Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Did everybody see this new study about breastfeeding that came out?

Whenever I read about the benefits of breastfeeding, it makes me feel bad. There are two main reasons for this, I think. One is it reminds me of the part of the 'mommy' club that I'm not in. I didn't give birth to my child. I had no milk to give him. Secondly, it seems that many of my FB friends are vehement breastfeeding advocates. I've actually had to hide some people because it seems that 90% of their posts are about natural child birth and BF.

Even though no one has said this to me (except maybe LLL, but f#^k them) sometimes I feel like these people think that feeding your child formula is poisoning them or is like child abuse or something. They just push it so strongly that it makes me feel broken.

I'm pretty sure that most people understand why I don't BF my son. To be honest, I'm kind of glad I don't as it seems formula fed babies are a little bit easier -- at least they have been in my random, non-scientific observing of babies. (I know 3 bottle fed and tens of BF and all the bottle fed babies are MUCH better sleepers and generally more easygoing.) I like that I don't have to pump and that anyone can feed Henry without any fuss.

That being said, I just feel bad about it, and I'm so happy to be a mom and I love Henry so much that I hate that something like this makes me feel bad.


Hilda said...

I feel exactly the same , I could not have said it better in my own words. (at least he turned 13 months this weekend and that help a little)

Delenn said...

As usual, I think people who are fanatical ruin it for the rest of us.

I have never been a big breastfeeding person--not because I could not (in fact I did for both my kids), but because of the propagandizement of it.

I never had that big "bonding" moment breastfeeding. I had the bonding moments snuggling and sleeping with them.

In the end, its not how you feed your child--but that you do feed your child not only nourishment but comfort and love. And you do that so well.

And, in two years time--it won't make a damn bit of difference if you formula fed him or not. (then its onto the debates of whether or not you are feeding enough veggies and fruit--what about fruit snacks, etc. --always something for us mothers to argue over)

Deborah said...

Formula was invented for a reason - people like you and Henry. It was not invented for people who just don't want to breastfeed, although it is marketed to those people ad infinitum, and that's annoying (and unethical). But for people who need it, whether due to adoption or mother's health issues or whatever, it is a great invention. I'm sure it's hard not to feel bad, though.

Sue said...

Breastfeeding is a mixed bag, just like everything else. I wouldn't feel bad about it if I were you. Just because you didn't have a choice about breastfeeding Henry doesn't mean you would have chosen to breastfeed and stick with it had it been an option for you. You're doing a great job being a good mom to Henry - that's really all that matters.

Almamay said...

What are people like??? I've not even talked about the details of my son's birth to my closest friends why would I post details on FB? That's just wrong. Weirdos.

Yes there are studies about BF and its benefits but I've recently seen a study that says the benefits are over exagerated. I'll try and find it and email it to you.

I think it is more important that you love and care for your son as much as you both do.

~Jess said...

I feel bad too: I had a breast reduction at 16 and knew I may or may not be able to breastfeed. I think, for me, I enjoyed it but it was VERY stressful to not know if my daughter was getting enough. I was so much happier after we switched to formula...of course, there were comments made by people that I didn't try hard enough etc. Screw'em.
You do what you can.

DrSpouse said...

This is a big issue for me, I was really looking forward to breastfeeding when I was pregnant the first time, and I know I'll feel sad when we eventually adopt, that I can't do this.

Flying Monkeys said...

There are other ways, and many of them, to bond with your baby. You nourish him not only with food but with love. That's a win in my book.

I never produced enough. It didn't matter what I ate or drank or how many cluster pumps I got in, My breasts, like the rest of my body, do their own thing. *shrug*

Trace said...

Occasionally I felt bad about not being able to breast feed, but that was short lived and the fact that I was able to share our daughters eating schedule with my husband made me feel a lot better about it. Plus I chose an organic formula (not S.imilac because that has sugar in it) and she loved it. And, in general, based on what I've seen from the women who are avid breasfeeders it's a nuisance. I did go to a breastfeeding support group. Not for the breastfeeding part obviously, but the socialization and no one judged me at all. They realized that what works for one doen't work for another.

Foxxy One said...

There is such a thing as adoptive breastfeeding. It takes an incredible amount of work and many times there isn't enough milk to truly sustain the baby so you end up supplementing with formula.

I researched the hell out of it when I was in the process of adopting our son. After all the drugs I took trying to get pregnant, I just couldn't do that to my body. I still feel guilty as hell.

K77 said...

I agree with Deborah on this one.

FWIW my formula fed child was wayyyyyyyy more difficult than my breastfed one is. I get more sleep with the BF one too.

DrSpouse there is the option of inducing lactation. I understand it's pretty hard work.

Anonymous said...

I hate the breast is best and if you aren't breastfeeding you are hurting your child bullshit.

It makes me angry and I am breastfeeding.

In the end, it really doesn't matter how you feed your child, just that you do.

Robin said...

Breast feeding is great, BUT formula feeding can be just as rewarding and is definitely just as healthy. There are a lot of perks not having to breastfeed. Having dad more involved is one of the big ones. I know it is just one more thing that might make you feel out of the mommy club but try not to worry about it too much. You are totally in the mommy club.

Meg said...

Rachel, I don't want you to not feel in the mommy club. I had 2 biological kids and was not able to breastfeed them. Does that make me not in the mommy club? No. You love your son and feel him good food. That's what gets you into the mommy club. Don't let the fanatics get you down. Just like I had a 2 needed c-sections. Are my babies alive because of them? Yes. Does it make me less of a mother because they came out of a different hole than they were supposed to? Nope. You love your son and he is yours. You are a mommy and you are definitely in the club.

Holly said...

I'm going to be honest and hopefully not get slammed. I *firmly* believe in the mantra: to each his own. Some ppl want to BF and can't, some ppl don't want to BF and get guilted into it. Some ppl want to BF and can with no problem, some ppl want to but have problems. There are so many scenarios and it makes me CRAZY when ppl try to push their views on others.

If I'd given birth, I wouldn't have BF. I can't explain the whys behind it (without writing a million words), but I just wouldn't have BF.

I almost felt relief at having an easy out. And maybe I feel guilty about THAT? Ehn, anyways.

I hate that you feel guilty.

Anonymous said...

I just wrote a little bit about this on my blog too. As a new adoptive parent, I really couldn't care less about the fact that I can't breast feed - I am so damn grateful that our wait is over and we have a gorgeous baby girl...however, the first time I was surrounded by biological moms and they were all breastfeeding, I did feel bad and also wondered if I wasn't a legit member of the mommy club.

E. Phantzi said...

Came over to say Happy Birthday (LFCA), and then read this post too - sorry that the "lactivists" make you feel bad about not BFing your son. I wish people wouldn't be so dogmatic and judgmental about these issues, because it can really alienate people. What there *really* is no substitute for, is the love that you give him.
(my IF blog is projectprogeny.wordpress.com)