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Society and Breastfeeding, A Toxic Mindset

It may come as no surprise that I am basically a formula feeding advocate. All you hear about is breastfeeding this, breastfeeding that. But you never hear about formula feeding and when you to is is nearly always frowned upon. I’ve even wrote blogs about formula feeding made easy, and why we decided to formula feed. But no one really cares. As soon as they see someone choosing to not breastfeed they immediately throw this judgement into your face about how you could possible not do one of the most beautiful things on the planet (gag). For some yes, that may be true, but for others the exact opposite. There’s nothing wrong with breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Fed is best. It is totally normal to have different feelings in regards to breastfeeding. No feelings are invalid. Some people absolutely love breastfeeding, others hate it, and others tolerate it because everyone around them pressures them into doing it. Even if they are not in the “Loving it” fan club.

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The problem is that many people, society as a whole, friends and family, medical professionals, and many more are trying to push that breastfeeding should and is the only way to properly feed a baby. Fed is best and there are endless reasons why someone may not want to breastfeed. We shouldn’t be judging their reasons and or making snide comments about what we think is best or guilt tripping parents into doing something they absolutely hate. The fact is it really doesn’t matter the reason why someone chooses not to breastfeed or why they choose to do it. For me, in a nut shell, my oldest had jaundice, I was afraid he wasn’t getting enough and I wanted to do formula. It also gave my husband a great opportunity to also bond and feed our son. With our second I went straight to formula and it was the best thing I have ever done. My mental health matters.

One of the worst things I literally hate hearing is how breastfeeding creates a stronger bond. Maybe from a mother’s perspective, but from a baby, whether you are giving them a bottle or a boob you are still feeding them. Sure, maybe if you are breastfeeding you may feel a bond more so than a bottle because they are literally suckling on your ya know. But to a baby you literally are both feeding a baby except different ways. Saying this to people who don’t or even can’t breastfeed is the toxic to say. Implying that breastfeeding is how to have a “better” bond with a child is nearly almost always going to be said as a dig towards the other parent. Parents can bond with their children in so many ways there is no one size fits all here. If I am being totally honest both of my kids have been formula fed. And both of them stick to both my husband and myself like glue. I don’t think the device or method of feeding them had any influence on whether or not this bond is there.this is like saying that if one parent feeds them, and another bathes them that whoever does which the child likes more maybe feeding lets say, will like that parent more. It’s wrong.

Unless you are literally only breastfeeding. No pumping. No saving milk. No milk catchers. No nothing. Breastfeeding can, and will become expensive also. I’m not going to compare it to formula because the vast differences between formulas to how you breastfeed too. But saying breastfeeding is cheaper is not necessarily true. Especially if you are in fact pumping and you need to replace parts every so often due to their wear. And at the end of the day. There is literally people on this planet who may want to breastfeed and are physically incapable of doing so. Saying comments like it is cheaper is not even true sometimes and formula may be cheaper depending on the circumstances too. At the end of the day. Unless you are literally only putting a baby to your boob, you MAYBE saving money that way. But also keep in mind, the mother breastfeeding also will have to be eating a few more calories to make up for what they are giving out with breastmilk. So even still, whether you choose to breastfeed, pump, or formula feed, there is going to be some cost involved with feeding a baby. You can even do formula and breastfeed too. There are literally numerous ways to feed a newborn and a child and more than half of those ways in some way, shape, or form will be costing some amount of money.

Better than formula. Sure. Most people know to some extent that yes. Breast milk is “better”. But that doesn’t mean that it always is. We live in 2023. Saying that formula is horrible or not good is just wrong. Medical advances and formula changing is just as capable of sustaining a baby for growth. There are even people who breastfeed and their breast milk has very low nutritional value. And yes, in some cases formula would be better than breast milk. But again this is a very, very wrong statement to keep making. Especially when a mother knows that they wanted or should or whatever be breastfeeding and for some reason (Again one that is no-ones business) don’t. Whether it be physical, mental, or even both. This is such a harmful statement that saying it doesn’t really help anyone in the process.

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

At the end of the day, There is no right or wrong way to feed a baby. The stigma around breastfeeding and formula feeding being such a “lower” standard needs to end. We should be helping out our fellow parents and not bashing them for whatever their choices are. There are literally many reasons why people choose to feed their babies the way that they do. And whatever that reason they choose to do it for, that is up to them to decide! Period.