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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
Lindee September 18, 2008, 3:34 PM

I never breastfed because I thought the whole idea was gross. That’s just me and it was my choice. My daughter is now 19 and turned out just fine and we are as close as a mom and daughter could ever be.
I went through 14 hours of labor with no pain medication. I don’t go around bad mouthing women that had epidurals because it was their choice.

Anonymous September 18, 2008, 3:39 PM

Just once I would like to hear someone admit that they’re breastfeeding because they’re to cheap to buy formula. All I ever hear is the boring facts about it. Blah, blah, blah.

Rysma September 18, 2008, 4:26 PM

Stop justifying how you feed your kids!! By claiming to be a proud non-breastfeeder you’re just tickling the fancies of those lactivist nazi BPE’s. It doesn’t matter why or how or what you went through, JUST FEED YOUR BABY.

Dee September 18, 2008, 4:39 PM

First, to all the women who have/had happy, well-adjusted babies, a sincere congratulations. Mothering is hard, and it’s wonderful that your babies are excelling.

Second, as women, we should stop attacking each other for being able to exercise control over our bodies. At least we have the economic means to exercise choice (yes, if I sound liberal, it’s because I am—a very proud Canadian).

Third, for annonymous on page 2: one of the reasons that I chose to breastfeed my son is yes because I’m too cheap to buy formula AND because I’m a firm believer in the benefits of breastmilk. In the beginning it was hard, and I almost gave up, but I had good supportive hubby and a wonderful lactician. It became easier with time, to the point where I really resented bottles (oh the cleaning and scrubbing! hmm… I guess that makes me lazy too.) My baby (18 months) is clever and has excelled in a lot of areas, but he’s small. Now it could be because his father and I are tiny, or it could be because I breastfed.

My point is, we all have had varying experiences, but what is important is that we respect each other’s right to choose.

Christa September 18, 2008, 6:25 PM

I dont’ think that you’re a bad mom if you dont’ breastfeed. I think that ultimately it is healthier for the baby if you can, but formula works just fine. I breast fed my first son until he was 11 months and quit cold turkey on his own (painful for me!). I was only able to breast feed my second son for two months because I had to have an open gallbladder surgery that left a 7 inch scar across my stomach. I felt bad that I couldn’t feed my son any longer but the hardes thing was being in the hospital for 6 days away from my new baby. Both of my boys are perfactly healthy happy kids (who were both born by c-section by the way, the first due to complications). They both have a great bond with my husband and I and are very well adjusted kids. I do support breast feeding 100% but I would never make a mom feel bad about her choice not to. As long as her kids are well taken care of and they are happy, thats what matters.

Ashley Designer Bags September 18, 2008, 6:31 PM

People have very good reasons not to have children at all and those who are gung-ho about having them are often appalled at the reasons. I feel that concept applies here; those who want to breast feed cannot (usually) see anything wrong with it and think those who opt to not feed are wrong for their views. More great information like this is just what we need to open people’s eyes.

Vanessa September 18, 2008, 8:46 PM

Honestly, how is it that were lazy because we choose to NOT breastfeed?? gimme a break, do we not have to feed the baby either way, bottle or breast milk! Why does it matter wat we choose to feed the baby, as long as their healthy. It does not make anyone a better mother because they choice one or the other.

Ria September 18, 2008, 9:00 PM

I had a cesarean and I bottle fed. Now, understand this. I WANTED natural birth. I WANTED to breastfeed. Unfortunately, in my 18th hour of labor, my daughter began to suffocate as she shifted onto her UC, and the severe PPD meant that sometimes my milk came in, sometimes it didn’t. When it didn’t I wanted to die. Eventually I learned to ignore the mothers who demonized my “unnatural” birth and my “lazy” bottlefeeding, and focused on what was important—my girl. Now, she’s a cute, happy, smart-as-a-whip toddler. And what’s even cooler, is that as her dad started to get more involved via bottle, it took the pressure off of me, and now they are thick as thieves.

P.S. The funniest thing I ever heard was in the nutritionist’s office, as she’s going on and on about her extra-special breastfed 5 year-old. Well, the kid runs in towards the end of our appointment, proceeds to spit on his mom, and go “boob mommy!” yep, he’s smart AND adjusted.

Katie September 19, 2008, 2:39 AM

I am all for breast feeding ( I had a c-section and breast fed my kid), but I would NOT think badly of anyone for not breast feeding, that is ridiculous. I do think it is healthier for the child to be breast fed, but bottle fed babies can be healthy too (I am a bottle fed baby!).
Why is it that woman are so damn mean to each other? Here we are ,mothers, we share the same deep joy and love for our kids and yet we bash each other over all kinds of stuff.

Bonnie September 19, 2008, 8:38 AM

Both daughters are happy and very healthy even though I did not breast feed. My husband was able to participate from the first hour that they were born! H e could give them the bottle! Most of my friends’ breastfed their babies and this was in the 80’s. My kids were rarely sick and I just thought it was too demanding. The girls are great and are not allergic to anything!!

Cate September 19, 2008, 9:01 AM

I hear the stories from women who CAN’T physically breastfeed. And though there are a few stories in these comments, altogether it is a rare case: UNICEF estimates about 1-3 percent of women aren’t physically able, whatever the reason.
For those who can’t, there is MilkShare, where generous mamas donate their milk to needy babies. (Much cheaper than milk banks, which charge about $3 per ounce.)

I do respect women’s rights to choose all aspects of what to do with their bodies. However, please don’t claim that formula gives “every nutrient they need.” Formula doesn’t. It’s simply not true. If it were, every governmental agency *in the world* wouldn’t push breastfeeding. They do it not to make you feel guilty (your feelings aren’t that important to the WHO or UNICEF or the CDC), but because formula simply does not measure up to breastmilk.
Plus, let me point out that when you formula feed, you are giving this tiny creature, which just came out of your body, milk from another SPECIES. How closely related are we to cows, anyhow? Wouldn’t it make as much sense to give gorilla or chimp milk? Or from an orangutan? Gagging yet?

For the comments about “lazy” or “cheap”, women on both side of this argument can point to costs and work: from mixing formula and staying awake with baby in the night (instead of the luxury of falling asleep breastfeeding), to buying a breast pump and storage bags and taking extra time to pump every day. It’s a silly argument to have.

All in all, I believe parents let themselves be duped into thinking formula is “just as good as breast milk” because it’s an easy way to assuage their guilt or their second guesses. Obviously, if there were “debates” before your daughter was born, your husband wasn’t completely on board with your decision. Which makes me wonder: is it only your choice? Or a family’s decision together?

Yep, it certainly is your choice, and hopefully a family decision. But don’t fool yourself: it is simply not as healthy. I’m not saying my children are better than yours are. I would never claim so. We can bond either way with our children, and we do! We’re humans, and we have the intelligence and love for that.
What defines us as good parents is how we raise our children, not the first food we feed them.

Anonymous September 19, 2008, 9:22 AM

Its interesting that you really believe that bottle feeding is just as good as breast feeding its not… its your choice and for you it may be the right choice but nutritionally spreaking its is not the best choice. I have two older siblings who were both breastfed I on the other hand was not, and guess what???? my immune system sucks!! I seriously get sick all of the time! my other siblings never get sick… I am going to breastfeed, its my choice, but I am going to do everything in my power to stick with it. Studies have shown that there are so many benefits to it for the baby and for us as moms, for me there is just no other choice.

Andrea September 19, 2008, 9:30 AM

I was one of those mothers who due to hormonal problems cannot breastfeed and yet I let those lacaction consultants spend $500 of our money and loads of my time and patience. I was given herbal supplements that gagged me to the point of vomiting and used a hospital rented pump for one month… Pumping every hour with no results took time away from my daughter and myself (who had an emergency c-section)!

RayBaby September 19, 2008, 9:33 AM

Is it just me….or is it anyone’s business whose mouth is on MY breast? Just wondering why anyone would feel the need to speak on a personal decision and for all those who so adamantly nay I say vehemently curse the women who choose not to breast feed as bad mothers don’t look when they are bottle feeding in public just like all of the rest of the world tries not to look at your tit hanging out in public.

Anonymous September 19, 2008, 9:46 AM

Ladies, can we please stop disrespecting each other because of how we gave birth or how we fed our infants? I am SO tired of mommy wars. It would be a better world if we treated each other with kindness and caring and stopped judging each other. For those of you who have a religous streak, doesn’t the bible say “Judge not, lest ye be judged”
I had three cesareans, not by choice. My oldest began to experience irregular heart rythms and the doctor told me a C was the only choice. I had complications on the next two also. They are all happy, healthy productive adults and I have a great relationship with all three. I nursed my sons successfully, but my daughter wanted no part of it. I tried for two months and then got tired of a screaming hungry little girl and went to formula. She’s a stunning young lady at 24 and a great kid, who just taught for a year in China.
As long as the child is doing well, let’s stop getting on each other’s backs and celebrate our happy healthy kids

Rikki September 19, 2008, 10:04 AM

When I had my son, my intent was to breastfeed, even for just a few months. Well, I tried for days…nothing happened. (I did supplement a couple bottles here and there.)Soon, he started to get sick because he wasn’t getting anything to eat. He started getting rust colored crystals in his diaper instead of urine. I tried for so long because my mother in law was there and was adament about breastfeeding. After the pediatrician told me what was going on-basically his kidneys were starting to shut down from lack of hydration, I made a bottle of formula that second. I believe that I saved my son from some painful medical procedures had I continued trying. I did continue to try to pump for another week. I NEVER got a drop of breast milk. So what then?? Should I have let my son starve to death, literally?? Am I a bad mom for feeding my son? In my opinion, as long as a child is being fed and it happy, does it really matter if it comes from a breast or a can? I think not.
Sorry about the long post….I just wanted to make a point that some moms just CAN’T breastfeed.

Amber September 19, 2008, 10:21 AM

Thank you for your article! I tried so hard to breastfeed, 1st after a c-section and then after a VBAC. Each time I visited daily with several different lactation consultants, doctors, chiropractors, etc trying so hard to get enough milk and battle infections. I spent tons of money on hospital grade pumps and professional support, all to fail miserably, and miserable I was, mourning that I was not able to breastfeed. I think part of my misery was those breastfeeding advocates that say things like “not breastfeeding is lazy,” etc. I am happy there is a big push to encourage people to breastfeed as it is very beneficial to baby and mom, however I think there needs to be a balance and support instead of shame when someone formula feeds.

Laura September 19, 2008, 11:23 AM

I’ve never understood why women are so unsupportive and judgmental toward one another.

I have two sets of twins - I tried to breastfeed the first set, realized quickly that I just couldn’t make enough milk, and switched to formula. When I had my second set, I didn’t even TRY to breastfeed - I knew there weren’t enough hours in the day to nurse two newborns and care for two toddlers.

BUT - I shouldn’t have to tell that story to justify why I chose not to breastfeed. Nobody should!

I don’t get why so many nursing mothers act so high and mighty about nursing. So you nurse? FABULOUS. You endorse breastfeeding? SUPER. You want the right to nurse in public, unobstructed and without being harrassed? I SUPPORT YOU, SISTER.

How about a little support in return? We’re all just trying to get through life here. Raising children is hard work, and it doesn’t do any of us a bit of good to call formula feeding mothers lazy, or to imply that we don’t care as much about our children. That idea is just absurd.

Anonymous September 19, 2008, 11:25 AM

Its 2008, the idea that women breast feed at all is absurd. Time to get out of the dark ages ladies, it does nothing for you or your child.

Teresa September 19, 2008, 11:27 AM

I didn’t breast feed either of my children (22 and 16). I think it’s a choice. I’m a nurse and know all of the benefits, however, I believe that a woman should not be judged because they choose not to breast feed.

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