2014-THANKSgiving

Breastfeeding, Formula Feeding, Who Cares?

113 Comments

It’s “World Breastfeeding Week” and “National Breastfeeding Month”; a time to celebrate nursing, eradicate shame over breastfeeding in public and educate the world on the benefits of breastfeeding.

And that’s all well, good and important. For sure.

But as a mother who wasn’t able to breastfeed any of my children, this month has always brought back that familiar sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach… The feeling of complete failure. Almost ten years after I struggled with feeding my first (and subsequent second and third,) there is still no other issue which brings me more shame or sadness, and Lord knows there have been plenty of parental fails since then.

And that’s why I love the “I Support You” movement so much. Announced yesterday by Kim Simon from Mama by the Bay, Suzanne Barston from Fearless Formula Feeder, and Jamie-Lynne Grumet from I Am Not The Babysitter (and cover model from the infamous Time magazine article), it’s meant to bridge the gap between formula-feeding and breastfeeding mothers; spreading the notion that we’re all feeding our children with love; by breastfeeding, formula feeding, however. 

“We are standing together, and we’re asking you to stand up with us. You, at the La Leche League meeting. You, in the lactation consultant’s office, perfecting your newborn’s latch. You, in the Nordstrom’s dressing room, nursing quietly on the couch. You, at your older son’s baseball game, nursing openly in the bleachers. You, who have cried rivers of tears over your feeding choices, and you, who chose without fear.

I support you.

You, in your hospital gown, asking the nurses for formula. You, shaking a bottle with one arm while your baby snuggles close in the other. You, who have researched the healthiest, most tummy-friendly formulas. You, who pump and mix and combo-feed. You, who have cried rivers of tears over your feeding choices, and you, who chose without fear.

I support you.

You, with your partner, as you feed the baby that you are hoping to adopt. You, who had a mastectomy and are locking eyes with new life. You, who chose your mental health, or your physical health, or your freedom, or your lack of freedom, so that you could feed your baby in a way that protected both of you. You, the Daddy who is finger-feeding your infant. You, the Mommy who lovingly pours formula into a G-Tube. You, at the NICU, pumping your breasts by the light of the machines that are keeping your baby alive. You, with the foster child who you are loving back to health. We see you. You are a part of this conversation too.

We support you.”

A-freaking-men.

We need all the support we can get; all of us.

 

Comments

The Scary Mommy Community is built on support. If your comment doesn't add to the conversation in a positive or constructive way, please rethink submitting it. Basically? Don't be a dick, please.

    • 2

      Catherine says

      I am sorry but I enjoy having a week to celebrate all the challenges we have overcome to be able to breast feed!!! It is something to be proud of and celebrate. We have made it to 17 months so far. This week isn’t to bash formula feeders or moms who were not able to breastfeed. It to celebrate and support those of us who have been able to breastfeed. It is hard work and time consuming so why don’t we have a right to celebrate our hard work??? We aren’t hurting anyone. This sorta seems like you are bashing those of us who want to celebrate!!

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  1. 3

    Paige says

    I was that mom in the NICU…pumping like a crazy lady and getting only drops of milk…having an argument with the LC who accused me of poisoning my baby because I told the nurses it was ok to to supplement with formula. “A lifetime of gastrointestinal problems!” she declared in a 20min lecture on what a horrible person I am, before admitting there was no donated milk in the hospital. Before I told her to GTFO and never show her face in my room again because, seriously?! All of which is my long-winded way if saying YES! Support all moms, please! Whether you agree or not, whether you would do the same or different, just breathe. Be nice. Smile. Support.

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    • 4

      Autumn Yates says

      I’m so sorry that you had to deal with such an arrogant and stubborn person at such a sensitive and emotionally trying time. Kudos to you for standing up for yourself and your child! No new mother should ever have to be treated that way.

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    • 5

      Helen says

      I got that from one neonatologist who saw my baby when I asked how much formula should I give her if I felt like I needed to supplement her. I was old enough to be HIS mother and he’s practically shouting at me that my baby doesn’t need anything but breast milk.

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  2. 7

    Harper says

    Indeed. We need a similar movement /attitude regarding birth choices. I’m really tired of all the smugness from women who’ve given birth naturally toward those of us who had to have c sections or have epidurals to bring our babies safely into the world.

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  3. 9

    angmo says

    Thank you- 2 years later and I still have that weird empty feeling about not being able to do what is supose to be soooo natural for women to do, breastfeeding. I remember struggling and pumping for hours just to get a couple ounces and just feeling so broken, like what am I doing wrong? why can’t these stupid boobs work? There big enough! I finally gave in after 8 weeks of trying and switched over to formula. So much grief we give each other. The formula available today is just as good as a mother’s milk so let’s stop judging!

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    • 10

      Kristin says

      I know the feeling,. These 36G’s apparently do not produce enough milk. Pumped for an hour once and got one once and then accidentally spilled it. That was the end of that with my second child.

      First and third child experiences were no better. First kid, I was too sick recovering from pre-eclampsia and PPD to even think about anything else.

      Third kid started off better, but I think I was still was not producing enough milk. He nursed constantly – by the time he was 24-hours old, I had bleeding nipples. I also had a 19-month-old and 5-year-old at home and my husband worked nights. I did not need another struggle. So that ended that. :)

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    • 11

      Jenny says

      I’m all for supporting women in their parenting choices. But it just isn’t truth that formula today is as good as breastmilk.

      Also, for the record, I feel like sometimes, as a breast feeding mother, that I’m judged MORE than those who formula feed…because let’s face it, the majority in this country formula feed. People almost act like you are crazy to be so dedicated to breast feeding. Women who breast feed are regularly frowned upon and or asked to leave when nursing in public. I think that this in turn makes those of us who choose breast feeding feel a little bullied, hence the reason for pointing out that our choice is healthier and more natural. Because honestly, I dont care what you choose for your child…it’s not like you’re poisoning your kid if you choose formula for preference or need…I just want acceptance for my choice to do what I feel is best for my kid, too! It’s not just formula feeders who feel attacked or shamed.

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    • 12

      Anita@ Losing Austin says

      It’s perfectly fine to use formula by choice or by need, but part of the reason we still need breastfeeding awareness is because people still say why you just did- that formula is just as good. It’s not, and no one, even formula companies would claim it is.

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      • 13

        Tina says

        seriously? I have seen mothers smoke and drink then breast feed..how is this healthier?
        To encourage breast feeding and saying it is better than formula first educate people on proper diet when breast feeding.

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  4. 14

    Arnebya says

    I have no damns to give about how a woman feeds her baby as long as her baby is fed. Each mother loves her child so the rest is bullshit; there’s nothing else to say. Are you not going to let your kids play with mine because mine were breastfed? Are you not going to let your kids play with the kids at the park because they were formula fed? OOOH and what brand did their mom choose? Bullshit. Support everyone.

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  5. 17

    Wendy says

    Who freaking cares how your kid gets fed, as long as he/she is fed? Until you (you=judgmental person) take over the expenses of my child and watching my child starve because I can’t breastfeed, then, and only then, can you judge me. Actually, no, you can never judge me because I’m the one taking care of my child and doing what I feel is best for my child. When do you have time to care for your child if you’re spending all your time judging everyone else?

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    • 18

      Jess says

      I love this, and will plagarize this quote from now on, thank you!

      “When do you have time to care for your child if you’re spending all your time judging everyone else?”

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  6. 19

    Meg says

    My sister has MS and was unable to nurse her kids for more than four weeks before switching to formula, because her medication wasn’t safe for her babies. She went to La Leche League sking for advise on weaning and preventing engorgement. She was told she should stay off her medication and “Do what’s best for her baby.” She was so mad, she wanted to nurse, but decided having a mom who could walk and see was more important than breast/formula. I have done both, and am sick of the shaming women do over it. I was called an animal for nursing, and called lazy for formula. I dont care HOW you feed your baby, as long as you do.

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  7. 20

    Keely says

    Yup. As the one crying rivers and pumping every. three. hours. around. the. clock. The fear of failure, the *assurance* of failure, poisoning every minute of that newborn phase. Yes. I needed this then. Glad it’s out there. Share.

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  8. 21

    LBM says

    I never felt any shame in not breastfeeding. And if anyone asked or rolled their eyes, I didn’t give a sh!t. It was none of their business. I don’t understand how some women get their panties in a wad over this. What works/worked for one may not work for another….why be so damn judgmental????

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  9. 22

    Karyn says

    A THOUSAND TIMES YES.

    And, almost MORE importantly, we need to tell this to ourselves – I support ME. When I was crying rivers over having to supplement after I had moved heaven and earth to breastfeed, through bitter tears and searing pain, I needed to support ME – to let go of the guilt and the feeling of failure, the worry that I wasn’t trying hard enough and conversely the worry that I was hurting my baby by trying TOO hard, insisting on nursing when my baby needed more than I could give. I could ignore the judgement coming from around me, but what I really needed was to let go of the judgement coming from inside.

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  10. 23

    Denise says

    I was formula fed–no health problems. My boys were formula fed–no health problems. My boys are attached to me so hard that my teen still wants me to tuck him in at night.

    People who say you can’t form a proper bond with your kid without breast feeding are full of crap. How do you explain the bond kids form with their dads? With their grandmas? With their favorite aunts?

    Breast milk is just natural food. It’s not liquid love.

    Formula feeding is great. You can let dad feed the kid, grandma feed the kid. The baby can bond equally with dad–my first went through a phase were only daddy was good enough to put him to bed.

    I have NO regrets.

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    • 24

      Basketcase says

      “Breast milk is just natural food. It’s not liquid love”
      So much this.
      I wish I had read this 4 months ago when I was walking the hospital corridors in tears as I fed my baby a bottle of formula because my milk was refusing to come in and my nipples were bleeding from my baby trying to suck it out.
      I had the mantra in my head “formula is not failure”, but I think this would have worked better.
      My perserverance paid off (too well, now he wont take a bottle and I am chained to him with a maximum break of 2 hours), but sometimes a little part of me wishes it hadn’t.

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  11. 25

    Renée Lamarque says

    I love this. I still think that it is important to remember that bfing moms need support that formula feeding moms don't, and that shouldn't hurt anyone's feelings. There are still states that don't protect a woman's right to feed her child, making it vaguely illegal and indecent to feed in public(as does our cultural attitude toward bfing), and there are many, many work places that are completely detrimental to a pumping mother. On top of that there are women who wanted to nurse but lacked the support needed to do so, and there are still so much misinformation out there. It doesn't make it mommy war fodder to say that breastfeeding still needs advocates. I've run into my share of horrible LC's, and I'm not advocating the shaming of any moms. I completely support the sentiment behind this article, but just suggesting that support might look differently depending on the situation.

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    • 26

      Danielle says

      I understand what you’re saying, but you’re still perpetuating the divide between mothers by saying breast feeding moms need more support than bottle feeding moms. There are pros and cons on both sides of the argument. They just have different worries.
      A new mom is a new mom (whether you have had 1 or 20 kids). They all need support in whatever their choices are.

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      • 28

        Shelley says

        Even though SHE didn’t say it, I will. If a mother breastfeeds, she can be sure of several things:
        1. The baby will eat about every 2 hours, around the clock.
        2. For the first few weeks, the baby will take 30-45 minutes to feed. This means that she is pretty much CONSTANTLY feeding the baby.
        3. She’s really the only person who can feed the baby, especially if she’s having trouble getting her milk to come in or if the baby is skinny. Babies are better than pumps at stimulating breasts to produce milk, and they are also better at extracting it. Pumping instead of nursing really isn’t a great idea unless you respond particularly well to a pump, which many women don’t. So a BFing mom doesn’t really EVER get a break.
        4. It will hurt for a little while.
        5. If she goes back to work, she will need ample time to pump several times a day.

        I will take the stance that formula feeding is MUCH easier. You are not tied to the baby in the same way, you can do it in public without any judgement, and other people can feed the baby without you having to worry how it will affect supply or your own body. I have a friend who formula fed who never got up for a single night feeding (her husband did all of them). Whenever you can outsource some work to someone else, it’s less work for you. BFing is harder work than formula feeding, and BFing moms need extra support.

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        • 29

          Danielle says

          I can agree that breast feeding moms need different types of support than a formula feeding mom, but it’s still support. We should be giving 100% support to ANY new mom, no matter what her feeding choice is. Your answer proves that you actually don’t agree with this article by saying that breast feeding is harder and that those women clearly have it harder and deserve more support.

          Why does it matter how a mother feeds her child?? Both decisions are nerve-wracking and come with their own problems. They both come with worries. They both come with problems. Have you ever decided to choose formula feeding and run out of money and had to wonder how you were going to buy that formula?? Have you ever been in a hurry to leave the house, get too far away and realize you don’t have any formula with you?? Once you make that decision your milk dries up and you don’t have another choice. I don’t mean to lessen the struggles of a breast feeding mother. I hear that it hurts and it’s hard and it is a full-time, 24/7 job that no one can take over for you. I get that. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t lessen the struggles of a formula feeding mother either. Every new child comes with struggles and frustration and exhaustion. Why do we need to say “Well, you’ve got it easy since you’re not breast feeding.”??? Which is also what this article suggests.

          (And if your friend had her husband doing all the work than clearly that is an individual case of her being a lazy ass. Just saying.)

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          • 30

            Shelley says

            I don’t know what someone’s financial difficulties have to do with this conversation. Not being able to afford to feed your family belongs in a discussion on cost of living and social policy, not in a discussion about whether or not BFing mothers need more support than formula feeding mothers.

            It IS easier to feed formula. All the arguments in favor of formula feeding center around this simple fact (people make the argument of “Dad can bond with the baby,” but food is not the only way people can bond with a baby, so I don’t think this argument is a very good one. Plus, working BFing mothers eventually have to pump and bottle feed anyway, so it makes this a moot point). Give me an argument in favor of formula feeding that doesn’t involve convenience.

            That being said, I don’t know why we would argue about this as though it somehow makes you a better mother to be a martyr. If a formula feeding mother has an inferiority complex because she doesn’t feel like she’s enduring enough hardship, then she has lots of other problems that have nothing to do with this conversation. Of COURSE being a new mother can be challenging, and of COURSE some people are better at making this adjustment than others, but that has nothing to do with whether or not BFing mothers need extra support when compared to their formula feeding peers. They do, because ALL the feeding pressure is on them ALL the time. That’s simply not true of formula feeding parents.

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  12. 33

    Connie says

    I am one who is choosing to formula feed and I got grief and got harassed about it at my own baby shower! This is my first child and for whatever reason, in my head, I cannot get into the idea of breastfeeding. Maybe if I didn’t have to go back to work? I don’t have a choice to stay home once my daughter is born, and I struggle with that too. So, it’s nice to hear about this so-called support of formula feeding moms but its usually always prefaced by “after trying for months” or “I couldn’t because of x,y, or z”. How about those of us who have actively chosen, even before our child’s birth, to formula feed?

    I have become so much more open about women’s childbirth and pregnancy choices since becoming pregnant myself. I also get flack from people because I would actually prefer to have a c-section. I am not pushing the issue with my Drs and I will do whatever they deem best to get this little girl into the world, but people can’t fathom that I would rather have a c-section. I have had other abdominal surgeries, I know I can deal with it. I give all of the credit in the world to women who can tolerate, and even enjoy, the whole deal of giving birth without drugs and even those women who choose to birth at home.

    Why am I still made to feel like crap about 1)choosing to formula feed before my child is even born and 2) would rather have a c-section. I see no magic or no more love for my child if she is brought into the world via my body tearing in half or if she comes out an opening in my stomach.

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    • 34

      OTRmommy says

      Thank you for sharing. I have had 2 c-sections and couldn’t breast feed and I feel like I was jipped out of the true “mom/birth” experience. As time goes by, I feel better about it all and I know the most important thing is everyone’s health and safety. I feel weird admitting it but I preferred the c-section the 2nd time because it wasn’t that bad for me and I knew what to expect and when. Good luck to you and your daughter!

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    • 35

      Jess says

      I know what you mean. If it’s ok to use formula after (list of excuses we normally hear), then why isn’t it ok from the get go?? It’s the same result! So let’s skip the nonsense and not give anyone grief for their preferences. I had an “excuse” with my first: emergency c-section, which lead to medication that prevented me from being allowed to BF for several days, which of course made it harder to start BFing after several days with a bottle…and after crying for a WHOLE DAY, lol, I decided Screw This! I want to enjoy my baby who has been perfectly happy on formula for a few days, and is now screaming when I try to nurse her.)

      3 years later, I could have tried to give birth vaginally, but I scheduled a repeat c-section, because I knew what to expect and didn’t want to wind up in another emergency situation. I could have tried BFing again, but chose not to. And my baby is over a year old and doing wonderfully. No excuses needed.

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    • 36

      Danielle says

      Thank you!! A thousand times – thank you!!! Honestly, I never breast fed my daughter. I never once tried. I didn’t want to. The idea made me feel uncomfortable. And even though I want what’s best for my daughter, I’m still going to consider my needs too. The whole idea really made me rather upset. So, I made it extremely clear from day 1 that I was not going to breast feed. My daughter is 5 now and she’s absolutely brilliant. No health issues. No cognitive issues. Just my beautiful baby girl.

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    • 37

      Jen Connelly says

      Exactly. I chose to formula feed all five of my kids because it’s what I wanted to do and what was best for my entire family. I did try with my first but I wasn’t into it and I tried with my last ten years later to see if anything had changed (he was able to nurse but it stressed me out too much). I suffer from clinical depression, and although I wasn’t on meds when my kids were born, I have my own mental health to think about and breastfeeding screwed with that. But really, I never had any urge to breastfeed. All five of my kids (now 13, 11 1/2, 10 1/2, 7 and 3) are perfectly healthy, rarely ever sick (never had ear infections or the flu or anything) and very smart.

      When I was pregnant with my first I, too, felt I’d rather have a c-section. I would have done whatever but in the end I had a scheduled one (for health reasons). Subsequently the next four kids were also scheduled c-sections. Yes, I’ve had FIVE c-sections. It can be done. I probably could have had another but there was my mental health to consider, lol. I’ve never regretted it and my c-sections were not that bad.

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  13. 38

    Kris says

    Had a woman ask me if I nursed my then 4 month old VERY bright eyed, interactive baby girl. I said “no” and she looked at me like I had two heads and said “but she looks so healthy!” I replied “well I sprung for the kind without arsenic and glass shards”….(insert sound of crickets)….. And my beautiful bright eyed girl is developing and growing circles around her BFed cousins. ((Meaning there isn’t ALWAYS a leg up on us FFers)) I fed her and played with her and talked to her. And she’s attached to me at the hip, so no bonding issues here. Feed your kids however makes them grow, and play with them and love them, I say!

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  14. 39

    Tiffany (The Boob Geek) says

    I’m going to be an odd one out here and say that I although I think the goals of the campaign are noble, the timing is unfortunate. World Breastfeeding Week shouldn’t have to come with disclaimers. (Really, no parenting choices should have to come with disclaimers.) Contrasting this “I support you” with the WBW 2013 theme of mother-to-mother support seems, to me, to be an attempt to underscore the divide between breastfeeding and formula-feeding, not bring moms together. The feeling I get from the campaign is that it’s an attempt to say, “SOME people support you even if you’re not breastfeeding. THOSE people are not.”

    Moms who feed their babies formula, whether they made an informed choice or breastfeeding did not work out, are in the majority. You have the 51 other weeks out of the year (or could start your own commemorative week). Supporting moms is awesome. But allowing breastfeeding moms and their lactation support people one week (or month) to celebrate their successes is important.

    That person running a marathon, with friends and family swarming them for crossing the finish line, is not judging me for not even running a 5K.

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    • 40

      shamanmajik says

      The problem here though is that those who Formula Feed for whatever reason DO NOT get the other 51 weeks out of the year for support. There is a HUGE lack of support for these mother’s. While I truly believe that breastfeeding gets a ton of flack from many people (nursing in public, etc.) so does feeding from a bottle. While breastfeeders get the nasty stares and comments for feeding in public, bottlefeeders get the “why would you feed you kid poison?” and the “well, you just didn’t try hard enough” type comments constantly as well.

      I am not saying that breastfeeding shouldn’t be supported, and society DOES need to change their views. However, why can’t this support be ongoing instead of relegated to one week where those that didn’t “succeed” have it once again shoved in their faces that they “failed”? You used the Marathon example, the difference here is that when you are supported by friends and family when running that marathon, it is one single celebration for that victory. It is not a week long national celebration of articles on how much healthier running a marathon is than merely running a 5k. Of pictures being posted everywhere online of happy marathon runners when you (general you) don’t have the physical capabilities of running a marathon even though your dream was to do so.

      I believe that it is important to support ALL mother’s, especially in the vulnerable first days of motherhood.

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      • 41

        Tiffany (The Boob Geek) says

        I’m really confused by this idea that formula-feeding is constantly shamed and not supported by our western, American society, especially because breastfeeding doesn’t work out for so many women *specifically because* breastfeeding is not supported. Doctors of all types, nurses, day care providers, employers, relatives, friends – all of these are people who are key influencers of the way babies are fed, and, almost always, they support bottlefeeding.

        Yes, there are plenty of breastfeeding advocates who give breastfeeding advocacy a bad name, but we’ve also got entire organizations (like Best for Babes) that are built on the cornerstone of providing support for all moms.

        In any event… it’s not some sort of secret that moms who feed their babies formula have, at times, felt shamed (whether it’s warranted or not) by the breastfeeding lobby. But could we stop and ask ourselves one question: Is it also important to acknowledge the feelings of moms who DO breastfeed? This campaign isn’t really about supporting all moms; it’s about trying to make sure that moms who use formula don’t feel bad. Meanwhile, there are breastfeeding moms who are upset that their week of celebration is being co-opted. Why does that not matter? Why does the majority get to say their feelings are more important?

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        • 42

          shamanmajik says

          If you are confused about lack of support for formula feeding moms, ask me about the nurse who refused to bring me formula while I was in the hospital with my newborn because I wasn’t breastfeeding. Ask me about the lactation consultant who stormed into my room and yelled at me saying that I HAD to at least try and threw papers down on the table explaining the benefits etc of breastfeeding. Or the second nurse that I had who constantly turned the channel to the breastfeeding channel. Or how about the nurse who refused to help me figure out how to get my son, firstborn, to eat from a bottle. I had never fed a baby.

          There are no support groups available to new mother’s who are formula feeding. No one to tell you how to mix a bottle, or how to store it or that after 2 hours it should be thrown out. There is no one out there that can make a home visit for you when you can’t figure out why your baby isn’t eating.

          Like I said, I DO think it’s important to acknowledge the feelings of those who breastfeed, but NOT by leaving those that don’t out in the cold. Many people only seem to see the downfalls of society with regards to issues that only affect them and their situations. You are a breastfeeding mom, so you don’t see what the “other side” goes through. It took me a long time to see what breastfeeders go through because I was not one of them. I was the biggest advocate for my girlfriend when her job wouldn’t give her time to pump. I was the biggest supporter of my cousin who was upset that she started to dry up when her daughter was 11 months old.

          The campaign is NOT about making sure that some don’t feel bad, it’s about helping everyone to feel that they are in fact supported. I personally feel that all of the “awareness” weeks are out of hand anyway.

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          • 43

            Tiffany (The Boob Geek) says

            Regardless of the stories we can swap about who is more supportive about what, the fact remains that, as wonderful as this campaign could be for lost of women, the timing is crappy and serves to undermine, intentionally or not, the value of breastfeeding-specific support and World Breastfeeding Week.

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          • 44

            shamanmajik says

            We will just have to agree to disagree because I feel that the timing of this campaign opens up the discussion on why we even need to have a World Breastfeeding Week in the first place. If everyone felt supported, in whatever they chose, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation because there wouldn’t be a need for a “support” week.

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          • 45

            Jess says

            I don’t think the timing undermines anything. This is not “let’s only support formula feeding”. If that’s what you’re reading into this, I think you’re using your own bias to create a nonexistent agenda.
            Let’s take the Gay Pride comparison:
            Yes, if someone had a Straight-Only Pride parade/month, that would be offensive. However, if there was a Marriage Equality march at the same time as Gay Pride, that would be viewed as something that naturally goes in tandem….Marriage Equality isn’t a one-sided issue. People who support this are asking that all people be treated and supported equally, Gay or Straight (not just Straight, in the offensive example).

            This movement, I believe, is similar. It goes in Tandem with Breastfeeding support/month. It says we support your decision to breastfeed. AND we support your decision to not breastfeed.

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          • 46

            Anne G says

            My comparison is this. Standing with the “I Support You” plea, is a bit like standing with the Catholic Church to celebrate same-sex marriage. They do not go together. A few years ago, Similac began a new marketing strategy. It is call StrongMoms. “I Support You” contains a lot of the talking points of the StrongMoms ads. While there is some merit to the ideas theoretically, the bottom line is that the talking points follow a strategy to sell more formula. Marketing formula to the public is not compatible with the WHO Code or World Breastfeeding Week.

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        • 47

          Helen says

          that’s not true. most pediatricians i know, including my own daughter’s support breast feeding. I was actually congratulated for nursing a year (actually 14 months, but they didn’t know that).

          A savvy pediatrician will support the new mom however she decides to feed her baby. Not all of them, however, are that savvy.

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    • 48

      Lia says

      But the campaign is about supporting ANY choices moms make when it comes to feeding their children. It’s not taking anything away from breast feeding mothers and giving it to formula feeding mothers or pumping mothers or fathers helping, it’s support for ALL. I think it came out at this time because next month? It’s not National Formula Feeding Month. There IS no month supporting women who have to seek alternative methods. But really, aren’t all feeding choices alternative methods? There is no one right way to take care of your child and the fact that there is a National Breastfeeding Month at all is sad because THAT is highlighting the divide. It’s like Gay Pride and Black History Month and Women’s Awareness. I support ALL of these issues but the sad fact is, we shouldn’t HAVE to publicly announce our support for things that are just natural parts of life that should be accepted by everyone and no one has the right to judge anyone else for anything. And yes I’m fully aware that breast feeding vs formula feeding/pumping/anything else is a choice whereas being gay/black/a women is NOT a choice.

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      • 49

        Tiffany (The Boob Geek) says

        How would you feel if someone started a campaign during Gay Pride or Black History Month or a women’s issue month that highlighted how people deserve support even if they’re straight, white, or male? It would be considered pretty tacky to take the time to emphasize that even if you’re straight/not-black/male you still deserve support during this time.

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        • 50

          Jess says

          I see what you mean about the minority needing support, but depending on where you live and socio-economics, the minority/majority is often flipped. Where I live, EVERYONE, seriously everyone, is breastfeeding (or crying after months of desperately trying). Out of 20 moms in a weekly group, I was the only one using formula (and not crying about it). Luckily no one said a word. But if they did? If they had tried to make me feel bad? Then yes, I would say this movement is well timed.

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          • 51

            Jess says

            To add to that…again, where I live, all of the doctors and nurses specifically advocate, and are pushy about breastfeeding. So again, it really depends on where you live. Here, formula feeding is absolutely the minority.

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          • 52

            Tiffany (The Boob Geek) says

            I’m curious as to where you live. I live in a fairly progressive, pro-breastfeeding area by most standards, but breastfeeding is still woefully undersupported, and it definitely depends who your friends are, the doctors you see, and events you attend. If you’re an attachment-parenting type, you’ll be surrounded by breastfeeding. However, if I go out into the big, wide world, it’s a rarity to see a baby who is feeding at a breast (I realize that some moms may be feeding expressed milk, but if they do it is often because they’re having problems breastfeeding or because they don’t feel supported or comfortable breastfeeding in public).

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          • 53

            Jess says

            I live in northern NJ. The hospitals near me are very pro-breastfeeding. It is pretty much assumed that you will breast feed. I’m not an attachment-parenting type. The women in my mommy group all learned how to gracefully nurse in front of each other (the newest ones would watch how the more experienced moms used those cover ups…not they anyone felt they HAD to, but they wanted to learn how to do it that way). I’ve seen these same women nurse discreetly in public (for their own comfort). I’ve had friends come to my house and nurse right in front of me (including my sister, who lives in MD) with or without the cover up (and I don’t care either way).
            All of my coworkers have at some point pumped or talked about pumping (and they are not in my social circles).

            I agree that I don’t see a lot of nursing in public, but then again I’m either at work, home playing with my kids, or too busy in big world to pay any attention in the few hours I get to be out there :) I also never really see anyone bottle feeding.

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          • 54

            cait says

            WBW is a wonderful thing. I struggled with the choice to breastfeed over bottle feed my son before he was born. Finally, after urging from my mother and boyfriend, I chose breastfeeding. Were it not for the support of friends and family who also chose bfing for their children, I probably would have quit and gone with formula feeding instead. While in the hospital, I was offered formula for my son numerous times and had to practically shout before they would stop offering it. My nipples were cracked and bleeding, and my son–born at 10lb5oz–fed what felt like CONSTANTLY.. and then, at the height of his frequency feedings and what felt like days at a time spent doing nothing but feeding him, a package from enfamil arrived at our house (how they got my address, I don’t know) once again, if I hadn’t been supported and cheered on by other nursing moms I would have gladly accepted the relief that formula could have offered me. But thanks to them, I pushed through and am now on a regular feeding schedule and couldn’t be happier/more proud of myself for sticking with it.

            WBW isn’t about shaming women who don’t breastfeed, it’s about offering support and encouragement to women like me. Women who chose the more difficult path, were lucky enough to be able to do it, and stuck with it. Breastfeeding is hard. It’s emotionally taxing. And sometimes we need a little extra support to push through those first few weeks where it feels like you’ll never get off the couch again without a baby attached to your boob. If WBW can help one woman like me then how could that be a bad thing?

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      • 55

        Aimee says

        There’s no National Formula Feeding Month, but there is a LOT of formula advertising on TV all the time, every day. That’s a not-so-subtle message to us all that the bottle is the “proper” way to feed your baby (even if they throw in that little “breast is best” remark – that’s 2 seconds… the other 28 seconds are for Enfamil, or whatever). There’s no ongoing ad campaign for breastfeeding because there’s no money to be made on it.

        It’s kind of like how ads tell us over and over that using Mr. Clean, Pine-Sol, or Clorox is the “proper” way to clean your house, even if using non-toxic cleaners are cheaper, safer, and just as effective.

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  15. 57

    Melissa Rafe Perry says

    I wouldn't say it anyone's business, it is a personal choice always has been, there is just a push to make nursing normalized. That's the real issue. It's not so much one is better than then other, just one is ACCEPTED more than the other. The goal is to make walking past a nursing mother as uneventful as walking past a mother who is formula feeding. That's the black and white of it. It shouldn't be anyone's business how a mother feeds her child but unfortunately it is for lots of people.

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  16. 58

    Liz says

    And let’s not forget the mom’s who choose formula from the start for no health reasons at all. In these articles about formula fed babies, there is always a drastic reason why the mom switched. But there are plenty of moms who just don’t want to.

    I support you!

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