Judgement Over Not Breastfeeding

There are a million parenting issues I’ve been judged for, but not breastfeeding my babies tops the list. How is this anyone’s business but mine?

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About the writer


What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Welcome to Scary Mommy!


Rhea 12 months ago

It is written in simple language from a person that is curious about the subject and wants to share with you his research.
Not only that – but there are some fats that are essential to
your diet – so eliminating them is actually working against your objectives.
Since you must burn a certain amount of calories a day to lose weight, exercise a lone will not let you achieve this.
It is a common term used in India, China, Japan and Korea.

Julia 2 years ago

I decided not to breastfeed either of my children because I didn’t want to, period end of story. I just wasn’t comfortable with it and had no desire to feed my children from me. Even after they were born, which was AMAZING, I still had no desire!! I am all for breast feeding. I think it’s beautiful and my friends that have done it they are awesome! I just did not want to!!! I got so many comments about how selfish I am, how my kids will be dumb, and one nurse even had the nerve to ask if I was on public assistance. (For the record were not even close, but they ask because a lot of women choose to formula feed if they are on assistance bc it’s free according to the nurse.) my kids are amazing, smart and doing so well I don’t regret anything about my choices. I just wish that it would have been respected as my choice vs. a public forum for society’s issues aka ‘moms like me’

It’s Me 2 years ago

What gets me is that some automatically think that bottle fed babies are not bonding with mom (because of bottle propping???). I bottle fed and rarely propped the bottle. Rarely even let my babies hold the bottle on their own until they were 8+ months and even then rarely. I (or their dad or grandparents if they were around) sat with them in my arms almost always when I fed both of them. I think that part bothers me most in the BF vs not issue. I loved those “mandatory” 10 minutes of quiet and rest and closeness. You don’t need to BF to achieve that.

Mia More 2 years ago

I am currently nursing my two week old son, but I have to be honest … If it weren’t for the fact that he is in NICU, I probably would have given up. It’s freaking difficult and frustrating and so stressful getting a decent start, and I didn’t even have any issues with supply. I can’t imagine how stressful it would be for a mom who has supply issues or flat nipples … or who is dealing with postpartum depression or just baby blues. Hell

Danika Myers 2 years ago

It truly bothers me how nosy other parents can be about your decisions with your children. I have a 6m/o son and actually lost some friends because of what they saw as my “decision” to bottle feed. Even after explaining to them I was incapable of breastfeeding. Couldn’t produce. He would have starved. But because they were breastfeeding THEIR baby, and didn’t BELIEVE in bottles, they couldn’t be my friends. Seriously, WTF, people?

Carol 3 years ago

While I do support breastfeeding I certainly don’t discriminate against or judge women who choose to formula feed their babies. What’s more important is doing what feels natural to you as the parent and it’s a shame really that women are judged. If you give baby bottles your judged, if you nurse in public you’re judged. It’s your child and you should do what you feel is right and works for you without the negativity of others disapproval.

Stephanie Bondurant 3 years ago

I think people are much more judgmental about how parents raise their kids nowadays & it's horrible to me that they do that. I always recommend breast feeding, but I realize that some women just can't. Let parents be parents. I promise, the children will be okay.

    Tara Kelly Carter 3 years ago

    The only thing that matters is that the kid gets fed. If it is hungry feed it by the best means at your disposal. There's no such thing as a perfect mother.

    Marina Barkley 3 years ago

    this would be me. my son was around 3 monthes old and still waking up about every 3 hrs to feed. i found out from my doctors nurse that i probably didnt have enough milk for him. she recommended supplementing with formula and he finally started sleeping through the night.

Kristi 3 years ago

Mothers need to be mothered and nurtured. This they can have the energy to do the same for their babies . I’m a nurse , and I support the Mom’s decision…it IS her baby to take home. I always tell moms it takes 18 years to bond LOL. It is her decision, and we should be cheering each other on, not turning food into a measure of your mothering.

Jessica 3 years ago

THANK YOU! for this post. I wish mom’s would stop judging each other. However a mom chooses to nourish her child is a personal decision. I think it’s important that all the information is available so a mom can make the best decision for her. The best mommy is one who is comfortable with the choices she makes. The best thing we can do as fellow moms is support each other in our choices.

Rebecca Lacheur 3 years ago

The fact of the matter is that there are some babies and Mamas that can not breast feed. This is hugely over-looked and looked down upon. What happened to these babies before formula you ask…they died. I have three babies the second I was able to breast feed without incident but the other two had a latch problem that probably would have killed them back in the day.

    Katie Spencer White 3 years ago

    You are so right! We have loads of archaeological evidence that even ancient mothers sometimes needed methods of artificial feeding. Breastfeeding is wonderful but it doesn't always work out the same for all women.

    Dawn 3 years ago

    There used to be a “wet nurse,” a servant who would nurse the babies of women who couldn’t. So rich babies were just fine if mama couldn’t produce milk. Babies who couldn’t latch were fed cow’s milk and wet oatmeal through a horn/funnel or dripped through a cloth. Trouble breastfeeding is not exactly a brand-new 21st century problem caused by selfish modern women.

Melina Savi 3 years ago

Completely agree, we need to do what's right for us because, ultimately (if we're not crazy and have the least bit of good sense), it will be the best for our children too. you rock!

breast is best 3 years ago

For those who decide to not breastfeed, please look into alternatives to formula. It is filled with gmo’s. I about gag when I read the ingredients on a container. Lots of home made recipes that are far more nutritous than commercial formula

    Wendy 3 years ago

    In fact, goats milk is almost identical to mother’s milk, and is an excellent substitution! You can find it in most healthfood stores, if not from a local goat farm. My second child was never a huge fan of breastfeeding. She did, but would get bored, or full very quickly, and never got the fatty hind milk, so I also gave her goat milk from a bottle. I knew it was organic, and very healthful, so I didn’t have to worry about the crap they put in some formulas or the fluoride they put in our water.

Jennie 3 years ago

I didn’t BF, had no intention of doing so so I didn’t. I was all psyched up for a barrage of harassment and never heard a single peep out of anyone! Perhaps it was my face that said don’t fuck with me LOL

Anyway ladies and gents, my argument what you feed your baby does not start and end with breast milk or formula. A happy mum = a happy baby and that’s really all that mattes.

Johanna Stein 3 years ago

Such a great message, and thanks hugely for the validation. I tried so hard to make breastfeeding work, but due to a bajillion factors (give or take), after 6 months I gave up, heartbroken. But once I got to other side and saw how fine everything was, and how great my daughter was, and that I had needlessly twisted myself/my baby/my family/my breasts into various pretzel shapes over it, I had to laugh… and so then I made a short comedy film about it, and turned those lemons into milk-curdled lemonade…!


maureen 3 years ago

I breast fed the oldest and bottle fed the youngest. I enjoyed breast feeding the oldest. The younger was born with cardiac issues and a bottle was so much easier for him and I could keep track on what he ate. I agree though the breast feeding police could be brutal.

Donna 3 years ago

Formula will never be better for your baby than breast milk, and in my opinion every mother should TRY to breastfeed for as long as possible be it 3 weeks, 3 months or 3 years. I understand there are sometimes medical reasons for not being able to breastfeed. And I understand how not being able to breast feed can affect a mother and make her feel like a failure. But if you have done everything you possibly can and it just doesn’t work out, you have nothing to be ashamed of or feel guilty about. However, a mother who has no medical issues but won’t breast feed because it’s ‘gross’ or ‘not practical’ or a myriad of other things I’ve heard. Well that’s a whole different story.

    Kelly 3 years ago

    No woman owes you, or anyone, an explanation about what they are doing with their body parts. Period.

Fran Oglesby 3 years ago

I teach baby and toddler classes with moms and their children every day as a Kindermusik teacher and have been fortunate over the past 15 years to meet many wonderful families. Some breastfeed, some bottle feed, some co-sleep, some use cribs, some vaccinate, some don't vaccinate, some are single moms, some are in relationship with men, some are with in relationship with women. The list of differences can go on ad infinitum. The thing they all share is that they love their children and do the best they can for them. That's what I focus on, that's what really matters. Anyone who has raised children knows the huge amount of work, worry, joy and unconditional love it brings, we don't need to make life harder by judging other moms. We are all doing the best we can so let's help each other instead.

Fran Oglesby 3 years ago

I teach baby and toddler classes with moms and their children every day as a Kindermusik teacher and have been fortunate over the past 15 years to meet many wonderful families. Some breastfeed, some bottle feed, some co-sleep, some use cribs, some vaccinate, some don't vaccinate, some are single moms, some are in relationship with men, some are with in relationship with women. The list of differences can go on ad infinitum. The thing they all share is that they love their children and do the best they can for them. That's what I focus on, that's what really matters. Anyone who has raised children knows the huge amount of work, worry, joy and unconditional love it brings, we don't need to make life harder by judging other moms. We are all doing the best we can so let's help each other instead.

Leslie Myers Sansom 3 years ago

I couldn't agree more! I went through the same thing! I tried with my son and it just didn't happen, for either of us. He didn't like it, and my milk never came in.But I was given "the look" from women and my nurse in the hospital made me feel horrible about it. I felt ashamed for not being able to do it. I couldn't believe these women who didn't know me, didn't know my problems would judge me. With my daughter, I didn't even try. I was so frustrated, still, from the effort I put in with my son and it never paid off, so I just didn't even try. Both of my kids are happy and healthy, make good grades, sleep well, hit all their milestones,…all without breast milk. I agree, you have to do what you think is best for your children. And we have to stop judging each other!

Angel 3 years ago

I sort of had the opposite problem. People having issues with me pumping for my girls.When #1 came along i was working for a group of psychiatrists in a large hospital. I was determined to feed my child my milk. Since i had to work I chose to pump. The logistical issues with finding the right amount of time, hoping the one lactation room avail in the entire hospital was available at that time,and storing the milk properly so it didn’t wig out my co-workers, making sure all my work was top-notch so no one could say “she’s using lactation as an excuse…blah blah” was so stressful. Then to continue to pump and feed her at home…twice the work. As well she wouldn’t gain weight and had to go for weight checks weekly. I made it 9mo with first kiddo. Second kiddo same work environment same issues (you’d think they would get it by this time) i lasted 5 months but due to her dietary needs vs mine i ended it at the 5mo mark. She was so much healthier within 24hours of me stopping. So the judgement goes both directions and i suspect it is determined by the area you live in. I say do whatever works for you.

Kelley 3 years ago

I have had a variety of experiences – I breastfed DD18 exclusively for 2 months and then introduced some formula as I couldn’t get a damn drop pumping. So she got a bottle now and then if I was out. I often gave her formula in public because breastfeeding in public was quite more frowned upon at that time than it is now. By 5 months we were doing AM and bedtime breastfeeding only with formula the rest of the time as she wanted to look around while feeding during the day and feedings were starting to take 90 minutes vs 40. DS15 only got breastmilk for 3 months. I couldn’t keep up with him and I developed PPD and had to go on meds. At that time, the only meds available meant you had to stop breastfeeding. And like another mom said, DS needed a sane mom more than he needed breastmilk.

I thank God for formula being developed as before such a nutritous product, lots of babies got sick or died when their mothers could not breastfeed. I’d rather give formula than find a wetnurse!!

We are not less of a mother because formula was involved. The nipple nazis are the offensive part of the breast vs bottle debate!!

Xtinews 3 years ago

We adopted my son when he was 6 weeks olds.After a couple weeks of trying to find the right formula I was so happy that he was eating and happy….until I went out into world here in Santa Monica (CA) when women would come up to me and say things like “why do you hate your baby? You should be breast feeding!”
My husband started calling them the “boob patrol”.

Samantha 3 years ago

I chose my mental health over breast feeding. The lactation consultant in the hospital insisted that it was normal for my son to feed 80 minutes on one side and 70 on the other (at each feeding). With latch issues that I couldn’t manage to correct, blistered and bleeding boobs, and the fact that I had less than an hour between each time he wanted to nurse, I became a basket case. After 4 weeks of crying (mine) I finally realized that I was on a one-way road to depression. I resented the quality time that my husband got with my son. I figured out that my son needed a healthy, un-crazy mommy more than he needed breast milk. Maybe it was selfish but I chose me so that I could help him in the long run. I agonized over the decision. I beat myself up over it long after I made the switch.

Sometimes I wonder if I truly felt judgement from other women or if I just assumed that they were judging me because I was judging myself?

If we have another child I will probably give it another try but I will not put the pressure on myself that I did before because it isn’t worth it!

Kelly 3 years ago

I echo the sentiments that no mother should feel as if she needs to explain why she doesn’t breastfeed, and I totally agree with Jill that not breastfeeding may very well be the single most parenting issue that mothers are judged for. I was on both sides of the fence, having breastfed one child and bottle-fed the other. I can honestly, honestly say I didn’t find one method better than the other. They each had their strengths and their weaknesses. I know the research that is out there; I know what we are supposed to think. But you will never hear me claim that my breastfed child has any advantage over my bottle-fed child due to method of feeding for the first months of life. In fact, if you didn’t know which was which, you would never be able to tell. With that being said, there is a really great breastfeeding book that just came on the market in the past year called “Milk Diaries: a compilation of practical, encouraging advice from the “real” breastfeeding experts” by Maggie Singleton. When I had trouble breastfeeding, I felt very judged by many, including breastfeeding manuals and books. But “Milk Diaries” is a different kind of book, made up of stories from everyday moms on all points of the breastfeeding spectrum. Some even gave up. It’s a nice resource for new moms who may need to find their own struggles and voice out there, which are most definitely not found in “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.”

Wendy 3 years ago

Amen! Stay true to yourself and your family and do you!

Nicole 3 years ago

I actually chose not to breastfeed because I didn’t want to. All of my friends breastfed and everyone one of them seemed so bloody miserable I just felt after 9 months of hell, yes I’m saying pregnancy sucked, I just wanted my body back. Guess what, I lost my pregnancy weight in five weeks without breastfeeding because I was healthy during my pregnancy!
I wanted to drink wine at night and coffee in the morning and I didn’t want to have to think about the damage it would do to my child. I am not being selfish, I’m just not being selfless, but the flack I’m getting from everyone from the nurses after delivery, my mother, my mother-in-law, my best friends, never mind random people caused me huge amounts of guilt. I actually lied to a few people and said I was on medication that prevented me from breastfeeding because of the way they made me feel. No new mother should be made to feel that way, where was my anti-la leche league for moral support!
I don’t know when breast feeding became a polite topic of conversation but it’s really no ones business but my own. Formula worked for me I just wish no one cared about my decision.

Megan S 3 years ago

YEP! All the things I see on FB about nursing moms being harrassed (along with all the support they receive), but no support for me who was harrassed when feeding my son a bottle (even if it contained pumped breast milk). I received lectures and ‘tsks’. Women would congratulate the nursing mom beside me, then give me the look of disdain. Women would comment on “what’s the use of having ginormous boobs if you’re not even going to nurse”. And of course, the classic “Well, you’re just not trying HARD enough.” that I had to hear a dozen times a week.

Nevermind what it took for me to get any spec of breast milk (permanent nerve damage from my boobs growing 7 sizes during pregnancy), pumping every hour, thru the night, for 6mos; trying to get my premie son to nurse, then feed him what I pumped, then feed him formula, then clean up and wear him while I double pumped. ACK!
and WTF?!
and MYOB!
Sigh (vent over, thank you)

    rabbitwithfangs 3 years ago

    Actually (and this was my experience) having a big rack can make it more difficult to breastfeed. The physics just aren’t kind to get a tiny baby mouth to latch onto something as big as a rockmelon, especially if you have inverted nipples. Someone making the ‘ginormous boobs’ comment in front of me would have felt a swift clip in the ear.

ashlee 3 years ago

I didn’t want to, so I didn’t. End of story.

Kara 3 years ago

Just because breast feeding is natural, doesn’t mean it comes naturally. It isn’t for everyone; and its no one else’s business either. No matter what your reason is, whether you breast feed or not, it’s the right reason for you and your baby.
I bottle fed all four of my kids, including my preemie. And all four of my kids are so stinking healthy, they’ve only been to the doctor for immunizations!
Whether people agree with what I did or not, it doesn’t matter, because it was the perfect choice for my children and me!

Joanne 3 years ago

Breastfeeding was incredibly easy for my first born and for me. I did it for almost two years. I plan on using formula and not breastfeeding at all when my second is born next month. Why? A couple reasons that are no one’s business but my own so I’m not even going to list them. I wish more new moms gave less of a fig what anyone else thinks or says. Don’t be shy about telling strangers to screw off; they’re not shy about doing exactly that to you, disguising it as “concern.”

Wendy 3 years ago

I. Didn’t. Want. To.
I didn’t even try or give it a second thought.

Actually made a little sign with a dripping boob with an X across it and posted it on the hospital door.

And I didn’t feel guilt or shame then . Or now.

Sarah 3 years ago

Ahh yes! I never had any intention of breast feeding and then my baby was born 10 weeks early. I was on so many drugs to keep my blood pressure down so I didn’t start seizing that I was basically in a coma. I went 30 hours after she was born before I got to see her. The first words out of the doctor’s mouth when I got to the NICU-“do you plan on breast feeding?” “…no” At which time he proceeded to lecture me about how I was hurting my 2 pound, 8 ounce miracle by denying her my milk….my mother-in-law then felt the need to chime in that maybe I should “give it a try” if it was best for the baby. After I infomercial the dr, my MIL, and my husband that they could hook the breast pump up to their boobs and give it a try, I pointed out that I was so doped up and would continue to be doped up bc of how sick I was, that pumping would be a waste bc she couldn’t eat it anyway. They made me feel like I was hurting my baby by not breast feeding, but in reality I would have been hurting her if I HAD! No one should have to go through that kind of pressure or guilt. It’s ridiculous what people think they are entitled to an opinion about!

Jmm 3 years ago

I formula fed all 3 of my girls. BECAUSE I WANTED TO! PERIOD!! And – my oldest is so damn smart that she scored 99% higher than all other kids in the COUNTRY for the gifted program. So- go take your self righteous judgements elsewhere bc you are WRONG if you are the type of person who thinks not breast feeding a baby is … Whatever judgy term you feel is self righteous.

Liz 3 years ago

I’m glad you put this out there. I didn’t want to breastfeed from the beginning for personal reasons, and it was horrible. My husband and I were publicly humiliated in a childbirth class where the instructor told me my son would be dumb and doomed to a life of obesity because I didn’t breastfeed, then someone I thought was a good friend called me, “selfish” even before he was born. It hurt, but in the end, it was the right choice, and I’m glad I stuck with it.

    Emily 3 years ago

    Good for you, Liz! I didn’t breastfeed, either. Not because I couldn’t, but because (gasp!!) I didn’t want to. I didn’t get the reaction you did from people close to me, but when I had some old friends come to visit, their jaws hit the floor when I said I didn’t breastfeed by choice. Everyone’s so accepting if you say, “I tried and I really wanted to, but I didn’t produce enough milk!”, but if you made a personal choice based on your temperament and personality, you are a horrible mother. I’m so sorry you had to go through what you did. It’s nobody’s business but our own how we feed our babies.

Amber 3 years ago

I wrote this blog post (link below) when my now healthy, intelligent, kind 2-year-old son was about 6 weeks old. I couldn’t agree with Jill more. I just wish I had been less hard on myself at the time. Pregnant with Baby #2 now, I feel more empowered to do what works for my baby and for me, believe in my parenting abilities, and tell the “Nipple Nazis” to back off!

Jessica 3 years ago

I did not breast feed. And, I have to say I was not given grief about it at the hospital by the nurses. Most likely because every time I would try to get him to latch (mind you, I had major complications from my c section and was dealing with getting myself better) he would not latch and I would sit there crying my eyes out. I honestly think the nurses were afraid I was going to fall into a depression if they said anything. Actually, come to think of it..if I had tried to breastfeed for any longer and if my son had lost anymore weight, I probably WOULD have fallen into a deep depression..postpartum hormones are CRAY-ZEE. If I have another I will probably try at first but if it doesn’t work, I won’t be as heart broken. Also, because of the shock I was in after having my son and the drama we went through after my c section..I was pretty happy when my husband’s and my first date night came along (6 weeks postpartum) and I could leave baby with my mom over night and get a good night’s sleep. Although I would never disagree with the healthiness of breast feeding, there has to be something said for the mental toll it takes on a person as you can not leave your child’s side for pretty much the first three months of their lives. But, to each their own! As long as your child is fed, happy and loved..that’s all that matters!!

Jenney 3 years ago

My 2 cents: I think breastfeeding is the best way to go. I think a lot of moms quit too early and think they can’t when they actually can if they had the right support and education. That being said, it’s no one else’s business how you feed your baby. If you don’t want to breastfeed, you shouldn’t. I can’t imagine it would be much of a bonding experience if you feel resentful or exasperated when holding your infant. If formula works better for you then go for it. Certainly there are more important things to worry about in the lives of children.

    Tiffany 3 years ago

    I’m sorry, but there are many of us who had all of the support in the world to breastfeed, but when you’ve had help from multiple lactation consultants, Peds, nurses and breastfeeding friends and it still doesn’t work… not to mention the frustration and pain that a bad experience brings can bring on a really bad bout of post-partum. I had all the help and education in the world, but I had to give up after 2 1/2 weeks when he wasn’t gaining weight and my milk wasn’t increasing in supply.

    There is just so long you can survive with a baby who refuses to latch properly and a supply that isn’t enough to feed your baby. It was devastating to give up, but I was teetering on the edge of the abyss and I worried what might happen if I continued to try. Now my little guy is thriving on formula, and even hitting milestones early. I still wish we had been able to do it, and I plan to try next time, but I am not beating myself up for switching, and no one else should either.

      Jenney 3 years ago

      I didn’t say every. I said a lot. Some people can’t, I get that. Some people don’t want to and some want to, but give up early because of a lack of support and education.

    Dawn 3 years ago

    The fact that we all feel the need to swear that we WOULD have breastfed for 2 years, and defend why it didn’t work in graphic and personal details is the reason that people like Jenney think, “Oh, if you only had the right {whatever] it would have all been just peachy for you. Let me now educate you about what you should have done better.” Just say it didn’t work out and let it be.

    Jenney, who are you to judge what other moms can and can’t do?? Your comment is exactly the kind of garbage that needs to stop. “You think you can’t but you actually can with the right support and education, you poor, uneducated, inferior mother.” Cut it out.

Karon 3 years ago

I couldn’t breastfeed either; my oldest wouldn’t latch at all, and my youngest latched so hard immediately after birth that he bled me. On top of that, I simply couldn’t produce even half what my kids needed to live.

I gave up trying at about 6 weeks for both boys. I gained my sanity, increased my sleeping time, decreased my pain, and gave my boys a mother who wasn’t on the brink of a breakdown.

8 and 11 years later, I have one kid who is almost 2 years ahead in both math and english, and another who is athletically adept at everything he tries. Formula didn’t hurt my kids, and the consequences had I continued to beat my head against the brick wall of breastfeeding would have been disastrous.

Andrea 3 years ago

Yep – I completely agree. This is a decision that every mother has the right to make on her own. I personally wasn’t able to bf due to health related issues, but my kids both turned out just fine. Regardless of what others think about your decision it’s no one’s business buy yours and no mother should be shamed because of it.

Gingersnap 3 years ago

While I do think breast milk is superior to formula, I do not think moms should torture themselves and or each other over this issue. Seriously. I have got a looong list of better things to do.

    Jenney 3 years ago


    Brandi 3 years ago

    This is so true!

    Gingersnap 3 years ago

    I have a bit more to add.

    One of my BFFs tried so hard to nurse. She had lactation consultants (plural). She talked to her doctor, nurses and me. (I did breast feed my kids.) She wanted so badly to breast feed her kid, but it wasn’t happening. After weeks, she was so frustrated and tired and depressed. I urged her to stop trying after she’d been trying for a month. Being a new mom is really hard without crucifying yourself over this issue. She was bawling. She felt inadequate and was feeling resentment towards the baby for not breast feeding. It was ruining so much precious time with her son. There was no need for all of that.

    >>I am not a superior mother because my kid and my tits cooperated.<<

Meghan 3 years ago

YES. After a bout of mastitis and a baby boy who was losing weight, the lactation nurse looked at me on visit #6 or 7 (they all ran together at that point!) and said, “look, it’s not working. He will be healthier eating formula.” She was great, but I was DEVASTATED. It surely didn’t help that other moms often approached my bottle-fed baby as though he were being fed rat poison by someone who couldn’t be bothered to feed him properly. It was shocking. Baby boy #2 is due in October, and I will feel no guilt whatsoever if nursing doesn’t work. The first one is too smart for his own good and has a minor Oedipus complex, so I think he managed okay despite the Enfamil.

Deborah 3 years ago

I breast fed my two older boys, who are now teenagers. I now have a 7 month old. I would have loved to breast feed him too. I wasn’t able to, however, due to a necessary medication that I cannot go without. It took a lot of research to determine if it was safe or not. When it came down to it, nothing said it wasn’t a problem, but there was nothing saying it was safe either. We decided not to risk it and decided on formula. Even though I was having a scheduled c-section, I still wrote a birth plan, mostly to provide nurses information about my medical condition. The most important thing I included in that plan was that we had decided on formula and I did not want any well-meaning nurse to come in making me feel bad for not nursing him. They respected it to the letter, and even though I was in recovery for 6 hours due to complications, they brought my son to me so I could give him his first bottle.

Fiona 3 years ago

So, here’s what I’ve got to add…..never in my life have I been asked in a job interview, a school application, or anywhere else if I was formula or breast fed. I am pretty sure my children won’t be either. I made a decision that was best for me, my children and my family (and yes, I’m intentionally not saying what I did – because it doesn’t matter). My children are healthy, and growing…..it’s sad that people make judgments on things like this…..take care of your children the best way you see fit – formula or breast milk….what matters is LOVE!

    sally 3 years ago

    So perfectly stated, Fiona!

Jen 3 years ago

I think it’s simply awful how some folks get so worked up on how you are, or are not, feeding your baby. Isn’t the fact that the baby is being fed, nurtured & cared for what is really the most important thing?!? It shouldn’t matter if you breast feed or bottle feed your child.

Stacey 3 years ago

I appreciate this post & the comments but why do we all have to quantify our decision not to breast feed? So far each of you has offered a reason & said I so wanted to but couldn’t for x reason. That is fine but does that mean that if you just didn’t want to bc of a personal reason/choice should you be judged/condemned/whatever? Just my thoughts….

    ashlee 3 years ago


    CEMomma 3 years ago

    This is what makes it so infuriating. Mothers have been judged and ridiculed so consistently for not breast feeding that now even when they speak out against the judgement, they feel the need to defend themselves. I still defend my breast defects that caused me to be unable to breastfeed, even though the reality is after trying for 2 months to feed my child I was in so much pain that I wouldn’t have lasted much longer anyway. I couldn’t see it as bonding time when I was dreading feeding him.

Melissa 3 years ago

Thank you for this. I was unable to nurse my first child and now number two is on the way. I too felt judged and appreciate knowing there are others who share in the sentiment that it should be a mother’s business and not the world’s. Thank you for making me relax!

Essie 3 years ago

Oh thank you for this! You hear about people being criticized for breast feeding but not where I am. If you don’t nurse in the northeast you are either assumed to be neglectful or completely ignorant and unaware of the breast is best message attached to everything even formula commercials.

I didn’t because it was so difficult with my first that trying was causing far bigger problems for my infant. I was so scared of losing my mind again I didn’t even try for my 2nd. My kids are incredibly healthy and smart and social. They were also circumcised and I don’t hover over them with organic snacks at the playground. Oh well!

    Nicole 3 years ago

    Love it!!!!!

Pamela Roberts Griffith 3 years ago

I was surprised when I had my first baby and asked my (public health nurse) mom about her breastfeeding experience, only to be told that she didn't nurse any of her three children. It was the 70s – formula was "in" and breastfeeding was for hippies and the poor who couldn't afford formula – which was, at the time, considered superior to mother's milk. Despite this, I'm happy to say, we all turned out normal, productive and caring people.

    Lynn M. Roberts 3 years ago

    Ahem…laLeche league was active in the 60's and early 70's..economic situation wasn't a factor ..bottle feeding was more popular than breast…my mom breast fed 7 kids in the 40's and 50's ….working mom's went back to work after 6 weeks so it wasn't practical….women's movement changed it and gave you the choices you have today!

    Craig Roberts 3 years ago

    "Normal, productive and caring"…hahahahahahahhahahaa…ummm…yes…put me down for a yes…

ML 3 years ago

Thank you Jill for this post. I so wanted to breastfeed and couldn’t because I wasn’t physically able to. People were so horrible and mean…and it started with the nurses in the hospital. They pressured me and were almost like bullies. No new mom needs this and I agree, my kids are just great!!


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