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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
nikki October 14, 2008, 10:16 AM

I am breastfeeding my 4 month old daughter right now and I think that breastfeeding is the way to go. My mother didn’t breast feed me or my sister and we turned out fine however, just knowing that you determine what your baby is getting for nutrition by what you put into your own body is a nice feeling. I honestly believe that breastfeeding is easier than formula. There are so many steps in warming and mixing the formula- not for me but obv for many others. One thing that gets me kind of upset is, personally, I know 4 women who wanted to breast feed and their nipples were chapped and/or bleeding and they gave up and then all of a sudden they were “proud non breast feeders” that I do not support. But to each their own. As long as you are taking care of your baby and everyone is happy- who cares!! Congrats to everyone!!

Sheryl from A Much Better Way October 14, 2008, 10:37 AM

I don’t think that most women who are shouting the benefits of breastfeeding are trying to insult you or your choices.

We feel very strongly that breast is best and many, many young new mothers simply do not know that breastmilk is superior, particularly in the face of formula advertising and samples.

They can choose to use formula anyway for a variety of other reasons, just as you did and that is fine. At least they saw both sides of the picture before making that decision.

Debbie October 14, 2008, 9:40 PM

Breastfeeding was the right choice for me. My baby was born premature at 25 weeks, via C-Section, weighing 1.12 pounds. Three days after she was born they started feeding her my breast milk, which her immature digestive system tolerated well. She would not have tolerated formula so premature. For me, it was the right choice. I had to pump every three hours, every day, all day long for 2 1/2 month until she got out of NICU. Today she is 8 months old and still breastfeeding after dealing with complications premature babies have. It makes me happy to know I have been able to give her what she has needed to get better and gain weight. My sister had a baby two months after me, she tried breastfeeding more than anyone I know, but it did not worked out and in the end, she would cry most of the day because she could not do what I had done for my baby. I told my sister that breastfeeding should be done when it works for both mother and child, and it was not healthy for her to continue living that way. I supported her decision not to breastfeed and for her, and her baby, that was a good choice. My nephew has a happy mother that loves him just as my daughter does. I am proud of her efforts just as she is proud of mine. Nothing good ever comes of judging people. The important thing is that a baby is raised with parents that can teach them to love and respect other people, even if their choices and beliefs are different than ours.

Kate October 15, 2008, 10:18 AM

I don’t necessarily think people who don’t breastfeed are worse mothers. But the thing is, I do a LOT of research about food and health, and I think a lot of the food choices people make at all ages are completely ridiculous, and people have totally lost touch with what’s actually healthy for them. Breastfeeding is the first step in being truly healthy for a lifetime. Yeah, you may formula feed and your kid may not get sick often, but I believe that formula (and later, pop, candy, processed food, etc.) contributes significantly to heart disease, diabetes, ADHD, etc. It’s not just formula. It’s the general US diet as a whole.

For my part, I wouldn’t say anything to a FF mother, but I BF. And I have actually found that when I have stated that FF is NOT for me, that people took offense to it. Guess what? If you have a choice, so do I. And if you’re that defensive about your choice to FF, you must feel guilty. And when it comes down to it, YOU must be okay with your decisions as a parent, and if you are not, then you need to make a different choice. It’s just that simple. For me, I couldn’t NOT BF. I have to, I just need to provide for my daughter that way. And I feel she will ultimately be healthier for it (of course, she’ll also be healthier because of other diet limitations we are imposing). But — many people don’t agree. Oh well.

Lizette October 15, 2008, 4:20 PM

Honestly, if you made the choice not to breastfeed then OWN it. I also was not breastfed, my peers were not breastfed and we have lots of health problems. Is this a causal thing? The scientists have also done studies correlating the two so, yeah, probably.

Our generation was mostly formula fed, and are mostly NOT fine. We mostly have problems with obesity, diabetes, breast cancer, other cancers, asthma, allergies, etc.

I respect a woman’s choice for how to feed her baby. Just make it an informed choice and don’t sugarcoat what the longterm ramifications could be. It is what it is. You made your choice, you felt that it was healthier for YOU (for whatever reasons, and that’s your right). But we know for a fact that breastfeeding is healthier for the babe.

So enough with guilt, own your choice, know your choice - but be honest with yourself.

Lizette October 15, 2008, 4:30 PM

I should also add that formula feeding does not make you a bad mother. I also wonder when I hear all these stories of being called “a bad/horrible/awful” mom if they are true or if it is the mother projecting her own feelings of guilt on to others.

Seriously, you’re the baby’s mama - you take care of that babe. Your feeding choice is yours - I may not agree with that choice and there is science and medicine to back me up, but it’s still your choice.

Let’s not forget that the myriad of interventions that we face from pregnancy, to birth, to being in the hospital with a newborn also contribute to not making milk. I think about all the interventions I had with mine and if it weren’t for the support of my family, lactation consultants, midwives, and my own determination (I refused to have any formula within reach) - it might not have happened.

Susy October 24, 2008, 9:01 AM

I think comparing a c-section to breastfeeding is total hogwash. Obviously, the author has never had to have a c-section. If you ask most women who have had a c-section if they would have preferred to give birth naturally they would answer YES. (Even scheduled c-sections are usually out of a mother’s hand for either safety reasons or lack of support for a VBAC). Ask a mother who has chosen not to breastfeed if she would have preferred to breastfeed, and most would say “NO”. So the comparison is useless and stupid in my opinion—and the author needs to do a little research on the benefits of breastfeeding before writing such a ridiculous article.

Anne October 24, 2008, 11:04 PM

I gave birth to my 12 month old son naturally and have breastfed him until now and have no intention of stopping until he’s ready. We’ll see if I change my opinion later.
I have personally found that no one wants to hear about my natural birth that went really well and no one wants to hear that I’m still breastfeeding him, except the few mothers I know that also had the same experiences. I don’t tell people about his birth and I no longer nurse in public, because I get all sorts of comments about how I was crazy to give birth naturally and “You’re STILL breastfeeding????” I hold no judgement for woman in terms of how they birth their children or feed them. I don’t live your life and live in your body, so how am I to know what’s best for you and your kid? But I personally am tired of the comments about my choices and wish we could all just congratulate each other for surviving the daily struggles of parenting and move on.

Christy October 25, 2008, 9:46 AM

Yeah, formula is okay. But I wonder why all the formula-generation adults are now dying of cancer and diabetes or suffering from conditions associated with the immune system. Hmmm…

Truth is, you say your kid is healthy now, but you don’t know what the future holds. Babies are meant to breastfeed and formula is a poor, poor substitute (didn’t a bunch of babies in China just get sick from contaminated formula? Don’t they add something new every few years to try to make up for the deficiencies? BTW, this DHA ARA and other stuff they add isn’t even tested first. They do what’s called “after market research” meaning your babies are the guinea pigs).

Not even trying to breastfeed IMO is taking a completely unnecessary risk with your child’s health. I hope your blog does not encourage other mothers who are on the fence about bfing to put their babies at risk as well.

Breeder October 26, 2008, 2:35 PM

I had two c-sections due to frank breech presentation and I was able to breastfeed no problem. I don’t really see the connection.

Maureen October 27, 2008, 10:19 AM

I definitely don’t think that breastfeeding is the ‘magic bullet’ that creates a bond between a mother and a child. I also agree with ‘R’ in that sometimes not breastfeeding is better if it will make the mom happier and more comfortable.
I do think that, if a mother is informed, she knows that breastfeeding is not only optimal for her infant, but that it’s also normal and should at least, for the sake of the health of the child (and of the mother because there are a lot of benefits for her too!) at least be tried. That’s what I think is selfish…when you know it’s best, are physically capable of doing it, and just don’t. If it’s tried and it’s really not for the mother, then by all means, stop. But I just don’t understand how anyone can discount it as being the best thing for their baby without even trying.

sandy October 27, 2008, 10:30 AM

I’m sorry so many mother feel so judged for their choices. However the facts about brestfeeding are strong and very real. Our society sees nothing wrong with judging a mother for smoking during pregnancy or around a baby, yet we can’t judge ffing which causes even more health issues for babies? Why is that? Choosing not to breastfeed a baby has negative health implications. Studies not anecdotal evidence has proven this. Whether or not you choose to acknowledge this is does not change the facts.

lalasha December 9, 2008, 4:31 PM

I like free breastfeeding is free and I like that they are heffers either I know that there is hefty children that are breastfed but I’m glad that mine are slim seeing how I’m a single mom 6 months a year I don’t need the possiblity of heft little ones. but I digress I just don’t see how breaastfeeding could make someone unhappy but if you don’t want to that is on you

C. L. December 17, 2008, 3:50 PM

You didn’t even try? My grandma didn’t breastfeed her kids because she was told cow’s milk was healthier. She was trying to do what was best for her babies. But the experts were wrong.

Today, we know it’s healthier to breastfeed. You know it’s healthier. So why didn’t you even want to try? Why write an article trying to make yourself feel better and don’t even let us know why you didn’t want to try. I just don’t understand. You don’t explain your reasons, maybe you didn’t feel like it? There are some women who can’t, and I’m sure they agonize over it. But to just choose not to even give your baby at least the first three days of colostrum, when you don’t seem to have any medical rationale, is withholding something valuable from your baby.

JEANNE December 30, 2008, 6:43 PM

I had two C-sections - one was a “stat” (baby stuck), and one was scheduled. I also breastfed both kids, one for 12 months and the other for 15.

I am the biggest advocate of breastfeeding out there, but I am also a HUGE believer in doing what works for your family.

While there are pros to breastfeeding, I also think that breastmilk is only one of the many ways that a parent can benefit a child, and it’s only one of the many ways to connect with and nourish your child.

I too was formula fed, and I wouldn’t change a thing about the wonderful bond I have with my parents.

Sarah January 10, 2009, 9:17 PM

Women are deluded into thinking that breastfeeding by choice is OK. Formula products should not be advertised or easily available. Breastfeeding should be normalised..praised and accepted in public..women would be more likely to feel good about it if society changed it’s views. Bottle feeding mum’s have been brainwashed to think that formula is just as good…it is not. Human milk for human babies.. Formula should only be for Mum’s that really need it..for medical reasons.

Sarah January 10, 2009, 9:21 PM

Do you all agree that because breastfeeding is seen as some private thing that no one should see…is what turns women off’s too hard to do in public..? Would it be better if society changed and it was just normal and ordinary to see a woman breastfeed?

It is the babies that are missing out. No matter what you tell yourself..a plastic nipple and cows based breast milk is not the same.

R January 17, 2009, 11:00 PM

I don’t judge anyone for their choices. And this makes you no better than those that judge you. What you’re doing is trying to displace your guilt or whatever negative feelings on to other moms.

de July 16, 2010, 7:26 PM

its funny how all these “i too formula feed” moms sound really selfish in their comments. i bet most of you are also under 24 and don’t have degree in anything… considering the majority of formula moms are.

de July 16, 2010, 7:28 PM

oh and i don’t believe that breastfeeding helps bonding. but no one can deny its better for you babies health. brain. and decreases chances of obesity.

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