be making this job easier, not harder.

I'm four months pregnant and was stopped last night in the grocery store by a total stranger who asked me if I planned to nurse. What the everliving fuck?

And I'm sorry to see that there are still commenters hanging around here thinking that this is the forum to push their my-way-or-the-highway agendas.

It's a choice. Shouldn't we be grateful that there is a choice? Shouldn't we not question other people's motives when they make the choice for themselves? Shouldn't we give other parents the benefit of the doubt instead of assuming that if they make a choice we deem to be "wrong," it's not a personal affront to us or our choices, not made out of ignorance or stupidity, and not going to affect us or our children in any conceivable way?

Anyway, this is just a long-winded way of saying thanks for putting this out there.

Mama Seoul | 5:19 AM

So many people do not get proper support for breastfeeding. Families can blatantly sabotage the mom and doctors are untrained and often uninterested in helping and always finding reasons to push formula.

In most places in the US, you are far more likely to have someone criticize you FOR breastfeeding in public or for too long than to have someone criticize you for not breastfeeding.

So, the result, is that lactation consultants and breastfeeding advocates sometimes overcorrect for everything they have to deal with, for all the misinformation put out by doctors, for all the unsupportive sabotaging comments from friends, family and strangers.

I tell pregnant friends to check out the LCs and breastfeeding support resources BEFORE the baby is born and BEFORE they need help so that they know what is available and fins someone they can work with personality-wise. I did that and it really made a difference to help me overcome my difficulties.

I don't think it is appropriate for a stranger to comment on another parent's feeding choices for their kids. (Contact the proper authorities if there is something really inappropriate/dangerous).

For your friends who are struggling, giving information in a more supportive/less accusatory manor is appropriate and more likely to better well-received.

Catherine Just | 6:08 AM

thank you for this! It actually brought tears to my eyes and I haven't given birth yet! My friend wasn't able to breast feed because she didn't get the milk and on top of it had brain surgery right after the birth because of a tumor they needed to remove. She felt horrible even though it wasn't her fault. But the fundamentalists out there made her feel bad for feeding with formula.
people should keep their opinions off of other people's bodies. Thank you for flipping them off. I am too over here on the other side of LA.

Anonymous | 8:32 AM

For all you women out there who think every other woman is as educated as you are and as socially supported as you are WAKE UP! Tons of people don't know the benefits of breast feeding and/or don't have the support.

Are all you you out there well versed on how to invest your money so you can be making more than 10%. I seriously doubt it.

Different people know different things. Counless women have less knowledge and social support than you. Many women know that breast feeding is best but many don't know for first time mom's it is AVERAGE for milk to take 5, yes 5, not 2 days to come in. So they may think they don't have enough milk.

So to say education is not an issue is uninformed.

If your kid was about to fall off a 10 foot swingset at the park, would you want someone to let you know? If your child's car seat was improperly installed or your child was improperly secured, which 80% are, would you want someone to let you know or just let you decide?

But if someone is trying to help, be happy that they actually care enough about your kid to say something. If we all just ignore what everyone else does we will be in trouble. We could all do with out the judgemental tone and look,but some people are socially inept. Get over that and be thankful they care.

Yeah, you can say it's a stretch, but it's all connected. You know that's true.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 9:40 AM

I want to thank you all once again for sharing your stories and being so respectful of one another. I have the best readers ever in the history of readers.

Also re: censorship in momversations. We have to respect our sponsor. We can talk about anything but must leave curse words out or get bleeped. No big.

As for Anon above: You talk about education? Who says you're more educated than the next mother? A stranger approaches me and tells me what I'm doing wrong and suddenly they are the expert? An expert asshole more like.

Average Girl In Average World | 10:44 AM

I AM that mom who decided LONG before my kids were born - to NOT breastfeed. I just did not feel comfortable with my breasts. I did not want a baby hanging off me all day, I did not want my hubby to use it as an excuse to not get up in the middle of the night to help (he did more night feedings than me) or bruised and raw nipples. Call me selfish - I don't give a ^%$@#.

My milk never came in anyway, so it was just as well.

A womans body is her decision. She can do what she wants. Breastfeed, bottlefeed, just feed the baby already.

I can say my kids are healthy, way above their age level in learning and have far exceeded my expectations.

Those who judge a woman for her decision to not breastfeed - needs to meet my slap-a-bitch-arm.

abi | 4:28 PM

I didn't see this addressed in the above comments so... My milk didn't come in for almost 2 weeks (WTF!?!?). It finally trickled in with the help of domperidone. The kindest words that anyone said to me during that time were from an LC; "the most important thing is that your son is getting the food that needs, and it doesn't matter how he is getting it." She helped us transition him to the bottle and then back to the breast when my milk finally arrived.
I just wanted to let you all know that not all LC's are evil.

darcy | 4:32 PM

My Mother Never Breast Fed me, I got 2%milk, same with all my siblings. NONE OF US has ever been seriously, sick, hospitalized (besides child birth), had ear infections or any other disease.
I was SHAMED into breast feeding with my kids, I hated every second of it, I am extremely high strung by nature, I toughed it out for 6 months with each of them just to prove that I could why? I am an idiot. I cried constantly and my boobs were EEE's I'm 5 foot 3 and 130 lbs normally!!! I looked like a porn star. When their dad could finally feed them, it was life changing.
People need to get over the breast feeding thing, its OK to make choices that keep you sane and your baby full.

darcy | 4:33 PM

oops not triple E's just E's which was bad enough.
sorry.

courtney | 6:24 PM

I had and have to use formula (breast reduction, don't produce enoug, blah blah) and anybody who wants to give me grief about it can kiss my ass. It's either feed with formula or my baby starves. Simple. Uhm, I think I'm going to go with formula thankyouverymuch.

Whitney | 6:38 PM

I am a student nurse, and part of my job in any OB setting is to talk to new/expectant mothers about breastfeeding, which I am all for. I haven't had any kids, and though I can talk to you and all the holds, schedules, consistency of breastfed poop, I've never done it myself. I think that people should give it a try, at least for one week becuase nobody managed to ride a bike the first time. I think in this day and age where ear infections are so prevalent and prescribers are handing out antibiotics like candy creating MRSA and VRA, anything to reduce the number of ear infections per child is a good thing. I would never ever ever walk up to a stranger and comment on their choice to or not to breast feed, but it is something that I have to talk about a lot with patient. What I do get angry about is women who aren't willing to try pumping when they have a bad latch just to supplement for a while or move to pumping permanently. One of my friends had a son who went into surgery 3 hours after birth and he never learned to latch. She pumps every meal for him and it has worked out perfectly for 6 month, but many women do not know about this option. I also get angry with people like my sister-in-law, who decided to stop breast feeding after 1 month because she wanted to drink. She was throwing out a lot of milk becuase it contained the alcohol she was drinking, and decided that it wasn't worth it. Having a baby is a sacrifice, and if you are going to put liquor in front of your child then maybe you shouldn't have had one in the first place, but now I'm ranting!

Miss Thang Diana King! | 6:59 PM

@Anonymous--

Here's the deal. Since you asked to be 'enlightened' let me take this opportunity to 'enlighten' you.

Breastfeeding is an OPTION and a CHOICE to be made by the caregiver.

Just because you don't AGREE with their choices it's NOT your place to say anything.

You can't help but to judge them? ARE YOU KIDDING???????????
Judge them for what? Because they chose NOT TO TRY? They don't have to TRY if they don't want to.

FORMULA is NOT THE DEVIL. Please, understand that and get that through your realm of understanding. Respect a caregiver's decision to try or not to try and leave it at that.

Oh, just in case you were wondering if I ever 'chose' or 'tried' to breastfeed, the answer is YES. I breastfed for THREE years. Would I recommend or force it upon another mom? Heck NO. EACH situation is different. I would never suggest a mom to do anything with her baby because she's the only one that will be getting up at 3am to feed the baby. NOTHING wrong with daddy getting a bottle of formula to help out while momma gets some snoozes!

Thanks, and have a great day!

RE: Anonymous said...
Ok, I only got through 1/2 the comments left so far, but I wasn't able to find a single person who said anything about women who choose to never ever try breastfeeding regardless of their capability to do so. I bring this up because that's the one case where I can't seem to stop being prejudice.

Can anyone enlighten me about this? I really really don't want to feel so judgmental about this, but right now I just can't help it.

Tanyetta | 7:00 PM

OOPS sorry that was me. I was still signed in as my evil nemesis MTDK! LOL

breedermama | 9:44 PM

I find it interesting that are listed in the comments as "mistakes" like using formula and disposable diapers and giving their kids sugar are the VERY things I get ridiculed for not doing.

My cloth diapers are "gross", I was told that breastfeeding in public is "disgusting" and my six yr old is "missing out" because he doesn't drink soda. Oh and co-sleeping is "abusive" and "dangerous".... that's what I get to hear!

It's funny how we get flack no matter what we do. People are always going to have their own opinions about parenting. I can't change how they act, I can only control how I react.

How do I react? By saying, "Well isn't THAT special?"

I don't give a flying rat about how other people want to feed their kids. I wish everyone else behaved the same way.

Rachel | 11:32 PM

whitney, whitney, whitney... please don't even try to put guilt out there if you have no personal experience in breastfeeding. ESPECIALLY if you are a STUDENT nurse who's never had children! half the problem with people giving breast feeding advice, is that they have NO IDEA what it's like to experience any complications, etc, therefore they have no idea what they are talking about. you just can't possibly know. a mother is soooo much more than her boobs and her milk. a mom can't be a good mom is she is emotionally crushed and destroyed inside from all of the crappy guilt coming from trying to breastfeed so that no one thinks she's as bad of a mom as she feels. i exclusively pumped for 5 months SOLELY out of devastating guilt because i was so afraid of people like you thinking i didn't "give it a good week" or whatever to make it work. ugh. i'm stopping now.

Fairly Odd Mother | 6:32 AM

To all those people who want to make mothers feel guilty about using formula: May you stay far away from my lovely SIL who had a double mastectomy the month before she found out she was pregnant.

Not everyone has such an extreme reason for using formula, but we don't know anyone's backstor---people should keep their unsolicited "advice" to themselves.

Anonymous | 9:57 AM

I formula feed, and I proud of it. I dont care what anyone has to say--and I am highly educated on the breast is best BS.

darcy | 3:54 PM

Not sure that its a bad thing if the mom stopped breast feeding because she wanted to drink, I mean, I know people who drink and breast feed, I've always found them to be far more loathsome! I work in a VERY fast paced corporate environment, I have seen moms drink and smoke and breast feed. This sounds evil but I only thought white trash did that kind of nonsense.
sorry, I couldn't help it.

Noob Mommy | 7:25 PM

Thanks for the big F-You to the Formula haters out there. Seriously, is there a scarlet F that needs to be worn or what? Luckily, I've gotten a lot more comfortable now with busting out the powder in public.

mrs. q. | 9:16 AM

I was able to breast feed both my 8+ lb. babies for 14+ months. So what? That doesn't make me a better mother than one who chose formula. It only made me (finally) appreciate my A-cup boobies (that are even smaller now. Wha?)

To those sanctimommies-- mind your own boobs. Hungry babies deserve to be fed, no matter the means.

When my European mom had her two girls 35-40 years ago here in the states, the docs and nurses looked at her like he had four heads when she said she wanted to breastfeed. They said, "Well, you could just do formula, but go ahead and breastfeed if you want." No help. No lactation consultants. Just a confused young mom with sore nipples. It's always somethin'.

Dari | 5:39 PM

First of all, THANK YOU for this video!!! My baby just turned 5 months old and I have been STRUGGLING for the last couple of months trying to keep my milk supply up. I've been using supplements, drinking mothers milk tea, drinking water, eating oatmeal and feeling inadequate. But with working and pumping (away from the baby) and crap going on at work I think the stress of everything ruined my breastfeeding. I finally decided to throw in the towel because I was barely getting an ounce when I would pump and she was mostly drinking formula already. It has been emotionally draining. But I have decided that it is ok and there is no reason to beat myself up over it. Those judgemental bitches that make formula feeders feel bad, can stick it!! ;)

P.S. I just got done reading your book and I loved it!!! Well done!

samantha jo campen | 7:22 PM

Thank you. I had a moose of a baby and couldn't satisfy him with nursing alone so I supplemented. Then when I had to go back to work my milk supply tanked. The guilt just washed over me for so many reasons and at four months he has been on only formula. I feel people stare, I feel people judge but dude, they have NO CLUE how much Fenugreek I took to boost my supply, or how many times I rented that urberpowerful pump from the hospital and hooked myself up to stimulate my supply more. Theo is 11 months now and happy and healthy as ever. I have friends who are physically unable to breastfeed because of reductions and they were so envious of me and I felt like not only did I let my son down but I let them down too. Because I was given a gift that I couldn't maintain. It's crazy to think all that but I did. I'm pretty much over it and know we did the best thing under the circumstances but dude, I hope the next time goes better. Then it's cheaper too! :-)

S.T. | 6:10 AM

At least in my neck of the woods, (the South) bottle feeding is SO much more socially acceptable than breast feeding. The few times I bottle fed my babies in public, I got kind, warm smiles directed my way? On the other hand when I dared to breastfeed in public, people shot me anger looks, disgusted looks, shocked looks, etc. It sucked. Don't like it? Don't look! And I was very discreet, so it wasn't like my boob was even visible.

Anonymous | 2:35 AM

Totally random, but... what eyeshadow are you wearing in this video? It looks great!

Amy | 5:12 AM

Amen! I'm a member of the breast reduction club. I always hear people complain about the backlash over public breastfeeding, but I have never actually seen any of my BF friends experience this. However, the crap I got over not breastfeeding - man, that sucked.

The worst of it, though, was in the hospital after my emergency c-section. I'm barely out of recover when a nurse charges in and says, "You're breastfeeding, right?" I said, "No, I can't." to which she responded, "YES YOU CAN!"

Apparently she had a magically solution to severed milk ducts or something, but instead I just cried. It was awful. Like, "Congratulations on your new baby! You're a horrible mother!"

My children are happy and healthy and didn't die because they got formula. Shocking!

Shelley | 6:17 PM

I'm just catching up on my blog reading from the week - it was my first week back at work, full time away from the house and baby, after having Elsa (born the same day as Fable).

I SO NEEDED TO SEE THIS TONIGHT.

For weeks I have been pumping, freezing and storing milk like a madwoman. I've been pumping at work. And being 'caught' or more to the point 'rudely interrupted' by co-workers. And today I came to the realization that if I don't want to have to take time off work next week to go feed my baby - I'm going to have to buy some formula.

And I've had a rough day because of that realization. I didn't give my first child a drop of formula until well after she began eating solids, so she was probably 8 or 9 months old when formula first touched her lips. And I continued to breastfeed until she weaned herself at 13 months.

Sadly I have those same expectations for me of my second child. Even though I returned to work at 4 months, instead of staying home for 11 months with the first (yes, I live in Canada).

Anyway, THANK YOU MOMVERSATION - I needed a mom to tell me today that it's ok if I go to the grocery store tomorrow and buy some formula.

Organic stuff of course ;)

Megan | 12:10 PM

I love this! My son is 9 months old now, my breastfeeding days have long since passed. When I did breastfeed though he would eat, my boobs would be flat as pancakes and he would be screaming because he was still starving. With his tummy, the amount he ate, my body and me going back to work breastfeeding stopped working for us. I was sad it ended but realized there were other ways to feed my son. I still find myself explaining why I stopped breastfeeding to this very day though. Breastfeeding can be a lot of unnecessary pressure put on women from the outside world. I made my husband and his friend try my breast pump. They didn't last more than 20 seconds and it was the cheap evenflo one, they don't have a clue how much those nice pumps hurt! I think everyone should have to try a pump, it should be a law...I'm going to call our new president and pitch him the idea.

Sarcastica | 6:30 PM

I am fully planning on breastfeeding, but I'm deeply worried about not being able to. I know that some women just can't produce enough milk, and the hospitals around here also look at formula like it's the f word or something. Scary deals. I don't want to be looked down upon if I can't breastfeed, but I also don't want to feel pressured TO breastfeed. Luckily, I want to breastfeed because *I* want that bounding time. But still, treating formula like it's the f word does make you feel pressured into doing it...sigh.

ConsumeConformObey | 8:34 PM

For me I could produce milk but had painful letdown. No, I don't mean 'it tingled and then stopped'. I mean, it felt like tattooing sunburn, inside the core of my breast. I threw up, I screamed, I fed my son blood. I got mastitis and because I couldn't feed through it easily (I was on epic pain killers and had to tip all the milk down the sink which was insult to injury) the mastitis quickly became an abscess and I ended up losing part of my right breast. If anyone ever said anything negative to me about formula feeding, I would grab their hand and push their finger, in up to the knuckle, to the hole in my breast and tell them to back off before 'shit got real'. I'm not an aggressive person, but for me the whole experience was devastating and anyone who judged me harshly for 'feeding my son AID's got brutally served by a pain fueled evil-me(http://www.news.com.au/top-stories/hardline-counsellor-slams-bottlefeeding/story-e6frfkp9-1226458040994). I wrote about it on my blog and have had a few people email me to say they too suffered painful letdown or had part of their breast removed due to breastfeeding.
At the time though I could find very little information on painful letdown, the Australian Breastfeeding Association had no help- they just wanted to make me feel bad for 'not trying hard enough'.
To any other mothers out there feeling shithouse about formula feeding- you are not alone. All you can do is your best, and that means feeding your child - in any way that you can.