• Tue, Aug 7 2012

I’m Not Breastfeeding My Newborn — Not Even For World Breastfeeding Week

breastfeedingSo, it’s National Breastfeeding Awareness Month and World Breastfeeding Week and I didn’t know that. But since I recently was in a hospital in Canada giving birth to my son, I’m well aware of the push for breastfeeding. In fact, I felt I was in a cult, not a hospital, because on every wall and in every hospital room on the maternity floor, there were signs posted about the “benefits of breastfeeding.” I read these posters, oh, about a million times, since that was the only decorations on the wall. I almost asked my daughter to bring me her art supplies so I could make my own sign with magic markers writing out the “benefits of formula feeding.”

I knew I didn’t want to breastfeed BEFORE I even went to the hospital and stocked my shelves with formula. Of course I was asked as soon as I gave birth if I was going to breastfeed. I answered, “No,” pleasantly but firmly. The first nurse didn’t say anything but in my two and a half days in the hospital I was asked this question time and time again, always with the added, “Don’t you want to try?” Um, no, I didn’t want to try. Even the pediatrician who came to check on my baby started to tell me about the benefits of breastfeeding while I listened patiently with a dazed look. She knew she couldn’t convince me and actually stopped mid-sentence and left the room because she knew she was arguing with someone (me) who was a lost cause.

The hospital I was in was fucked to put it mildly. The nurses gave me formula, but one day as I was walking my laps around the maternity ward I overheard a nurse tell a new mother that the hospital didn’t provide formula. This of course was bullshit because I was given formula. I suppose I was lucky I had a nurse who didn’t care whether I breastfed or not. I actually wanted to walk into this new mother’s room and say, “She’s lying! They gave me formula!” It was quite obvious that the nurses had all the power when it came to whether you could formula feed, and that pissed me off. I’m all for women’s choice and hospitals that ban formula feeding piss me off because shouldn’t it be the MOTHER’S choice?

Now for a bit of bragging, which I don’t often do: I didn’t breastfeed my daughter, who is now almost nine, because I wanted a bit of freedom, meaning I wanted her father to help out with feedings and also anyone else who wanted to feed her. I also didn’t want my boobs to turn to shit, which is what happens when some people breastfeed. I know this because many friends have shown me their boobs after breastfeeding, especially after two children, and have such anxiety about it. But back to bragging. My formula-fed daughter has only been sick with the flu once and had strep throat once in her eight years on this earth. Meanwhile, my two best friends, who breastfed their children, have constant problems with asthma, earaches, and sore throats. Yeah, breastfeeding really helped them with the health of their child.

Does breastfeeding make your baby smarter? Well, um, my daughter got into one of the hardest private schools in Canada and also got into the National Ballet of Canada. She is also the happiest kid around. In other words, the kid is all right.

There’s the losing weight faster argument, but for every woman who has told me they lost weight quickly, I can find another woman who says it didn’t do anything and even one friend who told me breastfeeding made her fatter. I was back to my fighting shape four months after I had formula-fed my daughter just by eating healthy and working out. I know. I know. Studies have been done about breastfeeding and the benefits. But do they take into consideration the woman’s age, the woman’s lifestyle, and most importantly, the woman’s choice?

In fact, these pushes for breastfeeding can be insulting to women who adopt, or who just can’t breastfeed (and many women just can’t.)

You can reach this post's author, Rebecca Eckler, on twitter.
Share This Post:
  • Gretchen

    This was one of the most annoying things I’ve read in a while. Too much to complain about, I better not even begin.

  • N

    What a mean-spirited article! Good for you for choosing what your kid eats….By the way, the health issues with formula-feeding actually occur later in life- around 50 years old. Look at the first formula generation (those born in the late 1950′s) and the health problems they have. Formula is only really one generation old- making it hardly ‘safe’ or ‘tested’.

    I too was given formula samples from the hospital…..the first ingredient was CORN SYRUP, and the second ingredient was SUGAR.
    That sounds natural and healthy…

  • bang2tang

    did she being paid by some formula milk company?

  • Sarah

    I can’t believe you even wrote something like this!!! I think it should be the mom’s choice of how she is going to feed her baby. But why do you have to bash about breasfeeding?? Who cares what your boobs look like, I mean come on your a mother!!! I was able to breastfeed my oldest for 3 months, I wasn’t producing enough milk for her so had to switch to formula, my 2nd wouldn’t take anything but a bottle no matter how hard I tryed and my 3rd could not latch on. I pumped breast milk for 3 weeks for him and kept trying to get him to latch on. My 3rd is now 5 weeks old and not being able to breast feed him still makes me sad, almost like I have failed as a mother, not because of what others think or say but because I strongly believe in breast feeding and this being my last baby too. And as far as you saying you wanted freedom….well maybe you should of thought about that before having kids. You don’t get freedom once you have babies, they are your responsibility, not someone elses. Anyhow….not trying to bash on you but some of the stuff you said was kind of out there. And not even giving your baby a chance to breastfeed, that is just sad to me, I wish I could of and lord knows I tryed.

  • Makabit

    Yeah, the advantage of having had droop from very early on, is that I had not the slightest concern about whether breastfeeding would ruin my perkiness. Haven’t had perkiness since I could first vote, won’t miss it.

  • Makabit

    I may be sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong, but I think if I were quite that concerned about the physical impact of having a baby, I might adopt. It’s stressful, but doesn’t change your body at all, unless you eat too many Doritos to cope.

  • Ugh

    Urgh, the nasty comments on this article make me wonder what the primary motivation for breastfeeding is. Feeding your child or feeling superior over other women? Frankly, the language and personal remarks in these comments make me certain it’s the latter. Grow up and stop behaving like spoilt playground brats.

  • Brandi

    You know.. I thought about breastfeeding maybe say a few minutes in the begging of pregnancy. I’m now 37 weeks. I decided I wanted to formula feed since I got pregnant. I hate the fact how the doctor asked me if I was going to Formula Feed or Breastfeed. I said Formula, and he literally said “No, your not. Your going to try breastfeeding” I have a witness also.. But she didn’t seem to care because she’s all for it also. I’m still going to formula feed no matter what, and If they refuse me formula, I packed some in my bag for my son to have after I give birth. Plus, not to seem to anal or anything ( I don’t know if anyone else had the same problem with this but..) I don’t want anyone else feeding my baby other than me and his father. That’s it. I don’t care how tired I will be, I will get up, and feed my child and hold him to stop crying and everything with it. Yes i am a First time Mom and so is my Husband(first time dad) I’m ready to snap on literally everyone who will keep saying to me to breastfeed and if i don’t they will come over and “HELP” feed MY child and wanting to keep coming over when I don’t need the help and I just want to be ALONE. I’m sorry, If I am totally ranting, I’m just bothered by the fact how these are the MOTHERS choices. It’s not their baby.

  • KJ

    This was amazing and very real, it seems that readers can’t handle her funny and real experience, she cursed, big deal, it was an amazing article

  • Joeline

    Breast feeding does not ruin you’re breasts at all… It’s the hormone from becoming pregnant that is the cause of breasts sagging.

  • cathie

    Awesome post! Don’t forget the fact that 99.9% of breastfeeding moms wear deodorant that has been proven to leech into the breast.. Oh yeah feed your kid some aluminum, parabens and Propylene glycol.. How come no one talks about that? breast feeding’s the best? Riiiight…

  • r u illiterate

    learn the difference between all right and alright

  • Kendra

    I have never been so enraged over comments on a post in my life. I have sat here for the last three hours, scouring the internet for a post like this. Just one post to help me justify my decision. To be fair, the point in this post is that I shouldn’t have to try and justify it. But how sad is it that it took me this long just to find one post. Just one that said what I needed to hear. I am about to be a first time mom and I have never wanted to breastfeed. Okay, maybe for a month or so I thought I would try, but my greater instincts took over and I am back to my original standing. I don’t see how this is “badly written”. All I see is (FINALLY) a woman, standing up for what she believed was right, even if it’s not “the norm”, and putting out a big screw you…and I guess I’m weird because I laughed a few times, quite light heartedly. Nowhere in this post did the writer bash breastfeeding women. I have never read anything on this site in my life, let alone from this writer, but you can bet your judgemental happy asses that I am damn well going to start. I am so appalled by people like all of you. I will not breastfeed and I will not feel guilty about it. I also will not stand by and keep my mouth shut (thank you pregnancy hormones) when I see a group of ignorant, judgemental human beings, being jack holes.

  • rachaelleegee

    I just found your blog post when I Googled “What if I don’t want to breastfeed my baby?” I’ve felt strongly about using formula all my life and now that I’m pregnant, I feel like it’s solidified (I have done a lot of research). However, the lack of support online and in the medical community is sad. You shouldn’t be shamed into making your kid latch on. I’m not looking forward to the uphill battle I’ll have to fight over this issue as my due date gets closer (I’m only 5 months now). As it is, I had to convince my fiance that breastfeeding was not only something I didn’t want to try, but it also isn’t feasible given my work schedule. He finally conceded. It should not be an “of course you’re going to breastfeed” tone from the doctors- it should be more like “what is your choice?” Women apparently are allowed to decide whether or not to have a baby, but not make the decision about what that child should eat.

  • ib

    MRS BONITA LEYVA

    I was barring for 7 years and my husband hardly talk to me
    because i was unable to conceive and my mother-in law was not even talking to
    me all she was saying is that my husband should drive me out of the house and
    marry another woman, so i keep on praying and i saw the work of PROPHET OKPOBO
    online and i just say let me contact him and explain my problem to him and he
    caster a spell for me to be pregnant, i mate with my husband and after 3 months
    a great miracle fell on me and i was tested positive that i am pregnant, I am very
    happy now, i am going to have my own baby, if you also need a help please
    contact his email address: (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com)

  • ib

    My name is Rossy Leyva, my partner and I have been trying
    for a baby for over two years now, We were going to a fertility clinic for
    about 5 months before somebody told us to contact this spell caster who is so
    powerful, We contacted him at this email; (dreka14demons@gmail.com), for him to
    help us, then we told him our problem, he told us that we will either conceive
    in February 2014 or March 2014,but after two years of trying we were at a point
    where we were willing to try anything. And I’m glad we came to Dr EKA, Because
    his pregnancy spell cast put us at ease, and I honestly believe him, and his
    gods really helped us as well, I am thankful for all he has done. contact him
    via email: (dreka14demons@gmail.com) if you are trying to get a baby or want
    your lover back. he has powers to do it, he has done mine you can as well
    contacted him (dreka14demons@gmail.com) To enable you have a taste of his nice
    work too.

  • zabzab69

    I agree that women should have a choice but their is 100% proof that breast feeding is better whether you like it or not. If you choose not to breast feed cause it causes you a problem with your boobs that’s the same as not feeding your child or giving them the medication they need so you can get a boob job or a facelift. Seriously at the very least their is alternatives to formula. You were lucky nothing more. Your child’s healthy by luck. Mother milk contains antibodies white blood cells and Every other little goodie your baby needs. Formula has a the right vitamins and minerals sure but it doesn’t have those unique things for the sheer fact that as of this moment humans can’t technologically reproduce. So if you wanna formula feed by all means I’m 100% support. But when the religious family down the road refuses to give their child medical help because its against their religion don’t get angry at them cause you did exactly what they are doing. Their is no difference