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Proud Non Breast Feeder

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Momlogic's Annie: I was happy to see the study that said C-section moms have trouble bonding with their kids. Now all the moms who judged me for not breast feeding know how I feel.

baby reaching for breast

For years I've been listening to moms quote "studies" and preach about how it's selfish not to breast feed. They go on for days about how without it, the parent/child bond won't be as deep and the child will become all sorts of sick. Many of these moms had C-sections. Now they know how it feels to read some bullsh*t study that insults their relationship with their child and even their child's health and intelligence.

Born in the 1970s, I wasn't breast fed and most of my peers weren't. We actually all turned out fine. You see, these wonderful creatures (called scientists) came up with a "formula" that ensured babies got every nutrient they needed. When I had my baby 13 months ago, I didn't breast feed. After months of debate, my husband and I decided that for us, this wasn't an option -- that I would be a better, happier mother if I didn't do it and, in turn, our baby would be happier. You should have seen the looks I got and still get when I reveal this to other moms. Many of you are giving them to me right now!

It may be said that women don't opt for C-sections the way I opted not to breast feed, but obviously women don't wait until they are in labor for their "scheduled cesareans." They rely on what those wonderful scientists have come up with -- an alternative to the natural way that works better for some. Notice a pattern?

For the record, I do feel completely bonded to my baby. I also do not believe for one second that women who have C-sections don't feel completely bonded to theirs.

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81 comments so far | Post a comment now
Trina September 18, 2008, 10:17 AM

i also received a lot of crap about not breast feeding….mainly from my mother in law (i still hear it even though he is 2!). i tried but he didn’t want it. our joke is now everytime he does something (temper tantrum, bumps his knee, has a step back in potty training) that if i would have breatfed him these things wouldn’t have happened. funny she wanted to make a big deal about me not breastfeeding when she didn’t breastfeed her child.

Kate September 18, 2008, 10:34 AM

my kids were both c-sections and neither were breastfed. They are happy healthy children who have very strong relationships with both my husband and myself. I don’t ever try to second guess myself, I did what I had to do.

Natalie September 18, 2008, 10:35 AM

Personally, I think it’s lazy to not breastfeed. And I think that some of the excuses that formula moms use are nuts. I think you should at least TRY to breastfeed. It is DEFINITELY better than formula (even the formula companies say so), and unless you have some kind of medical condition that prevents breastfeeding, there’s no reason not to at least try it. I’ve breastfed BOTH of my kids, one for 12 months, one for 13 months. And when I have another, I’m breastfeeding too. They are happy, healthier kids because of it.

R. September 18, 2008, 11:09 AM

The WHOLE point of this article is to point out that the choices individual parents make regarding how they raise an INFANT do not necessarily have a lasting effect on the relationship they have with their child.
It’s NOT lazy to not breastfeed. There are a MULTITUDE of reasons why an individual family might choose/be forced to choose this route.
It’s fabulous that Natalie was able to breastfeed past the first year for both her kids - it’s certainly what many moms strive for. But it’s NOT lazy to not do that.
p.s. I breastfed my daughter, past the first year too. It was of course hard work, but it wouldn’t have made me a bon-bon eating lazy housewife if I hadn’t…. and it certainly wouldn’t have negatively effected my relationship with my daughter.

What negatively effects a relationship with a child is having negative feelings wrapped up in being a parent. If not breastfeeding made the mother happier, the child will also be happier. If breastfeeing until the child was 3 made the mother and child feel happier, then… yes, you guessed it… the parent-child relationship will be strong.

But I ask you this: do you nursing moms actually believe that nursing is the magic bullet to having a good bond with your child and having a happy child?

zilla September 18, 2008, 11:11 AM

I had a C-Section because my baby was breech, and it was the coolest thing ever! I say this because I saw the reflection of it in the medical lamp above my head. I breastfed for a month, didn’t like it one bit and switched to formula. This was the best choice for our family and my husband got to bond with our child by feeding her as well. My daughter is very smart and ahead of her peers in almost everything. So for all the “breast nazis” out there, (Natalie)please keep your judgments to yourself.

Queen Bee September 18, 2008, 11:11 AM

Lazy? How so? I think I have have at least two extra steps than you when it comes to feeding my kid? I have to make it then I sit the whole duration to feed him, then I have to wash the bottles. My husband feeds him his dinner but I take bottle duties because I like talking to him. I don’t think its fair to call us lazy. How would you like it if I called you cheap? Breast milk is free right? But I’m not like that. I respect your right to do it, please respect mine.
Plus, your kids are not better than mine.

Annonomous September 18, 2008, 11:14 AM

Well, good for you Natalie, that was YOUR choice…you have no idea if your kids are healthier for having been breastfed or not you’ve got nothing to compare it to.
You are entitled to your opinion, which is all it is, an opinion.

Queen Bee September 18, 2008, 11:16 AM

I too chose NOT to breast feed(gasp!). I kept trying to convince myself that I could do it but in the end I was stressing out so much about it I thought it would be in the best interest for my son and myself if I did not. I’ve heard that if you are miserable and uncomfortable breastfeeding then you make it a bad experience for the baby. I don’t think much bonding would have gone on if I felt “forced” to do it. Both my mom and my mom-in-law never breastfed their children. All 8 of us combined turned out smart and healthy.
I also had an emergency C-section after 30 hours of labor. So, I guess that is a strike 2 for me. Guess what, my little guy is a momma’s boy. Whoa! Did you hear that, my non breastfed-csectioned kid likes me the best. His favorite thing is to cuddle into me in the rocker and look at books. HOLD ON YOU SAY????? He’s looking at books? Yes, he also LOVES books. I mean obsessively LOVES books. This kid is smart. This non-breastfed c-sectioned kid is smart.
I just get so offended sometimes when someone tells me that my son won’t be smart or bonded to me because he didn’t suck on my boob. Is that a pre-requisite for Harvard now? I must have missed that checked box on the college application.

Anonymous September 18, 2008, 11:16 AM

Let’s see… Before I was pregnant, I knew I wanted a C-section and didn’t have the patience to breastfeed (plus, i can now easily hand my daughter off to any visitor who wishes to feed her). Because of my previa and breast reduction, I had a C under general anesthesia (my choice) and there was not one drop of milk to be had. JACKPOT! And you know what? My 6 month-old sleeps through the night,wakes up smiling every morning and is the easiest, most well-adjusted baby in her day care. And she has completely bonded with me and my husband. So my advice is to do what YOU want to and tell everyone else to shove it…

Marci September 18, 2008, 11:29 AM

R. I totally agree with your whole post. I breastfed my two children, one for 12 months, and the other for 18 months. I do not think I am a better mother or that my children are better than nonbreasfed children. I wasn’t breastfed, and neither were my sisters, and my mother is a wonderful mother. Yes, we are all entitled to our opinions, but we should also respect other’s choices. One of the most important things I have learned as a mother is that I can’t listen to everything other people have to say, and that I need to trust my own instincts for what is best for me and my children.

Jen September 18, 2008, 11:44 AM

Why must people take facts and spin them into some nasty agenda that big bad breastfeeders have against bottlefeeders?

** You see, these wonderful creatures (called scientists) came up with a “formula” that ensured babies got every nutrient they needed. **

Not every nutrient. But misinterpretations aside, these wonderful creatures called scientists also come up with these bull*** studies that show that FF children are at a higher level of risk for all sorts of ailments.

**You should have seen the looks I got and still get when I reveal this to other moms. Many of you are giving them to me right now!**

Well, I am rolling my eyes, but it has nothing to do with your feeding choice. ROFLMBO

**It may be said that women don’t opt for C-sections the way I opted not to breast feed, but obviously women don’t wait until they are in labor for their “scheduled cesareans.” They rely on what those wonderful scientists have come up with — an alternative to the natural way that works better for some. Notice a pattern?**

Um…that C-sections are riskier than natural births, and that these wonderful scientists agree? That choosing to have a C-section or use formula is taking risks (whether those risks are necessary or not)?
Yes, I do! :-)

**For the record, I do feel completely bonded to my baby. I also do not believe for one second that women who have C-sections don’t feel completely bonded to theirs**

And the point is? Oh yeah. I’m not a bad mommy, stop making me feel guilty… yada yada yada…. *yawn*

Debbie September 18, 2008, 11:47 AM

This is comparing apples and oranges.

Kelly September 18, 2008, 12:03 PM

I had a “natural” child birth, as in no drugs for me or baby and wanted to do everything right. I tried to Breastfeed my first but after 6 weeks of hell and a trip to the emergency room for me. I gave in and gave him formula. It was the greatest moment ever, after he sucked down a 6 ounce bottle he did the unthinkable; he smiled at me. I cried with joy. That joy was broken when my lactation consultant called to check on us and I told her I was going to formula feed. She proceeded to yell at me. Telling me I was a horrible mother and I was feeding him rat poison oh and the icing on the cake. She actual said they should take my son from me because I obviously didn’t love him.

Because of the horrible experience with that consultant, I didn’t want to go through it again and formula fed my daughter (born 12 months after my son) right from the start.

It worked out best for us and that is all that mattered. I have since learned to grow a thick skin because most of the time their is someone out there that is going to try and tell me I’m doing it all wrong. Oh. Well. My children, My choices.

Jamie September 18, 2008, 12:58 PM

Whoa!!! Wait a minute and take a deep, cleansing, Lamaze-style breath!

After a horrible, traumatic ‘natural’ birth the first time around, I tried nursing my son, but joyfully threw in the towel after a month- a long, horrible month of bleeding nipples, mastitis, sleepless nights (hubby was on 3rds) and a baby who wailed with hunger 24/7. On top of recovering from a stage 3 episiotomy, multiple lacerations,and bruised lungs (from pushing so hard!) I did EVERYTHING I was told by ‘experts’, but nursing just didn’t work out.

In the meantime, my sister had a beautiful baby girl, complete with emergency c-section and a perfect nursing experience that lasted over a year.

Two different stories, two different babies- but both children are perfectly happy, healthy, and far above average in every way. My sister and I respect each others’ choices- no mommy wars here! So what is the big problem? To each her own!

And FYI- I tried nursing again with son #2, but he would not accept the breast, and as a mother of two (one in Kindergarten by that time!) whose hubby’s career kept him gone more than he was home, I had no problem bottle-feeding again. #3 and #4 were also bottle babies from the start, and the one I will be delivering in January (by c-section, thank you!) will definitely be a bottle baby, as well. I don’t question others’ decisions regarding their parenting choices, so I ask the same courtesy in return!

Marquita September 18, 2008, 1:23 PM

I am currently breastfeeding my 11 month old son and love the joy he has when I feed him. However, a good mother is not defined by breastfeeding or bottle feeding, working or stay-at-home, as long as the mother puts her children first.

With the breastfeeding issue, as a mother who breastfeeds,we get criticism from moms who dont. We are forced to thinking that a baby is too old to be breastfed after 6 months or that we are selfish with our babies because no one can watch them for a long period of time without the child wanting his/her mother. So every woman is going to be criticized no matter what she does with her child.

Missy September 18, 2008, 1:27 PM

I had a natural birth and wasn’t able to breast feed. Right after my son was born, I spent 3 years INCREDIBLY ILL. I immediatly had to have three surgeries because of my gall bladder, pacrentits, etc. I spent a week in the hospital, without being able to even see my son. Then my body didn’t adjust properly to not having a gall bladder and I developed ulcerative colitis. Because of all the meds I had to take, I couldn’t breast feed without hurting my son.

So, how about, instead of being nasty to people who weren’t able to breast feed, you just ACCEPT it.

My mother was an avid breast feeder for me and my sisters. No formula at all! All three of us had cronic ear infections and ear surgery by the time we were one. My son didn’t breast feed and didn’t have one single health issue.

Also, my son and I have an awesome bond. Breast feeding changes NOTHING. I would have breast fed if I could have, but I couldn’t. So, get off your high horse and quit insulting the mothering abilities of other women. Just because you breast fed, does not make YOU a good mother. And it doesn’t mean you love your child more than I love mine.

Anonymous September 18, 2008, 1:43 PM

The pressure on women to breast feed is uncalled for. Most men and many women really do look down on those who don’t.

Jen September 18, 2008, 2:46 PM

It’s like the Stay at home - working mom arguement. You make the choice that is best for you and your situation.
I was to stressed and depressed to make enough milk to nurse my first. Not making enough compounded the stress. I did make the first year of breast feeding with my second. I worked with the first and stayed home with the second. I am now at home - home schooling the first (3rd grade).
I have a very deep bond with both of them.

Breast feeding makes a smarter kid - not so true - I am home schooling my oldest because the elementary school could not teach to his level. He even met markers way before they were due in the early years.

Again - you do what you think is best for your situation.
Don’t judge others - think of what it says about you!

Natalie September 18, 2008, 2:50 PM

I think a lot of people on here misunderstood me. I, PERSONALLY, think it’s lazy for mothers to not try to breastfeed. I know there are other complications that can come along, and I in NO WAY think that I’m better because I breastfed. I simply know that breast milk has more nutrition than formula because breast milk has things in it that are simply not able to be recreated in a lab. I mean, even formula cans and bottles say that breastfeeding is best. It’s simply the truth. I think that if formula moms would stop feeling the need to defend themselves before anyone even says anything, there wouldn’t be a problem. I was not attacking anyone, I was simply stating my opinion.

Jennifer September 18, 2008, 3:21 PM

I think that everyone should stop worrying about how everyone else feeds their kid. I mean, really, why get your panties in a bundle if you see that someone is FF, or vice versa? Aren’t there better things to worry about?

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