A lot of mothers report feeling tremendous pressure to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is a wonderful option for those who choose to pursue it and are able to do so, but many feel judged and guilty if they use formula. Now one mom’s Facebook argument for formula feeding is going viral. People relate to it, and it’s something a lot of guilt-ridden moms need to hear.
Nebraska mom Leslie Means posted a photo of two bottles of pumped breast milk to the Her View From Home Facebook group. One bottle was full. The other contained a skant half ounce.
“There’s 4+ ounces in one, ½ an ounce in the other,” Means wrote. Like many women, Means can pump more milk from one breast than the other. She says her right breast has always produced more than the left, through three kids.
“Could I have tried and tried and eaten better things, and visited more lactation people and spend more time to get lefty to work? Probably,” she said. “Did I choose my sanity instead? You bet.”
Dear sweet exhausted Mama,I NEED you to hear me. I NEED you to understand something.Whatever you are doing for that…
Means’ three kids ate both formula and breast milk, and they’re all doing great. It’s OK to choose your own sanity.
“Dear sweet exhausted Mama,” Means wrote. “I NEED you to hear me. I NEED you to understand something. Whatever you are doing for that precious baby is exactly right. Do you understand me? What YOU ARE DOING IS RIGHT. Don’t let your friend, or your friend’s friend, or your mom, or your church leader or your neighbor or anyone else in the entire universe tell you otherwise.”
People are loving Means’ post. A lot of the mothers commenting on her post know what it’s like when other people judge them for the way they feed their babies. One mother said a coworker even told her that her combo-feeding baby was sick a lot because he wasn’t exclusively breast-fed. That’s such an inappropriate comment, especially in the workplace.
Argument for formula feeding: Fed is best
Parenting is a series of choices. We’re all doing our best. Sometimes formula or a combination of formula and breast milk is the right choice. Sometimes breastfeeding is the best choice. As long as the baby is getting fed, it’s going to be fine.
There are a lot of reasons a person might use formula. Some people need medications that don’t work well with breastfeeding. Most people have to work, and many find pumping extraordinarily inconvenient. Maybe a mother has had breast cancer, or postpartum depression. Maybe formula is just easier. Maybe the baby has a single father, or two dads. There are so many reasons to formula feed that it’d be impossible to list them all. But parents know the specifics of their own lives and families, and they’re capable of making that decision for themselves. It’s not fair to make a parent feel like they aren’t good enough or working hard enough, just because their baby knows what science milk tastes like.
What do you think of Means’ post? Let us know in the comments.
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