Welcome to Fearless Formula Feeder Fridays, a weekly guest post feature that strives to build a supportive community of parents united through our common experiences, open minds, and frustration with the breast-vs-bottle bullying and bullcrap.
Please note, these stories are for the most part unedited, and do not necessarily represent the FFF’s opinions. They also are not political statements – this is an arena for people to share their thoughts and feelings, and I hope we can all give them the space to do so.
This week’s FFF Friday is a bit different. Anna’s not a mom yet, but has some strong feelings about the pressure to breastfeed from a different perspective- that of a formula-fed child. She writes: ”I feel like so many women have palpable guilt about not being able to breastfeed, that I just wanted to write a reminder that formula fed babies grow up to be okay… I won’t be having kids for a few years, but the pressure to BF is so palpable. In fact, I’m already getting pressure from my boyfriend’s mother (she breastfed both of her kids). I have a few issues with my breasts that may interfere with future breastfeeding, and knowing that there’s a place to find honest discussion of the facts and support for whatever decision I have to make is so empowering. “
It should go without saying that babies don’t measure their bond with their parents by how they were fed (because that would mean none of us had a strong bond with our fathers), but it’s easy to lose faith in that due to the current atmosphere. So I hope you guys will find Anna’s point of view both refreshing and reassuring, even if it bothers me to no end that this even needs to be said.
Happy Friday, fearless ones,
My mother only had one week of maternity leave. Given that we were already having such a rough start, and the fact that my grandmother would be watching me nine hours out of the day, I was exclusively formula fed from that point on.
In 1989, my mother wasn’t aware that she was supposed to feel guilty for not breastfeeding. In 2013, not only am I already getting pressured to breastfeed my future children–never mind that I’m at least five years away from having them–but I have people tell me they’re sorry for me when they hear I was formula fed and born via c-section! I don’t feel like I was deprived. I have a mother who loves me, and that’s all that matters, then and now.