A few days ago I read an article about a mom who decided to stop feeling guilty about feeding formula to her child. I’m thrilled to read more articles about this because what matters is that your child is fed, not how they are fed. Moms should not feel shame or guilt for feeding their child no matter how they do it or why that decision was made. And others in our society – other moms, strangers – do not have a say in how we feed our child – or parent our child, for that matter.
What is it about a woman being pregnant or having a baby that makes strangers feel they have the right to question our parenting decisions? Though other moms are guilty of this too and to you I say, what you decide to do for your family is your decision and the right one for your family, but that does not make it the right way for everyone or the only way. Each person makes the decision for their family (or the decision is made for you if you are unable to breastfeed for one reason or another) and thankfully, we have healthy drinking water and quality formula we can feed our children instead (or in addition to breastfeeding).
I am really excited about the work the Fed is Best Foundation is doing as they advocate for mothers and train hospital personnel to recognize the signs that a baby is not getting enough to eat through breastfeeding and needs formula.
Personally, I breastfed both my children for a few to several months and substituted formula at points so I could get a break and I was so glad for that. My oldest was having mostly formula and then bit me and so I decided that was enough and my youngest lost interest as my supply decreased. So we left that stage behind, but that gave me more freedom and flexibility, though I did feel a little sad that stage was over.