>Sharks vs. Jets Breast vs. Bottle

  1. >This article is a must-read.http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200904/case-against-breastfeedingI nursed 3 kids for between 8 and 13 months. I loved it and had no problems, but like you said, some moms have their reasons. I do think the best thing about it is that it forces you to stop what you’re doing and focus on your baby. Believe me, when you’re on child #4, that’s a blessing.

  2. juli says:

    >I breastfed both of my children, but only for the first two months. They both gave me thrush, I didn’t find out until my second child that that was the issue. I felt horrible about switching to the bottle, but breast feeding was a painful ordeal for the entire two months. I made my husband promise not to tell my mother or sister for fear that they would judge me for bottle feeding. Of course my secret came out and I wasn’t judge harshly or otherwise by anyone. My reasons for breastfeeding were good ones, as were my reasons for bottle feeding. Both of my kids were healthy pudgy babies, while on the breast and while on the bottle.

  3. Jenn says:

    >It never occurred to me to actually blog about bottle feeding. At first, I felt horrible when I had to stop breastfeeding my son, but he just wasn’t gaining weight. (In fact, he LOST 1 lb, 9 ounces his first week and a half.)Now, I’m just angry I felt pressured to breastfeed him as long as I did when it clearly wasn’t working for him.Thanks for the post–maybe I’ll be blogging about bottle feeding this week. 🙂

  4. Trilby says:

    >I did not breast feed either of my boys. They are healthier and have had fewer colds than my best friends baby that she breast fed for two (TWO) entire years! I tried to breast feed both of my boys, but in the end, with swollen, cracked, bleeding nipples and myself going bald from stress, I just gave it up. I was dangerously close to losing my grip on sanity and reality. I switched to formula around 4 weeks of age with both my children. They are 2 years old and 6 months old now and healthy as they can be. I don’t regret my decision at all. I know this was what was best for ALL of us, hubby included. And if I have another child, I don’t think I’ll put myself through that again. I think I’ll just start with formula from the start. I will, however, continue to encourage my friends and family to give breast feeding a shot. Everyone’s different and they’re experience will most likely be different than mine. But I also want them to know that it’s OK if it doesn’t magically just happen. And that they’re not failures as mothers. I think it’s more important to have sane and loving mother that’s doing her very best, than have a mom that’s been bullied into whatever method she’s using. I’m not saying that breast isn’t best for the baby. I’m just saying that i made a CHOICE that was in the best interest of my family, and that choice was to bottle feed formula.

  5. >Although my breasts are actually man-boobs, I’ll join in anyway.If you want to hear in-depth discussion of bottle feeding, find some adoptive parents. It’s easy to not feel guilty about it, when you have no other choice.Well, OK, there IS a way to breastfeed as an adoptive mother, but one has to go to such extreme measures to do it, very few try. Plus, our kids are usually started on the bottle before they get to us, so it doesn’t make sense to change things.We bottle fed, and although my kids turned out to be self-centered and snarky, I doubt their infant feedings ahd much to do with it.

  6. Amy Kraft says:

    >”And I know in my heart that a happy mother is better for a baby than all the breastmilk in the world.” It took me three, long, tear-filled, heartbreaking weeks to realize that. I had almost zero milk supply, that didn’t increase no matter what I tried or how many lactation consultants I saw. The pressure I put on myself to breastfeed, not to mention the societal perspective that breastfeeding is the ONLY way to feed your baby, keep me pumping every hour (even through the middle of the night) instead of spending time with my baby (or sleeping). 4 years later I am guilt free and my daughter’s healthy as can be. I say power to all moms no matter how you feed your baby!

  7. >I did not breastfeed. I had a breast reduction in 2001. Not that it really impacted my choice to breastfeed either. I’m selfish and didn’t want to breastfeed. I don’t think any of my friends breastfed either. Maybe we are all selfish Orange County girls. In real life, I never have to defend my choice. It seems that the only people who are freaky about breastfeeding are online. The birth boards and baby forums are really rough on you when you post about choosing not to breastfeed.But really, umm..They can go to work and do my 11 hour shift 4x a week…and pay my bills if they would to argue with my decision.

  8. Kathy N. says:

    >I don’t think mothers should be at war over this one (or anything else, really). But I do think there is still a larger culture that doesn’t support breastfeeding as much as it could. I had a lot of the problems described so far in these responses (thrush, cracked, bleeding nipples, baby’s weight loss and slow gain), and I fought through all of those problems with a lot of support from La Leche League, my MIL who had breastfed, and a lot of books, too. Then, after all that, nursing my second baby was a breeze and a dream come true. So I just wish we had a culture that supported breastfeeding more. I think my husband and I are done having kids, but I honestly wish I could have another baby for the reason Jenn@Juggling Life said—so that I could have the magical lying-down nursing (and watching TV!) time with my new baby.Anyway, more support. Less judging, b/c judging never comes across as supportive.

  9. Beth says:

    >I breastfed my first for 6 months, then weaned to a bottle when pumping and working full time no longer produced enough milk to count. I felt guilty about it for 1 day, then I was over it. I’m happy to say I did both.When I had my twins, I stayed at home so I wanted to save as much money as possible. My goal was to breastfeed them until they weaned themselves. And I did, at 15 months. It was hard at times (1 bad case of mastitis) but honestly overall it was so easy. I am proud that I did it. My firstborn is the healthiest of the three. The twins have life threatening food allergies to peanuts, treenuts, eggs, mustard, seasonal allergies, asthma, etc… Something to that? Coincidence? I don’t know.I did spend a little time on my high horse when bf’ing the twins but stepped down quickly. There’s nothing high horse about it, you do what you have to do, what WORKS for you. I honestly think nursing even a single day is better than none. But if you aren’t the type to do it, then you aren’t the type. You are probably good at something else I suck at. Like routines, or cleaning, or having dinner ready in a timely manner and not getting takeout. Or following through with discipline….i’m trailing off….

  10. >Great topic! I was also a breastfeeder. however, one of my best friends has MS and had to get back on her meds ASAP after delivery to avoid a relapse, so breastfeeding was not an option for her. She really wanted to do that for her children, so she breasfed for a week and pumped like crazy the whole time so that she had enough stored milk for another week. From there on, the babies were on formula. And now they are happy, healthy, intelligent children. I think pretty much everyone would agree that breast is ‘best’, but that doesn’t mean ‘the only acceptable way.’ What every child needs is a mother who is devoted to them, who does their best for them, and who loves them more than anything. If you are all of those things, then it won’t matter where your baby’s next meal comes from.I agree with your point that we all choose to do/not do certain recommended things, so we have no right and no reason to get self-righteous about how others prioritize them. Motherhood is a tough boat to be in, and we should be helping each other row, not drilling holes in the floor.

  11. amy says:

    >I’m something of a lactivist, lol, and so I’m VERY pro-breastfeeding.I think the real problem is lack of education. Even in the comments, I see women who likely could’ve done it successfully, had they been given the proper resources.While I recognize that it’s not for everyone, I also believe it IS for most moms. It’s best, period, and there’s science to prove it (no “seems” there, it just IS). Those who TRULY can’t, shouldn’t be made to feel badly on top of it, but as for those who can and just don’t….I think a certain amount of guilt and pushing in that case is appropriate.

  12. Exmoorjane says:

    >Halleluyah for this post. I couldn’t breastfeed – my son was starving as he simply wouldn’t feed and I couldn’t express enough milk to keep him satisfied. This was ten years back and the pressure on me was enormous and I was made to feel HUGELY guilty about not breastfeeding. What made me very angry was that there was no talk whatsoever in our pre-natal classes about what might happen if you couldn’t breastfeed -the intimation was that every woman can and should and must. I wrote about this in a UK daily newspaper and had a huge response (sadly not archived on the web). Even all this time later it still makes me very angry when women are made to feel guilty for something often entirely out of their control. btw, some experts say that breast milk is actually contaminated by all the toxins we ingest (but that’s a bit naughty of me to bring up here)…..

  13. Mental Momma says:

    >One of the worst parts about this argument is the implication that the breastfeedding choice is the only correct one. You can be forgiven if you tried and failed, but Lord help the women insightful enough to know it wasn’t going to work for them in the first place. I wish I had been one of them. There are many traditions, including the village wet nurse, that have fallen away and in today’s society it is extremely hard for a working mom (even part time, as was my case) to nurse. Though it has always been the “natural” choice, it wasn’t something you did on your own, locked in a bathroom stall with a breast pump or stranded in your car at the grocery store with a hungry baby. Though it was no day at the spa,there was a support network of sorts if a mother was healing from childbirth, or waiting for her milk to come in, or suffering from cracked nipples, or any one of the miserable side affects. Then there is the fact that nursing, at least for the first six months, is a full time job, and many women already have one.

  14. >I was really happy to be part of this BlogHer BackTalk. I blogged about it too on my blog and addressed a bit the issue of the “perfect” mother. http://www.phdinparenting.com/2009/05/06/why-i-blog-about-breastfeeding/I think your post is great and you address a number of important points and issues. However, I take offense to the use of the term “nazi” when associated with breastfeeding advocates. I wrote about that last night because I keep seeing it more and more and am really hoping we can rid the world of this term, except when using it to refer to people that actually did kill millions of people. http://www.phdinparenting.com/2009/05/07/breastfeeding-nazis/

  15. >Anne, sounds like a great campaign to take to Mirriam-Webster.

  16. Bren says:

    >I only breastfed exclusively I think for 2 weeks. My daughter just wasn’t getting what she needed and was constantly hungry. I still pumped and did half breast milk and half formula until it was time for her to go to daycare (at 11 weeks). I felt guilty at first when she had problems feeding – but as soon as she started getting enough food and I knew that had been the problem – all guilt went away. There is no right and wrong – as long as the baby eats isn’t that the most important thing?

  17. >Hey Lindsay :)I bottle-fed all my kids and have to say they’re all fine! I did try to nurse but it didn’t work out and I didn’t feel bad about it. I never looked for online discussions from other women who talked about breastfeeding because, honestly, I didn’t really care as much what other women were doing.To be honest, the only time I ever felt guilty about not nursing is when my boys were diagnosed with asthma and allergies. I always heard nursing your kids makes them healthier and less prone to these types of conditions. But, when I talk to my girlfriends who have nursed and their kids have asthma and allergies too, I quickly get over it. Obviously, nursing is great for so many reasons as you point out.I happened to mention in a post of mine that I was bottle feeding and I did get a troll comment that I was a horrible mom for doing that. I just disregarded that (as I do with negative comments) because people really don’t understand why we chose not to. And, I would never think to speak ill towards a mother for making the best decision for her child and family.Good topic. Surely it will create some discussion!

  18. >I did not breastfeed either of my boys. (insert gasp here) I didn’t even try. I didn’t even have the desire to try and before I get lynched, let me give you my reasons:My first born was premature and the only way to feed him was through a tube. By the time he came back home at six weeks, my milk had dried up and I bottle-fed him and I never gave it a second thought, or had a guilty feeling about it; I was simply more concerned that he continue breathing through the night.Since I had raised my firstborn on the bottle and knew the routine in my sleep (and it worked great and my firstborn grew so fast and without any difficulties), breastfeeding my second simply wasn’t an option with me; I simply did not have any desire to go down that road when I knew how easy it would be to bottle feed him. (Well, if you can call sterilizing everything I put into my baby’s mouth easy, but it was easy for me because I just made it work for us). For me, it was an open-ended solution leaving me free to concentrate my energy and attention on other avenues of our lives.Sure, breastfeeding is best, but for whom? For those that desire it? For those that can make it work? Perhaps even for the baby? All I know is that breastfeeding simply wasn’t going to work for me. My children are fine today and I have to echo another commenter – my boys haven’t been, nor are today, sick very often. Is this because of good genes? Because they were bottle fed? Who knows? All I know is, it worked for me, it made my life easier and as a result, I was a happier mother than I would have been if I had been weighed down with guilt over not choosing to breastfeed (with my second, anyway) or battling bruised and bleeding nipples and feeling terrible both physically and emotionally because I was trying too hard to conform to society’s expectations.Maybe I’m lacking a crucial mothering instinct. Perhaps I’m selfish and cold. Maybe I’m a lazy cow. But ladies, breastfeeding simply isn’t for everyone. If that’s your bag? Great. But please, don’t look down your noses at moms who either choose not to breastfeed, for whatever reason, or can not breastfeed, for whatever reason. The bottom line is – we all did (or are doing) the best we know how in order to raise healthy and well-adjusted children.And considering this little thing called motherhood doesn’t come with a manual? It’s all we CAN do.(Sorry for the novel-length comment – let the flaming begin).

  19. Miss Grace says:

    >I breastfed my son for a year and a half. I don’t have a problem with mom’s bottle feeding, but it does really bother me when mothers say things like, well I bottle fed and my son is HEALTHIER than yours. As if that has anything to do with it. Your baby’s healthy, my baby’s healthy, we both did what we thought was best, why do you have to try to make on things seem like it’s better than the other?I guess it’s a reactionary thing to mom’s feeling overly pressured to breastfeed when it’s not working out for them personally, but it’s a pet peeve of mine.

  20. >Hi, have found that original feature and posted it on my new blog (where I put the serious stuff). In case you’re interested, here’s the link….http://brutallyfrank.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/breast-may-be-best-but-bottle-isnt-bad/hmm, not sure that’s working – but click on my identity and it should whizz through.

  21. Cindy B. says:

    >I breastfed my daughter for the first 3 months and then bottle-fed her from that point on. She was a premie (7 weeks early), so I wanted to give her the best chance at not getting sick that I could and I knew that breastmilk was best for her in that respect.It was very difficult at first. She couldn’t suck, swallow, breathe when she was born, so I spent the first 2 weeks pumping so the doctors and nurses could give her my milk through her tube (through her nose and into her stomach – NG tube? I can’t remember it’s been so long). I think that really impacted my milk production because once she came home from the hospital she still wasn’t eating a lot and my body was only making what she needed, but she suddenly had a voracious appetite and would wake up ever hour to hour-and-a-half to eat.Neither of us were happy. I was turning gray from the lack of sleep and was in school full-time (some classes online, thank goodness), so I’d have to pump enough to have her dad feed her while I was at class and make enough to feed her myself, which, in theory, should have increased my milk production but never really did. She couldn’t get enough sleep. My mom and my doctor were worried about my health and I told them that as long as I got her to her first shots I would stop if I couldn’t keep up with her anymore.When she got her 3-month-old shots and couldn’t realistically keep up, I stopped gradually by supplementing formula in between breat milk until I didn’t have any more milk (it took about 4-6 weeks) and have never looked back and thought that I was a bad mother for not continuing breastfeeding.Do I wish I could have continued? Sure. Will I try it again? Absolutely. But a bad mother or guilty? No way. If anything, I’m proud of what I accomplished.

  22. little kit says:

    >I tried to breastfeed for seven weeks but it was like all the odds were stacked against me. I had a traumatic childbirth experience which involved a great deal of blood loss. My baby was a slow eater and would take a full hour to nurse. I tried pumping, but I wouldn’t get much of anything. Not one of the medical professionals I dealt with ever mentioned that recovering from major blood loss would result in a harder time to breastfeed. One of them told me that after 5 weeks of driving myself crazy trying to do the “right” thing. If one of them had just taken a moment to explain that at the beginning, I wouldn’t have worried about it all so much. Once I stopped trying and went to formula feeding, we all became a lot happier.

  23. >Amy, I don’t think guilt is ever appropriate, for any mom. We just don’t know what’s going on for each mother under the surface. She may be physically able to nurse and feel like she’s emotionally at the end of her rope. Her baby is most likely going to be just fine, whether or not she breastfeeds.And while there’s often talk about “education,” I just don’t think that’s an issue for most of the women out there that you know. Any woman who makes regular OB visits is going to hear more than she ever wanted to know about breastfeeding. A lactation consultant visited me every day in the hospital after I had both my babies and made sure they were latching on correctly. I received all kinds of breastfeeding handouts, and a phone number I could call at any time for help and advice. We are basically beaten over the head with the knowledge that “breast is best.” Maybe since that is the case, as mothers, we could back off of each other.

  24. Darth Doc says:

    >My wife attempted to breastfeed our first child. She was only able to last 3 weeks. A combination of mild postpartum depression, feeling confined (as she is very private and would never breastfeed in public), and mastitis ended it pretty quick.WIth our second child, when he was born, she looked at him lovingly, looked at me and said, “He looks hungry, feed him a bottle.” It was liberating for her, and bottle feeding allow me to participate more than I otherwise would have.The medical benefits of breastfeeding are trivial, at best. There may be some psychological, but I doubt that as well. As best I can tell, the largest provable benefit is to the wallet, as formula is expensive.The reality is that it is a personal choice and parents should not be faulted for going either way.Cheers

  25. Amanda says:

    >I find this topic interesting because it seems where I live, breastfeeding is not at all that popular. I was the first in my entire family (including sister-in-laws and cousins around my age) to breastfeed. Well, I guess my grandmother and the generations before there was formula did, but you know what I mean. I was also the first of my close friends to and since me, only one other of my close friends has bf’d longer than 3 months.Some don’t try at all, turning their noses up at it. And most lasted about 2 weeks. I breastfed both of my kids for a year, well, my son weaned at a year and I’ll probably start the weaning process at a year with my daughter. I worked with my son and pumped. I’ve worked parttime with my daughter, but have been lucky enough to be close enough to her to feed her on lunch breaks and stuff (of course I don’t get to eat..). I love(d) breastfeeding and although it wasn’t always easy, I had cracked, bleeding, blistered nipples at first with both kids, too, and have gone through low supply issues and had to work to increase my supply, I made sacrifices (like increasing my food intake and decreasing my exercise even though I wanted to lose weight, drinking gallons of water, taking herbs, and pumping a million times a day) to make it work because it was super important to me. I feel like I’m in the minority, though. I feel like most people assume you will bottle feed and kind of look at you funny when you explain you are breastfeeding. And even if you do breastfeed, people think you are crazy if you do so for longer than three months and they look at you like you have 6 heads if you are still going after 6 months. And God forbid, you breastfeed in public. I feel like my friends are very “up” on the bottle-fed argument. They tell everyone they meet how horrible breastfeeding was and how easy bottle feeding is (I couldn’t disagree more). So, what I wonder is… is it where I live? Or is it just my insecurities? Is it in my imagination? Do people look at me incredulously because they are impressed or horrified?I know one time when I brought this up with a friend who did not breastfeed, she said she felt the same way for not breastfeeding. But, I have to say that I don’t see people get the same shocked stares when they pull out a bottle in public as I get when I pull out my.. well, you know. (Just kidding, I nurse very discreetly and under a cover, but still).For what its worth, I do believe strongly in breastfeeding, but also believe that a happy mommy is the most important thing. I have friends who tried to breastfeed who cried every single time they had to feed to their baby. It should not be that way. I agreed that if they felt that way, they should stop and they were happier when they did. But, I just don’t understand why it was that way. I guess I was just really lucky.Yes, of course formula babies are fine and happy and healthy. Nothing wrong with it. My husband and I are both formula babies and we are healthy, happy, intelligent, successful people. But we joke about what we “could have been” had our mothers breastfed us, oh, and not smoked while they were pregnant with us :0

  26. Amanda says:

    >See, about the education thing, too. I don’t feel that way here. My OB never even mentioned breastfeeding to me. There was a class offered at my hospital, but I had find it. There was no lactation consultant at my hospital, and it was called ______ Hospital for Women. My nurse helped me and thank goodness, the one I had right after delivery was good because none of the others even asked me how it was going. And my pediatrician told me on more than one occassion, “Breastfeeding is not for everyone.” As if I should stop.Is it just where I live? It is a medium sized city, for goodness sakes! Its not the hills.

  27. catnip says:

    >For those of us who didn’t breastfeed I think we always feel like we need to justify ourselves. Like you better have a really good reason or risk being labeled a bad mother by the lactivists.I don’t blog about it because the last thing I need is the negativity and judgment that invariably pops up in comments on this subject.

  28. Funky Kim says:

    >I didn’t breastfeed either of my daughters. And they have both grown into beautiful, lovely young women. When pressed for my reasons for not even attempting to breast feed, I’ll give them. But I really want it just known that I chose the bottle. And it turned out OK.By the way, they also slept on their tummies. And they lived!I was such a rebel mother.

  29. Carrien says:

    >I think there is such earnestness from the breastfeeding side because American culture is still so largely resistant to the idea of breastfeeding. While mothers may be sick of the topic, there is a lot of difficulty encountered by women who want to nurse in a hostile environment. They need to be vocal in order to get things to change.Personally I’m fascinated by the responses of women who had difficulty with breastfeeding when they learn I’m still nursing my 2 year old, or that my babies were exclusively breastfed for the first 9 months. They are very dismissive and assume, in the case with my two year old, that I’m not really making milk any more. I assume it’s simply because their own experience was different from mine. But the reaction puzzles me.

  30. >I like have been on both sides of the breastfeeding vs bottlefeeding issue. My son was tongue tied, my nipples were flat, I had post partum depression, and I was a 20 year old college student 600 miles away from my family and lifelong friends. I tried to breastfeed and despite nipple shields and daily visits to a lactation specialist my son lost weight, became dehydrated to the point he had orangeish rusty urine, and had to be put under a lamp for jaundice. I was at the end of my line and a wonderful nurse told me that she bottle fed and her baby (then 6 was just as healthy and smart as her peers) and gave me a big hug as I cried feeling like the ultimate failure. She sent me home with a can of formula and a breast pump with instructions to mix my milk with the formula so my son could get 2 ounces every couple of hours. My husband helped feed the baby and I got some sleep. Yet I constantly felt like I had to defend my choice to people who saw him bottle feeding. I’d say “he couldn’t latch on” or “that bottle has some breast milk in it” I couldn’t be happier when that phase passed mainly because he ended up being lactose intolerant and soy milk made him poop rocks, so I had to buy $50 formula every week or so.Three years later I was working on my masters degree and I educated my self more on breastfeeding I was hell-bent on it working this time. I even wore breast shells for inverted nipples before giving birth. She latched on like a pro. I did so well that she wouldn’t even take a bottle or pacifier, which at times was a little crazy. For example, I had to nurse her on my breaks during class so that she wouldn’t scream at her dad the whole time I was gone. I still had lingering guilt about the first one not breastfeeding as well as the second. I would mix my breast milk with chocolate milk mix and give it to my older child. I breastfed her in public with pride despite dirty looks and comments. I felt extremely bonded, but my husband didn’t. He felt like it wasn’t until she weaned at 22 months that she really cared if he was around or not. Both of my children have allergies despite one being breastfed, both of my children are large for their age despite one being bottle fed, and both of my children are loved no matter how they were fed as infants and surely that is all that truly matters.

  31. purejoy says:

    >i breastfed both of my kids.and i worked full time.and i even had to visit the la leche league with my first kid when i got a plugged duct. they helped. alot. but the two year old kid hanging off her left breast left me slightly creeped out.i remember trying SO hard to make it as a breastfeeding mom even though i would cringe every two hours when boy wonder would wake and want to nurse. i sat there with a white-knucked grip and in toe-curling pain as he sucked. (inefficiently, which led to the visit with the aforementioned la leche league)i breast fed when it wasn’t as cool. dare i say 20 years ago?? yikes! i feel ancient!and i pumped in an electrical closet. twice a day.i worked HARD to breastfeed.and i’d do it again in a heartbeat!how else do you play mother ape while your newborn nurses and pick stuff out of the ear or strive not to pick at the little baby zits when you’re stuck holding a bottle?? and how do you eat when your kid is nursing if you bottlefeed?? every kid wants to nurse the minute hot food is on the table!! breastfeeding makes it totally easy to eat too. but put a napkin on the little tyke or you’ll splat lasagna on their little onesie.

  32. Melinda says:

    >For my son’s first 2 months I breastfeed nearly exclusively. When I returned to work he got formula bottles at day care (my choice not to pump at work in a nasty bathroom) and breastfeeding at night. When he was 7 months old I weaned him from the breast and he drinks only formula now in addition to the solids he is learning to eat. I do not feel bad about my choice and I refuse to listen to any comments that tell me that it was wrong. My son is healthy and happy and that is what really matters.

  33. Gertie says:

    >I nurse my son. I work. I can’t pump enough to solely feed him breastmilk so he gets formula too. I probably could if I pumped more often, but I can only spend so much time in the storage closet…I also have a two year old. If we are out in public, I bring a bottle for the baby. I am not anti nursing in public but to be honest I am not that great at nursing without my Boppy. The baby isn’t comfortable without it and ends up fussing and thrashing around. I always end up flashing someone or getting so absorbed in the process that my two year old sees the opportunity and starts to pull gum off the underside of tables or eat rocks or some other gross/dangerous activity. Gah! Forget it! But at night, when it is just me and the baby curled up together with him nursing…that calm, lovely warm feeling… now there is something you can’t put in a canister…

  34. Melanie says:

    >I breastfed- but only for six months. I went out of town for a few days, and discovered that while I was gone, my mother didn’t use the breastmilk I’d left, she used formula instead. So that was that. Breast is best- but as they say, it’s formula, not rat poison. We’re lucky to live in a time that gives us options.The only time I have an opinion on women who don’t breastfeed, are the women who do it solely because their breasts are “sexual objects” to them, and they don’t want their children near them. Those women, in my opinion, need psychological counseling.

  35. beagle says:

    >I am one of those so called “horrible bottle feeders” – I don’t feel horrible, I have no guilt – Why you ask?… My daughter was born 2 and a half months premature. She was bottle fed the ENTIRE TIME. She is now a happy, healthy, intelligent 9 year old. That is enough proof for me that both are acceptable ways of feeding. Moms should go for what feels right for them and tell everyone else to kiss it! 😛 We are all different and what works for one might not work for another.I think everyone (yes including other moms) puts to much pressure on each other and ourselves to do “what everyone else is doing”. Screw that – do what is good for YOU and YOUR kid – every person is an individual from the moment they are pushed out of the womb!Honestly I don’t care how someone feeds their baby as long as they ARE feeding it, that is what is most important! End results and not how you get there! 😉

  36. janene says:

    >I was 20 when I had my first and had no friends with babies and had never known anyone who breast fed, so I bottle fed. She is 23 and healhty. Six years later I had my second and was surrounded by many breast feeding moms and was not working and was determined to breast feed. She was an extremely difficult baby to breast feed and I don’t think I would have stuck with it if I had not been given the “nazi” breast feeding book by my sister-in-law. It got me through those rough first few weeks, including fever and infection for me. I had three more children, including twins, who were all breast fed because I was home and it saved us a lot of money for me to breast feed. None of them were as difficult to breast feed as my second born. They were all so different, some on a schedule, some demand-fed. I feel like I have experienced it all. It also helped that my husband was supportive of my breast feeding, or it would not have worked. I did notice that my breast fed children did not have as many illnesses as my bottle fed oldest, but my oldest was the only one in daycare so I am sure that played a part. Everyone should do what is best for their situation and not feel guilty about it.

  37. >I bottle fed. I could come up with great excuses for why I did. However, the simple reason, I like my boobs. I like them the way they are. I did not want them changing in any shape form or fashion.I also gave birth at a Catholic hospital that is very big on breast feeding, I refer to them nicely as the lactation nazi’s. I don’t need someone coming in 2x a day to make sure I don’t want to breast feed.

  38. sarah says:

    >My first i didnt breast feed. i had no intrest. I had heard horror stories. I didnt want to be bothered with being the sole person to fee the baby. Just very neive on the subject.The second baby I did breast feed. It was long and difficult. I had a very hard time and stopped after 6 months. It wasnt fun for me or him.

  39. Ringleader says:

    >So right on Lindsay. I feel like it boils down the competetive mommying thing that some people fall into… we all need to do what works for us and quit trying to strong arm and guilt others into conforming. I personally breastfed all three of my kids until they were between 12 and 16 months and actually miss it… but that is ME and we all need to respect each other’s judgement and intellect and stop with the holier than thou breastfeeding guilt trip crap!

  40. StephK says:

    >I was only able to breastfeed my oldest son (now 9) for 6 weeks as I had to put him into daycare to return to work – and I felt like a failure because of it (both not being able to continue breastfeeding and him having to be in daycare 12 hours a day). I was only able to breastfeed my youngest son (now 4) for 6 weeks as well – though not because of returning to work or daycare, but because I couldn’t produce enough. Though I had grand plans in place to pump and store so my husband who was a SAMD at the time could keep the feedings going, it didn’t work out. Again, I felt like a failure. Like I wasn’t “mom” enough. I found out two years ago when going in for my first mammo that my lack of milk production was possibly due to my fiberous breast tissues which are dense and heavy. This was a good news for my mommy-ego, it validadted in a way that as hard as I may have tried, nothing more was going to come out. Now that I have this informaiton, should we be blessed with more children, I can plan accordingly. I’ll breastfeed as much as I can, using formula when needed.Thank you so much for the video and for encouraging women to blog about bottle feeding as well. BTW – I LOVE your blog! Thanks for not sugar coating stuff or fluffing it up.

  41. Andrea says:

    >I have four children, I breastfed them all but my first child I breastfed for 4 months and then threw in the towel. At the time, I didn’t feel guilty. I knew I had made the right choice, I was more relaxed, my baby was finally gaining weight at a healthy rate And the best part was I finally enjoyed feeding my child instead of dreading the pain and frustration. Then, I started reading blogs and message boards and read so many negative things about formula feeding and felt horribly guilty. I stopped mentioning to anyone that I had stopped nursing, although in real life I was surrounded by moms who exclusively breastfed, who pumped and supplemented with formula, or who exclusively bottle fed. I felt I had failed and that if I admitted it, I may be met with some of the same harsh opinions that I had read online and I didn’t feel I could handle that face to face. My second and third child I found a very supportive lactation consultant and exclusively breastfed for 15 and 18 months. Now with my youngest we have exclusively breastfed for 8 months and I am now debating whether I am going to continue into the 2nd year and let her self wean or if I’m going to try to switch to a bottle with pumped milk so that I can reclaim my boobs by the end of the first year.

  42. Lisa says:

    >I bottle fed my son. Breast feeding was something I researched in detail during my pregnancy, but in the end, it just wasn’t for me. Luckily my wonderful OBGYN didn’t bat an eye when I told her I wasn’t. I was prepared for a “discussion”. I’ve noticed that the most vehement advocates of breastfeeding do seem to be online. The internet seems to amplify opinions a bit. No one ever said anything to me in person about bottle feeding, and I appreciate that very much.

  43. Zozo's Mom says:

    >Interesting post and comments. . . most adoptive mothers don’t breast feed (although it is possible) and the kids turn out just fine. But again as an adoptive mom I don’t get all the pressure to breast feed. In some ways I really don’t get what the fuss is about. We all want to be the best mom we can be — bottle or breast doesn’t seem to be *the* defining characteristic of a good mom.

  44. Laura says:

    >I think this commentary says it best – http://one-of-those-women.blogspot.com/2009/04/case-against-reasoning.htmlI breastfed/feed both my sons and I also donate breastmilk to mothers with low supply/adoptive mothers. It’s THAT important to me and I find donating personally highly rewarding.You can donate private through http://www.milkshare.com.I've gone through many trials and tribulations with breastfeeding in the early weeks – cracked nipples, engorgement, mastitis, but with education, support (and a little Tylenol and Triple Nipple Ointment), all obstacles were overcome with personal determination.I mentor breastfeeding women now through an online community on a one-to-one basis. There is SO much mis-information spread around about breastfeeding. Many women turn to their doctors who may have had as little as a 2 hour lecture on the subject, but yet pass out information which usually is incorrect.If you are experiencing issues with breastfeeding and need support, please contact a Lactation Consultant (preferable a board certified one – IBCLC) and find where your local La Leche League (LLL) meets.

  45. >All I know is that once your kids hit puberty, you look back on all that stuff that was SO IMPORTANT when they were infants, the stuff that kept you up at night and got you into internet arguments……and laugh at yourself.Trust me, as long as the kid lives through infancy, none of this matters. You’re working yourselves up into a tizzy over nothing.You’ll see.

  46. lar says:

    >I tried breastfeeding my older daughter and she never latched on–and believe me when I say I tried and cried and tried some more, but it just didn’t work for us. I breastfed my younger daughter for five months and always had to supplement with a little formula–she was always hungry–and eventually she decided that she only wanted the bottle. I was a little sad that she weaned so early, but never guilty.All you can do is your best, and sometimes that’s NOT the breast. (That was corny, sorry.) Some women have an easy time, others don’t, and unless you’ve walked a mile in another mom’s nursing bra you just can’t judge what’s best for her and her children.

  47. mandie lane says:

    >Bottlefeeder from day 1. I have no shame, no guilt, no issue with the choice my husband and I made to bottlefeed our boy. He’s almost 8 months now, happy and healthy and strong. I’ll make the same choice next time around.

  48. ewe are here says:

    >Breastfeeding turned out not to be an option with my firstborn, so I pumped to supplement his formula for a few months. And, frankly, that worked out so well, my secondborn went straight on formula the day I had him, and I pumped to supplement for six weeks. I’ll be doing the same with number three when she arrives this summer. I’m all for breastfeeding and will be the first to defend anyone’s right to do it anytime, anywhere… but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone.

  49. C says:

    >I tried to breastfeed, but there were issues.1-My daughter was born with low blood sugar and was in the NICU for 36 hours. We had to give her some formula to spring her from the NICU2-My daughter came down with a life threatening infection at a week of age. She spent a week on a ventilator, then a week on a g-tube. After that, she REQUIRED extra calories (formula added to my breastmilk to raise caloric content) because she was barely at her birth weight when she was released from the hospital at a month of age. She needed this for several months3-Once she was off supplemental calories, she had trouble with latching. We were working on it, but….4-She started losing weight, and needed the extra calories again.5-She was diagnosed with food allergies at 5 months. I was capable of cutting out dairy, but I couldn’t do the full elimination diet.So I pumped exclusively for 5 months. When I went dairy free I felt like crap, and I reached my wall. I weaned myself off pumping, and donated the 40 oz that my daughter couldn’t drink (because while I had been dairy free I hadn’t been doing the full elmination diet when I had pumped it) to a mom who was adopting a boy from African and was trying to relactate but had low supply issues.I felt like a failure. Because we couldn’t get the latching thing. Because I hadn’t picked up on the first signs of the infection (she had some mottling which we were told was normal in newborns, her temp was low-but we’d only been warned about fevers) and she almost died. Because I struggled with supply issues. Because no matter what I did I couldn’t boost my supply past 16 oz a day, and there were always women who told me I just wasn’t trying hard enough (I took fenugreek, I took domperidone, I took reglan, I pumped every two hours, I pumped for long periods of time, I drank enough water to sink a battleship, etc). My most vivid memories of my daughter’s first month of life are sitting in her room in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, crying and pumping.I felt angry. I felt like if I hadn’t been diabetic, we wouldn’t have needed to give her formula and maybe the breastfeeding would have worked out. I felt angry because she got sick, and that interfered with our creating a breastfeeding relationship. I felt guilty. Maybe I could have prevented my body from becoming diabetic? Was I selfish for wanting to breastfeed when she did okay with the bottle?Now that I’ve got some distance from the whole breastfeeding/pumping/formula supplement/don’t supplement etc arguments, I’ve made my peace.I don’t think I could have done anything differently to make it “better.”I’m proud of myself for pumping even under horrible circumstances…as in I was sitting in the PICU, next to my child on a ventilator, talking to a neurologist about her stroke while pumping away. When she was a month old (3 days before she was released from the hospital) I had gastroenteritis…I was in the emergency room with diarhhea and vomiting…and I was hooked up to a pump that I would pause so I could go to the bathroom, or I’d lean over and puke as I pumped and was rehydrated via IV.I wish it weren’t an all or nothing argument. None of the formula I gave my daughter to supplement the caloric intake so she could gain weight. That formula helped her gain crucial weight. The prescense of the formula didn’t negate the benefits of the milk I gave her.I wish I hadn’t bought into the idea that I couldn’t bond as well if I didn’t breastfeed. There were literally 7 days where I was able to hold her for a grand total of 15 minutes while they changed her bed to one that would be easier to transport her to and from MRI/CT/etc scans with the oxygen tank because she was on a ventilator. When all I could do was stroke the one hand that didn’t have tubes coming into it. Even though that was her second week of life…we bonded. My love for my daughter is fierce beyond words, and she reserves her biggest smiles for me…her face lights up when I come into the room. We are strongly bonded, and our “failure” at breastfeeding did not affect that bond.I wasted so many hours of her early life in guilt, in anger, in beating myself up…and it was a waste.For a time I vasilated between hating women who didn’t try because they never even tried something I was trying SO DAMN HARD to succeed at and failing at…and being really sensitive and strident about how formula was SO NOT TEH DEVIL.In the end, I wasn’t fighting with the pro-breastfeeding movement…I was fighting my own demons.I wish that breastfeeding wasn’t presented as an all or nothing choice. I wish that pumping were more acknowledged as the difficult journey it is…you have all the struggle of bottle feeding PLUS the joys of being a cow milked every two hours. I wish that people had some perspective on formula.And I wish that no one, even myself, ever made me feel guilty for doing what was right for Elanor and for me.Sorry this was such a long comment…I think it’s going to be a blog post of my own over at my blog.

  50. Rubberbacon says:

    >I was astonished to learn that my mom and aunt had not breast feed very long so I didn’t have much pressure from them – I put more pressure on myself to breast feed because I was worried about my baby getting sick. I went back to work 5 weeks after birth and pumped 3 times a day at work for several months until her feedings stretched into 4 hours apart then twice a day and I loved going into a room of solitude to pump and read a good book. It was such a nice way to get a break and call my husband every day from work (he was home with the baby). I loved it and even though I never produced much more then 6oz I felt it was worth it. I was only able to breast feed her once a day and then all weekend long so by 7 months she weaned herself – probably more out of lack of habit but I continued to pump up to 10 months.

  51. Melodie says:

    >Oh yes, I breastfed my first til she was three and I’m still breastfeeding my second and she is 25 months old. I too would like to see some bottle feeding blogs, or even posts on a non-bf or ff blog. The trouble is, I find that bfing moms read bfing posts and ffing moms read the ffing posts. Just like democrats generally don’t hang at a republican sites, pro-choicers don’t hang out at pro-lifer sites. So how can we change this a little so we can all learn from each other and support each other as needed? I agree with one of your commenters above who said she noticed among some of the comments here that with more support some of these women could have breastfed. Some obviously chose not to and they aren’t the ones I want to educate or help because they obviously don’t want any, but I think with more education ,many moms would chose to breastfeed. And it is unfortuante that especially in the USA bfing education is so lackadasical. And same on the other side of the coin. Rarely so I come across a bottle feeding post but when I do, I usually learn something from the other side. Even if I’m learning that every woman’s story is unique, I learn tolerance and respect. That’s what I want from both sides. I hope one day we can get there.

  52. >I was young(er) with my first baby (18 yrs ago) and the thought of breast feeding completely grossed me out. With my second baby (10 years later)I was guilted into breast feeding and she wanted to nurse every 20 minutes around the clock. Needless to say, I quit after 4 weeks.My third baby (17 months after that) was bottle fed from the beginning, as was my fourth baby, who is now 17 months old and STILL taking a bottle at naptime and bedtime. What can I say? I’m selfish, I guess. I wasn’t about to give up coffee, onions, or garlic, and after carrying the babies for 9 months, I was ready for a glass of wine (or two) and my cigarettes. Live and let live…that’s the way I feel about it!Happy Mother’s Day!!

  53. Marsha says:

    >I think this topic is so difficult because of our insecurities as mothers. We need to stop feeling like we have to explain ourselves, and just tell nosy busy-bodies to mind their own business! That’s what I do about all the issues of motherhood. It’s not a village raising my children, it’s their two parents. Everyone else can butt out.

  54. Pallas says:

    >I nursed both of mine past their third birthday. In some ways I was lucky, and in some ways I was well educated and well prepared.I was lucky in that my mil is Danish and EVERYBODY breastfeeds there, it’s the norm, so I had her full support. I had an active LLL group that was FULL of information. I was able to stay home with my kids — honestly, if I’d had to pump, I don’t know how long I would have lasted.I was well informed in that I knew what the learning curve looked like, and that most women quit before six weeks — which is usually the time that it becomes easier and you start reaping the lazy-mom benefits! I knew that newborns nurse constantly, and that it was normal and they weren’t starving. I knew lots of tricks to increase milk and to get more fatty hindmilk into a hungry baby.I wouldn’t change a thing. The convenience of it, the closeness of it, it was wonderful. When they had colds or tummy bugs and the only thing they could keep down was breastmilk, I was so glad. Every diaper that I changed that was marginally less stinky (and it’s all relative, isn’t it?) made me that much more sure that I was doing the Right Thing ™.The only thing I disliked about it was the remarkable array of stupidity nursing seems to bring out in other people. (Actually, any parenting choice you make seems to bring it out in SOMEONE) I had one mother tell me she thought it was disgusting to drink milk from a PERSON. EW. Of course, milk from a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SPECIES is ok. WTF? Someone asked if I wasn’t worried about turning my sons gay. I really don’t get that connection at all.Someone else informed me that after six months there’s no benefit to it at all. Apparently, that’s when your boobs start making Diet Pepsi instead.I think we need to remember that there are ignorant, judgemental, tactless people who are happy to criticize whatever you’re doing. A dear friend was unable to nurse (and yes, she really did try everything including an SNS and a number of galactogogues which I know I’m spelling wrong) and she caught just as much flack for bottle feeding as I did for nursing.So, BoobFeeders and BottleFeeders, let’s present a united front against the REAL enemy — those pushy idiots who have opinions on your vax schedule, your intact son, your daughter’s pierced (or unpierced) ears, your job, your home, your carseat, your toys, your education, your cloth diapers, your ‘sposies, and whatever else they can latch (ha!) on to.

  55. Krista says:

    >I always appreciate intelligent and level-headed discussion of this topic. I know that it wasn't your intention for the Backtalk to be so pro-breastfeeding and although I'm sure that you (& your co-backtalkers) are supportive of bottle-feeders, I wonder if we really are?I breastfed my son. It was what I wanted to do and thankfully, I was able to do it with no problem. Here's my issue with breastfeeders– it seems that we are VERY supportive of moms who tried to breastfeed but couldn't for one reason or another (low milk supply, constant thrush, etc) But how do we treat moms who simply choose not to even try… those who choose to bottle feed from the get go? I find that we're a whole lot less supportive and understanding of their decision. And for that, I feel for them.Because in the end– I really don't care how you are feeding your child. All I care about is that your child is loved, cared for, safe and healthy. And breastfeeding versus bottle feeding has NOTHING to do with those things.

  56. >Most of my friends are stay at home moms, or at most, have a part time job (much like myself) and I have felt judged on more than one occasion for bottlefeeding with breastmilke or formula.My first born, our son, was a NICU baby. The first time that I tried to nurse him (before he had been whisked away), he turned blue because he could not breathe through his nose, but was just so hungry that he kept trying and trying. After that, we had to tube feed him. I was able to pump for a while with him, but ultimately, he decided he did not want to take the breastmilk anymore. Come to find out, he was aspirating all that thin breastmilk into his lungs and he took himself off of it. He got formula from around the age of 7 weeks and we never looked back.Our second child, our daughter, was a champion breastfeeder at first. Then she developed jaundice and the nurses wanted me to pump in between feedings so she could feed while under the lights. After that, she never took to the breast again, but I continued to pump and was able to store enough milk that she got breastmilk until she was 8months old. Even though I was feeding my daughter breastmilk, I got many comments about how disappointed I must have been not being able to nurse her. I was also the receiver of comments about feeding my child formula and how it wasn’t the best for her, when in fact it was breastmilk in the bottle. I’m not sure why friends and strangers alike feel like this is something that they can comment on, and sometimes be hateful about, but it’s silly. A happy and healthy mommy is what is best here! Thanks for addressing this!

  57. Bethany says:

    >I haven’t watched the Back Talk yet but I will. A couple of years ago I posted about my breastfeeding (or lack of). If you want you can read it here: http://icecreammama.wordpress.com/2007/03/13/boobs-r-us/

  58. >I tried to nurse my first child and realized after two days that I was starving her. It turned out that breast milk often doesn’t come in for women who hemorrage after birth. I spent two days in the hospital being told by the LaLeche people that I wasn’t trying hard enough to feed my child. I felt like a failure. I later found out that the hospital where I delivered my children had set goals for breastfeeding–82%. No wonder they were so aggressive.However, everything turned out FINE. My husband and I became a real team and took turns with the late night feedings. My daughter started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks. She was (and continues to be) one of the healthiest kids I know. Because we had such a good experience formula-feeding our first, we decided to do the same for our second daughter. She (was)is also incredibly healthy and well-adjusted. Neither child has allergies, my four-year-old just got her first ear infection this year.I had no idea what it meant to have engorged breasts until my second child. WOW!I found myself hiding the fact that I was bottle feeding the first time around with people I didn’t know well. For some reason, people feel compelled to judge first-time mothers about EVERYTHING, leaving them full of angst and doubt.The second time around, there was no La Leche. There were no questions from strangers.I would never make judgements on how a child is fed. I was adopted, and therefore, not breastfed. I turned out just fine. This alleged Mommy War is absurd.If only there was this amount of Mommy Angst with regard to feeding kids fast food, candy, Diet Coke and potato chips when they’re older.

  59. S.T. says:

    >”I think there is such earnestness from the breastfeeding side because American culture is still so largely resistant to the idea of breastfeeding. While mothers may be sick of the topic, there is a lot of difficulty encountered by women who want to nurse in a hostile environment. They need to be vocal in order to get things to change.”Exactly. As someone who knows what it feels like to have people give me disgusted looks when I nursed my babies in public (and I was very discreet,) I want things to be easier for other nursing mothers. I want breastfeeding in public to be just as accepted as bottle feeding in public.

  60. Lady M says:

    >After I discovered a friend was in tears over the constant pumping and was so grateful to learn that she would nurse part time, I started telling all my first-time pregnant friends that it’s not an all or nothing situation. It’s quite possible to both breastfeed and bottle feed. I breastfed, except for the 4am feeding, when my husband would get up with a bottle and give me a break. Alex at “Formula Fed and Flexible Parenting” write about the bottle side of the story at her site.http://flexibleparenting.com/index.html

  61. >They always say “breast is best” and I do agree. But I don’t think it’s necessarily the rule. Before I had kids, I always read that breastfed babies tend to be healthier…less illnesses, ear infections, better immune system, etc.Had my first daughter and breastfed her for 13 months. She was always sick and had ear infections EVERY MONTH for her first 18 months of life. We finally got tubes put in…and then another set 2 years later.Had my second daughter and breastfed her too…18 months. She’s healthy as a horse. I didn’t do anything differently. It is what it is.I don’t look down on moms who choose not to breastfeed. I do feel sorry for the ones who want to and can’t for whatever reason…because I think I would have been really sad if I wanted to but couldn’t.I think each mom has to make the choice that’s right for her and her baby….and not listen to the pressure and the guilt-ridden comments from other moms on their high horses.There is enough pressure in this society…and we moms are HARD ENOUGH on OURSELVES. We need to be supportive to each other no matter what our choices are!There’s nothing wrong with formula. Like you said…most of us raised in the 60’s and 70’s were formula babies and we’re fine!Anne

  62. wes and ruth says:

    >Every day for three months I said, “today is my last day of breastfeeding”. It was so hard and painful. I had researched everything about breastfeeding before Becky was born I thought knew it all. I made it through with the help of my mom and sister. I did supplement for about a month. Now 9 1/2 months later I am exclusively breastfeeding waiting to see how long it will last. I fully support the mom that decides to bottle feed.

  63. Brianna says:

    >Rebecca, at girlsgonechild.net writes about this quite a bit from an interesting perspective.

  64. >I am a proud bottlefeeder. I did it from day 1 – never tried to nurse and didn’t have the desire to do so. I don’t feel like I have to defend my decision nor do I feel like I was not enlightened to the benefits of breastfeeding. Everything about parenting is a choice and how you feed your baby is one of those choices. Bottom line – are you feeding your baby? Is the baby healthy and thriving? That is all that matters to me. My baby boy is doing just fine and he has a happy mother who is secure in her decision.

  65. Sam says:

    >It’s tricky isn’t it. I do think that there is too much emphasis on the ‘right’ method never mind that it may not be right for everybody. My Mum breastfed me for as long as she could but found it very difficult and so she bottlefed my three brothers – and they are perfectly fine. I think that what should be happening is that everyone should assume that all mothers had ALL the information in the first place and then made up their own mind as to what to do and then what they do is no-one’s business but their own.

  66. >I bottle-fed and I have never regretted my choice. My son had horrific colic. He screamed for approximately 15 hours out of a 24 hour day until he was 4 months old. I was with him alone 10 out of those 15 hours. If I would have had to stay in the house to breastfeed or even to pump after my husband came home from work, I would have probably killed myself. I am not kidding in any way. Fast forward 9 years, I still have my sanity and my son is now a beautiful and extremely healthy young man who is enrolled in Talented and Gifted classes. If breastfeeding works for you, go for it! It is best. But,life isn’t black and white, and quite frankly, I’ve always felt what I do with my breasts is nobody’s business but my own.Trish

  67. >I bottle fed my son and never felt an ounce of guilt. At the time I had PPD, so attempting to breastfeed after a c section on top of PPD would have been disastrous, to say the very least. However, I do support all women who choose to breastfeed OR bottlefeed. It’s just not one of those issues that I let make me or break me in parenting.

  68. Heidi says:

    >I blogged about bottle feeding back in March. I struggled with both my children and had to deal with A LOT of shame and guilt about formula feeding my kids (funny, I called them nazi’s too). I have finally come to the realization that the guilt and shame was not benefiting my kids- that the bigger picture was much more important- happy, healthy children with a happy mama! http://heidid.typepad.com/blog/2009/03/its-my-boobness-and-none-of-yours.html

  69. shannon says:

    >I breastfed my son for 3 weeks when he was born. In the hospital, there was a nazi nurse who it felt it necessary to yell saying i was doing it all wrong and was completely rough with my son trying to position him right for me. I’m surprised I didnt just give up then because she made me cry for feeling guilty I was doing it all wrong. I was fine for about a week and a half but after that, the pain just got worse with the cracked, swollen and bleeding nipples. It was painful and became stressful so I switched to pumping by the 2nd week. I only ended up pumping for a week because it was never enough so I just ended up switching to formula. With my daughter, I didnt attmept to breastfeed in the hospital because I was scared the nazi nurse would be back. A few days after I was home with my daughter, I became engorged and I wanted try it one more time with my daughter. I only attempted to pump though. That only lasted for a week and she was on formula after that.In the end, im happy I tried it but it just wasnt for me. I tell anyone who asks, my experience with it and dont judge them on whatever route they go, as I hope to not be judged either.

  70. Karen says:

    >I wasn’t going to post a comment. Then, I watched. I’m commenting. With my first child, I was going to nurse. It was terribly painful (I have the scars on my nipples eight years later to prove it. Lovely. Yes, nipples scar. Never knew that.) I remember weeping while attempting to manually pump on a Sunday, not able to get a decent pump. Forget water boarding. Just hook the terrorists up to one of those contraptions! Once I got past the loads of self-inflicted guilt, I was okay. He was okay. With my second child, I was going to give it another whirl. Maybe my girl would latch better. She did okay. We were a better team, but I still didn’t last all that long. I think some of it was that I had gotten over the guilt the first time and realized we would both be okay if I chose not to do this. The third child had some health problems that we knew about before she was born, and I decided with all the stress we were going through, I emotionally didn’t need one more thing to put me over the edge into clinical, certifiable insanity.Is the breast the best? Sure, of course. But I think there are times when taking a good option (formula) is appropriate and necessary. I wish this wasn’t such an issue based in judgement. My theory is that there is nothing else to judge on at the infant stage. We have things we can judge people about at each stage of parenting. If your two-year-old has tantrums you are a bad mother. If your four-year-old is whiny you are a bad mother. If your teenager is disrespectful and ungrateful, you are a bad mother. If your infant is bottlefed, you are a piece of crap mother.Hey, I do it, too. We all do in some form or another. But it is such an unnecessary and harmful community we have made for ourselves. We all get the pretty little pamphlets. We know the facts. What IS unknown to the person lashing out the judgements is the reason(s) behind the personal decision. Now, I just listed mine, and will freely admit some of them aren’t that great, but I’ve done the best I could each step of the way. And we are all okay. So far.

  71. marymac says:

    >Wow. I posted a blog called “White Flag in Mommy Wars” on my blog http://www.pajamasandcoffee.com and was surprised to find myself in a breast v. bottle debate due to some comments I (a mother who breastfed four children but dared to give a bottle occasionally as well) made. Curious as to your thoughts- stop by if you get a moment.

  72. Kristi says:

    >My kids are now 12 and 8. I haven’t thought much about the breastfeeding issue lately. Rather than to go into what choices I made back then, here is what I have to say about it now. I would not choose to breastfeed. Period. I’m older, more confident and have learned to own how I feel about this without feeling guilty. I’m a great mom, love my kids, and would gladly give a kidney to either of them. That does not mean I need either of them attached to my boobs. Bottles work great, they are easily available, and formula has come a long way. I don’t need milk spewing out of my nipples during sex or leaking onto my blouse under my suit jacket in a business meeting. I never want my breasts to be hard as rocks again or the color of a coca-cola can. Been there, done that, could have lived without it. For all of you that it works well for, hurray – enjoy – and I really mean that. For those of you that feel like I do, I have two great kids and lots of other stuff to feel guilty about – let it go, get some bottles, and enjoy your babies – they grow quickly. Best, K

  73. >I’m not a mom yet, but I’m hoping I can breast-feed my kids when the time comes. If I can’t, I’m hoping I don’t get too many crazy judgmental moms after me. But if so, whatever, it’s my kid.But this made me think of this funny lady, who writes about breastfeeding not working out for her:http://www.jennepper.com/2009/02/its-like-bad-karaoke-really.html

  74. Caroline says:

    >I did not breastfeed either of my two daughters, ages 4 and almost 2. With my first, I had all intention to–in fact, I couldn’t wait to start! But my daughter arrived 4 weeks early and I had virtually no milk supply. I tried pumping, a lactation consultant–everything–but was only producing a few ounces at a time. I was also suffering from sever post partum symptoms, and was a physical and emotional wreck. Finally my mother snapped me back to my senses by saying, “for heaven’s sake just give her a bottle!!” Needless to say, baby and I were much happier from that point forward. I didn’t even question the choice of not breast feeding with my second child, and to be honest, not too many people questioned it. I’m lucky I guess. Today, my daughters are both in the 90th percentile for their heights, are healthy and strong, have no allergies, and rarely get colds. I can count on one hand how many times my youngest has had a fever. My advice to all new moms is: trust your instincts, take care of yourself and enjoy your time with your precious bundle. Once they are older you realize how little difference it makes in the big picture!

  75. >i was not able to breastfeed successfully and that plus postpartum depression just about through me over the edge. I can’t tell you how many hours I agnozized about not being a good mother. The reality — both my baby (now 5) and I were much happier with the bottle. She was a huge eater and grower (97% all the way) and she needed food right then. I will also say — she’s been the healthiest child I know. All my friends who went with breastfeeding have kids who are often sick, are quick to catch colds, etc. I not only bottlefed but then promptly sent my baby to daycare. She’s missed maybe a total of 5 days from school or daycare for illness.

  76. Security Mom says:

    >I did not breastfeed and did not have any pangs of guilt over it either. Sometimes i wonder – whats wrong with me? Shouldn’t I have felt ashamed in some way? But honestly, after a pregnancy that was no walk in the park I was desperate to have my body back. I needed to get my hormones under control so that I could FINALLY be nausea free after 40 long weeks. The mere suggestion of having the lactation consultant visit my room was enough to send me into orbit. I guess it worked. She didn’t bother stopping by ….. Thank God because she would have just been an innocent bystander mixed up in my crazy.

  77. Anonymous says:

    >I breastfed my two eldest, and the youngest two were bottlefed. It doesn’t seem to have made a significant difference in any of them, judging by their siblings. And frankly, if the snarky “bottlefeeding lowers the child’s IQ” comments I’ve heard from some folks are right, it’s a darn good thing my littles were Isomil babies.

  78. Joy! says:

    >I love reading all the stories in the comments here! I’ve been meaning to write about my own experience, but to make it short: I always assumed I’d breast feed as long as possible, but when my daughter showed up a month early, I went on the pumping+bottle+latching merry-go-round. Education was very helpful, but it did not magically solve our difficulties by a long shot. It took her that month to be developmentally ready to figure out a proper latch, and it took commitment from all of us to gut it out to that point. If it were not for the support of my husband and *6 weeks* of attention from a private lactation consultant, I’d never have made it past the pain and the incessant crying (mine, mostly). Four months later, we are still feeding her half bottle (formula) and half breast, and BFing is one of my favorite things as a mother. I am in no hurry to give it up! I know both of the women leading my local LLL group, and while one is very encouraging and lovely, the other is a nazi about most things. Since I don’t have a desire to “have to” argue about what I am doing, I haven’t attended (yet?). I’m sad and frustrated at how polarized and judgmental opinions on this issue can be, when new mothers just need *all* the support and validation they can get. The stories here give us a much fuller picture.

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