Breast vs Bottle- A Nasty and Unnecessary Mom War

So I guess I’m going to jump on the debate bandwagon because the more I read about this issue, the more posts I see I feel compelled to voice my thoughts and that IS the purpose of a blog, no? My first thought on all of this hoo ha is WHAT THE HECK?? For crying out loud do we really need MORE things to argue about these days, isn’t there enough of that going on in the world, isn’t there enough conflict, enough “I’m better than you”… I mean really.

If you’ve managed to miss all of the hullabaloo let me sum it up for you, there was a formula recall due to insect parts being found in the formula (agreed, gross) and because of this unfortunate situation the lactivists and similar folk out there have used it as a platform to proclaim, again, that Breast Is Best. It’s not just that, the problem is that things are being taken to the extreme like saying “formula feeders deserve this” and nastier comments stepping way over the line. It’s like an underground hate crime against formula feeders. 

Let me identify which side of the fence I’m on here. I have breastfed all of my kids and I have also used formula. My first son was born premature and underweight with growth issues. I was dead set on breastfeeding, my goal was to breastfeed for one year. To spare the unpleasant details my boobs are broken, I have supply issues, no MATTER WHAT I try. I’ve given it my all with 3 kids. Between lactation consultants, support groups, power pumping, acupuncture, herbal supplements, hoards of money, triple feeding, prescription medications that led to Postpartum Depression, etc etc etc  I finally said ENOUGH. IS. ENOUGH! My safety and sanity far outweigh the benefit of attempting to continue breastfeeding. This horse and pony show continued with all 3 children to varying degrees. As such, formula has ALWAYS been part of our life.

I think it goes without saying that my kids are happy healthy and wonderful now at 8 years old, 6 years old, and 3 years old. I anticipate the same for baby 4. I don’t consider myself to be a bad mother for not breastfeeding, I gave it my all. Despite my struggles I plan to attempt breastfeeding AGAIN with our next child, if it doesn’t work I won’t lose sleep over it anymore.

What you will NEVER find me doing is jumping on some high horse and bashing breastfeeding mothers or trying to convince the world that my way is the best way- the ONLY way. You won’t find me hitting below the belt on the issue. It’s asinine. I believe that you do what works for you and there is no universal path to the finishline in life. Especially parenting.

What happened to women being compassionate for one another? How can anyone proclaim to be such a fantastic mother for breastfeeding and then lambast another mother for making a different choice for whatever reasons. What the heck kind of message does that send to their children and what kind of a role model are they being? Awful, it’s just awful. The comments being made make me sick, the ugly bantar is just so uneccessary.

As fellow mommy blogger over at Fearless Formula Feeder put it “I lose more faith in humanity by the day, but especially in the portion of humanity that have vaginas.”

And why is it that WOMEN are the ones to stir up things like this when we know first hand how hard it is to be a mother. You don’t see the men out there at work arguing with one another about trivial things like this. In fact I found an awesome post from a Dad. If you’re wondering the male perspective of this issue. Here’s an excerpt of his post which was truly poignant.

“To people like her and those who post as “godshelper” with criticisms and comments – have you ever held a hungry and screaming child? Have you ever listened to your own baby crying because she’s starving and your body — which just went through a nine month version of boot camp — can’t provide what she needs?

Imagine the fear. Imagine the frustration. Imagine the guilt.

Imagine all that, and then? Shut the hell up.

It takes more than sperm to make a good father and it takes way more than breast milk to make a good mother.”

If you want to breastfeed and have the ability to, more power to you, whip your boobs out in public; I won’t be complaining but you don’t have the right to talk me down as a mother when I pull out a bottle of formula because you have no idea what my story is and it’s not your place to judge the path that I walk. Have some compassion and empathy for other women and come off of the high horse. We don’t need anymore of this in our world. Our children don’t need to be raised with anymore conflict, nastiness, or segregation.

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