During a twitter conversation I had, a point was made that the ‘risks’ of formula feeding is not widely available to most women before they make the choice to formula feed. While I feel every women should be given the right to choose what is best for them and their family regarding how they choose to feed their children, I also feel that information should be available about both breastfeeding and formula.
First I want to state that I do not feel any one should be judged because of the choice they made for their children. As women and Mothers we tend to carry guilt around over our decisions and choices and the last thing we should do is judge each other.
*Edited to add: I think finding information on the benefits of breastfeeding is well known – you can find the links in my Link section. Harder to find now is positive information on formula. Here are some links to articles that demystify some of the over-claims for breastfeeding benefits:
When I was a young(er) mom the only people I encountered who were ‘pro breast feeders’ were not only that but also ‘anti formula feeders’. I found this to be totally detrimental to myself because when I made the informed decision to give my 1st child formula after 6 weeks of breastfeeding I felt like I had let my child down when the nurses gave that sighed ‘OH’ when I told I was giving my child formula. I am sure I could have continued nursing, nothing was physically stopping me (emotionally, yes) however I was SO not willing to seek further support because of the “down my throat” approach of our local breastfeeding support I received.
Growing up (4yrs later) and becoming more confident in MY choices I have been breastfeeding my 3rd child for a year now. I am studying to become and IBCLC and vow to be there for the MOTHER, to provide support and not just push my own belief and agenda. I do believe wholeheartedly in the benefits of breastfeeding and wish there was more support and education out there for women and families, but I will not be one of those women who I encountered when I was a new mother.
I am Pro Breast feeding NOT Anti formula – and I believe there is a HUGE difference!
I don’t know why we mothers always do this – it always has to be one way or the other and we find it difficult to see the benefits and reasons behind the other choice. Stay at home or working mother? Breast feed or Bottle feed? No one should be ashamed of their informed choices or what they have chosen for their families. No one lives in our shoes and no one has the right to judge our choices.