Bottle Feeding Moms Can Now Feel A Formula Mother’s Shame

By  | 

bottle feedingOh the shame of formula feeding. The guilt! Although some ladies clearly cannot breastfeed for a variety of reasons and therefore make their own best choice — instead of the “breast choice” — science continues to make formula feeding mothers feel like a colossal failure. But this new study even ropes in bottle feeding moms for a ride on the mommy guilt go-round.

Reuters reports that babies who are fed solely breastmilk in the first year of their life gain less weight than those who consume formula, and even those who get a bit of both. The link reportedly is that breastfed babies are able to regulate their hunger and satiation better:

“If the babies are fed by the breast, the baby plays a very active role, because they are the ones who decide when to suckle and when to stop,” said Dr. Ruowei Li, of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Li told Reuters Health some researchers believe that “if the babies are fed with the bottle, they will gradually lose their self-regulation of their energy intake and the internal cues of satiety and hunger.”

Faster weight gain among formula-fed infants has obviously been noted before, with other researchers noting that a simple tampering of formula ingredients could rectify this exact problem. But while that evidence analyzed the actual makeup of formula, Dr. Li and her colleagues directed their attention to the impacts of the bottle, and how even those who strictly bottle-fed their babies weren’t exactly in the clear:

Babies who were only fed from a bottle — either with only breast milk or only formula — gained about three ounces more per month compared to those who were solely breastfed.

Yet, throw a little formula in the mix and things begin to look different — and scientists have no idea why:

And when moms exclusively bottle-fed, but alternated between using human milk and formula, their babies grew similarly to solely-breastfed babies.

Feel the sting exclusive bottle-feeders and don’t hesitate to reach out to a fellow formula mom for support. Goodness knows they’re more than familiar with the scrutiny.

(photo: Flashon Studio/ Shutterstock)


  1. CW

    May 18, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    My oldest was formula fed (not by choice) and she was ~2 lbs. heavier by her 1st birthday than her siblings even though she was only ~6 oz. heavier at birth. However, all 3 were a similar size by their 3rd birthdays. So I think it doesn’t really matter in the long run assuming the parents feed them a healthy diet as toddlers & beyond.

  2. Emily

    May 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Please stop mentioning guilt at all when writing such articles. The study’s findings are interesting, but without further analysis, mentioning (even facetiously) that “shame” and “guilt” might come into play is simply poking the animals, so to speak.

    Let’s keep in mind, ladies – no one can make you feel guilty without your permission.

  3. Anna

    May 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Yeah, I’m not sure if it’s a “bad” thing that babies are a little heavier when they’re a year old, as long as they are healthy and eat healthy foods as toddlers, and their parents continue to teach them healthy eating habits. We really shouldn’t be ashamed of our babies for being a little chubby – they’re babies! I’d be more worried about a skinny baby than a fat one. Unless the study shows that these babies turn into obese adults, I really think this is a non-issue. My daughter, who was fed a combination of breast, formula and bottled breastmilk, is pretty chubby at a year, but she should enjoy it while it’s still cute! She’s happy and healthy, and that’s all that matters to me. I’m fairly certain she’ll burn off the baby fat once she starts running.

  4. Pingback: Is Exclusive Pumping Worse Than Breast Feeding

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *