As an adult, you’ll never have reason to think about whether you were breastfed or formula fed
I have no idea if I was breastfed. None, whatsoever. I also have no idea if my partner was breastfed. Or my sister. Or any of the women I work with. Or my boss. Or Albert Einstein. Or Steve Jobs. Or Madonna.
When I take my two-year-old to the doctor for her recurrent ear infections, not once have I been asked if she was breastfeed exclusively (which she was for almost a year). It’s simply never come up in conversation, save for the immediate postpartum time when I was requesting a lactation consultant and when nurses were bugging me to log the times my newborns breastfed on a chart in the hospital.
Once you get past that time that you are breastfeeding or formula feeding your child, unless you are some sort of advocate you will virtually never speak about it again. Or care. But you wouldn’t know it if you pay attention to the internet. Because according to stories that surface about these so-called “feeding wars” — it’s something we all think about 24/7. Spoiler alert: it’s not.
There is a legitimate need for support for women who want to breastfeed. Lactation consultants should be as widely available as formula samples, simply because women should have choices. But it’s not a choice you should ever find yourself beating yourself up over. Because after this first year of your child’s life (or however long you continue to breastfeed) you will literally never think of it again. It will be on to the next stress, on to the next milestone, on to the next aspect of parenting you need to tackle.
The point is: don’t believe the hype. The most important thing that matters is that your child is getting fed and that you are happy. Whether it’s breastmilk or formula. People can argue about the benefits of one over the other until they are blue in the face — just let them.
There will always be a “debate” about which method of feeding is “superior” thanks to articles like one I read this morning called, If You Don’t Breastfeed I’m Judging The HELL Out Of You. If the headline’s not bad enough, here’s an actual quote from the article: “You’re a mammal. You’re built to lactate. When it fails, that’s sad. When it’s ignored, that’s a travesty defying nature and human biology. Why do you think your breasts became engorged? It wasn’t for kicks. Your doctor had to drug you to dry you up. That’s because you should be nursing your newborn.”
LOL. Mkay crazy lady. Bye. That’s my pro-tip for responding to mom-shamey drivel. No one cares about your baby more than you do. No one. So don’t let anyone make you feel bad about the decisions you make — especially one as personal as whether you want to feed your child from your breast. There are plenty of reasons it’s not an ideal choice for some women — and you never have to make an excuse. Whether the reason is, “There’s nowhere for me to pump at work” or “I just don’t fucking want to” — either one is equally as valid.
Guess what? “Were you breastfed?” is not a question that is going to come up for you as an adult, ever. You don’t need to put it on your college applications, your employer doesn’t care, and there are no trophies doled out to mothers who do it.
Try to remember this if you ever feel guilt about this aspect of parenthood: no one gives a shit if you were breastfed or formula fed. And if they do, they’re fucking weird.