Formula Feeding Myth #2 – We’re Selfish

The following is an excerpt from a comment left on the Fearless Formula Feeder website:

“…It is a scientifically proven fact that breastmilk is hands down, better for babies than formula. Moms can come up with any excuse why they don’t or won’t nurse. But it all comes down to selfishness. Nipples bleeding, mastisitis, drying up, etc. It’s all excuses. Why would one promote formula feeding knowing it doesn’t compare to the nutrition in breastmilk? I don’t get it. It seems like this website is a bunch of moms trying to justify themselves for not nursing because they feel guilty, as they should. If a mom isn’t willing to do the best possible thing for her baby, then why even have a baby. It’s really sad because there are so many women who would love to have a baby that they could nurse and nourish, but its not possible for them to have children. Then there is women telling stories on here that won’t even give their newborn baby colostrum??? So selfish and sickening. Poor little babies.”

This is obviously the opinion of one person, whom I don’t even know, who decided to spout off a bunch of judgemental nonsense on a website. I get that. But this person is not alone. I’ve heard the word “selfish” tossed around often when it comes to describing moms who don’t breast-feed.

It’s confusing to me. Of all the moms that I know who formula-feed, and in the countless number of stories that I’ve read online and in books, no one chose formula without seriously considering what the consequences would be for their babies. In the end, the choice was either made for them (they were physically unable to breast-feed), or the ramifications of breast-feeding their infants were negative enough that it was prohibitive to try or keep trying.

How we feed our babies is just one of the thousands of decisions that we make as parents. Our babies need nutrition to thrive. They also need a caretaker that is happy, healthy, and able to engage. Putting aside our own egos and admitting that breast-feeding isn’t working, or doesn’t work in our situation, is not selfish. Ensuring that we, as mothers, are healthy and whole is for the benefit of our babies. Making the decision to feed our babies formula, in spite of the criticism and judgement that we receive, is a decision made out of love. And it’s just about the most selfless thing we can do.

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2 thoughts on “Formula Feeding Myth #2 – We’re Selfish

  1. Great post. Comments like this are indefensible, and it’s hard to wrap my mind around the kind of spiteful, small-minded ignorance it takes to write something like that. Thanks for articulating what’s wrong with it in such a calm and thoughtful way.

    • Thank you for your kind words. As much as being called names does hurt my feelings and I want to fight back by calling them stupid, that would only prove their point.

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