breastfeeding

There’s A Special Place In Hell For People Who Judge Cancer Survivors For Not Breastfeeding

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bottle formula feeding babyFor anyone who’s ever judged a woman for not breastfeeding her baby, first of all, congratulations on your Completely Awful Excuse For A Human Being award! There was some stiff competition this year. And for those of you who have, knowingly or not, judged a breast cancer survivor who underwent a double mastectomy for not breastfeeding, please see yourself out of human society. There are probably some nice uninhabited islands in the Pacific somewhere where you could get along very well with the native iguanas and parrots (as long as you don’t tell them that being a reptile or bird is no excuse for failing to nurse their young).

Emily Wax-Thibodeaux writes in the Washington Post about her experience as a cancer survivor and new mother, and chiefly about the endless parade of Judgy McFormulaHaters who have been nagging her about breastfeeding from the first moment she held her son in her arms:

“I can’t. I had breast cancer,” I said, looking down at Lincoln and stating proudly: “But I’m just so happy to be alive and be a mother after cancer.”

Silence.

“Just try,” [the lactation consultants] advised. “Let’s hope you get some milk.”

“It may come out anyway, or through your armpits,” another advised later when I was doing the usual post-labor, slow-recovery walk through the hospital halls.

Look: I don’t need to be sold on the gospel of breastfeeding; my twins are going to be a year old next month and are still nursing like champs. I am on board the breastfeeding train … for myself. It is absolutely none of my business why someone else chose formula (or why they chose breastfeeding). It’s also not the business of lactation consultants, especially who, as health professionals, should be able to understand that no breast tissue equals no milk. Cheerfully telling a patient that she might be able to get milk to come out of her armpits is not helpful, especially in the case of a cancer survivor like Wax-Thibodeaux, who points out that any milk production her body achieved would only mean that her surgeon had failed to collect some breast tissue and therefore put her life at risk. Hey, new mom, maybe you’ll start sweating milk! Sure, it would mean a possible death sentence for you – but at least your baby will get breast milk instead of formula!

Wax-Thibodeaux posted a follow-up earlier today in which she shared the responses she’d received from other formula-feeding mothers who’d felt an emotional resonance with her experience. Women wrote in about being accused by strangers of poisoning their babies with formula, about doctors who were not allowed to use the word ‘bottle’, about being reduced to tears after being harangued by nurses and consultants. Some of these women were other cancer survivors, some of the were just women who didn’t want to or couldn’t breastfeed, and not a single one of them deserved to be treated this way. For future reference, here is a short list of reasons that it’s okay to bottle-feed:

  • Medical reasons
  • Psychological reasons
  • Logistical reasons
  • Mom damn well doesn’t feel like breastfeeding
  • Other (fill in the blank)

I think that about covers it.

The next time you see a woman giving her baby a bottle in public and you want to say something to her about how breastfeeding is best, here’s my advice: 1.) Don’t. 2.) DO NOT DO THAT. 3.) Offer her the chance to slap you in the face. 4.) If she mentions that she is a breast cancer survivor, offer her the chance to kick you in the face. No one needs your moral stamp of approval to be permitted to formula feed, and trust me, they’ve heard every reason under the sun about why ‘breast is best’. If you feel the need to share your judgment with new moms for having the audacity to do what’s best for them and their children, it just means that what you really think is best for baby and mom is ‘stressed’.

(Photo: herjua/Shutterstock)

169 Comments

  1. Valerie

    October 15, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Coming from a family of women who have had double mastectomies, one at child-bearing age, this fills me with rage. STFU, kindly. The lactivists sometimes take it WAY too far.

    • Spongeworthy

      October 15, 2014 at 10:41 am

      Yea, I think the hardcore lactivists and consultants like the one mentioned do a lot more damage than good when they take it to extremes like that. It’s going to turn off more people than its going to encourage.

    • Valerie

      October 15, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Yup. Leaves a bad taste.

    • Shea

      October 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      Bad taste is what the baby is going to get too, if he’s going to be licking milk out of Mom’s armpit.

    • Katherine Handcock

      October 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      I am disgusted by the hardcore lactivists, and I will tell anyone who wants to know that I think breastfeeding is awesome if possible. They absolutely do more damage to the cause of getting people to nurse than they help.

    • Shannon

      October 15, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      You get more flies with honey than vinegar. Gently supporting people is more likely to lead to a positive experience, not browbeating them.

    • whiteroses

      October 15, 2014 at 11:21 am

      I have a friend who had a double mastectomy. We were bottle feeding our kids when a woman came up to us and started with the “breast is best” line. My friend put her daughter in her car seat, then reached behind her and very calmly unlatched her bra, then pulled it through her sleeve and passed it to the woman. My friend said, “it’s called cancer and a double mastectomy, but thanks for the concern. I’m just damned happy to be alive, personally.”

      She turned to me and said, “well what about you?”

      I smiled at her and said, “you want my bra too?”

      Here’s hoping that nosy bitch learned a lesson.

    • Valerie

      October 15, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      Ahhhh that’s awesome!!!

      And who the fudge ARE these people with the nerve to say anything?!? I bottle-fed my daughter and would have choked a bitch had they the nerve to say anything negative.

    • js argh

      October 15, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      You and your friend are my heroes.

    • Katherine Handcock

      October 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      That is karma acting in the best possibly way: fast and where you can see it 🙂

    • blh

      October 16, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Who are these crazy ass people that do this?I bottle fed my son and never had anyone look at me twice.

  2. jane

    October 15, 2014 at 10:11 am

    I am so effing tired of the “breast is best” campaign. Yes. It is. You know what else is best?

    – getting 8 hours of sleep per night
    – eating a 40/40/20 balance of low glycemic index carbs/lean proteins/healthy fats at every meal
    – avoiding all on-screen violence
    – rear facing carseats until age two
    – never yelling at your kids
    – avoiding processed foods, especially red dye #5
    – brushing one’s teeth after every meal

    Unless you plan on doing every single one of these things for your children, then STFU about breastfeeding. Just because something isn’t “best” doesn’t make it “bad.” It’s baby formula, not battery acid. And frankly the research about how “best” it is really is being called into question anyway.

    You want to breastfeed? Go for it. I will support you 100%. But this is not the great moral issue of our day. Feed the damn baby and move on with your life.

    • quest

      October 15, 2014 at 10:24 am

      So true! I love the part about battery acid. I struggled to breastfeed. I have a hard time drinking enough water when I am the only one that needs it, let alone when so much is being secreted through my nipples…..but to top that off, my diet is not always good. My husband has the taste of a six year old. He doesnt eat fruits or vegetables. That makes it hard to keep fresh foods in the house as I dont eat them fast enough, and we dont have the money to go to the store every other day. So I am pretty sure that the very carefully balanced infant formula was more nutritionally sound than anything I would have made.

    • rrlo

      October 15, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Let’s see, also to be added
      – No screen time before age 2
      – No bed sharing BUT sleeping in the same room with child.
      – pacifier use until age 1
      – whole bunch of ever changing rules on when to introduce solids
      – at least 30 mins of exercise a day
      – depending on your country circumcision vs no circumcision
      – a ginormous list of dos and donts for pregnancy
      – Most CAM suggested items avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding like raspberry leaf tea, castor oil to start labour etc.
      – All vaccines, including boosters for adults. And flu shot every year for anyone over 6 months.
      I can go. So if you have violatede ANY of these things, STFU about breastfeeding.

      And I suppose if someone managed to follow every single AAP recommendations, they should still STFU

    • jane

      October 15, 2014 at 10:29 am

      Yes! I knew I forgot a whole bunch!

    • rrlo

      October 15, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Minus the vaccines, most of these items are not that we’ll studied – including breastfeeding. It seems like every year new studies come out to shed light on medical conventional wisdom. So I don’t understand why people get SO uppity about one thing while completely ignoring a hundred other things.

      Recent “outrage” on Mommyish over home births come to mind.

    • Jessifer

      October 15, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      Don’t forget warming the milk bottle in the microwave. I also let my kid stand right in front of the microwave and peer into it as it’s heating everything up, exposing him to potentially harmful rays. Someone call CPS!

    • the_ether

      October 15, 2014 at 10:14 pm

      ‘No screen time before age 2’ hahaha wtf am I supposed to do while glued to a chair for breastfeeds if I can’t rewatch Buffy for the thirteen thousandth time?

    • Valerie

      October 15, 2014 at 10:30 am

      I know, it is such a small facet of the entire picture. It’s so odd to me how some mothers fixate on it. Just feed the kid- good job.

    • alexesq33

      October 15, 2014 at 11:07 am

      is child receiving sustenance? check.
      growing? check.
      well done.

    • Yo

      October 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      THIS.

      If anyone said boo to me about bottle feeding my child, I would hand her over to the idiot and tell them to have a go at breast feeding her. Not interested? Then kindly stfu.

      Don’t forget yellow dye. My niece gets a wicked rash if she eats or drinks anything that’s unnaturally yellow.

    • InRemissionNow

      October 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      My kids are 24 and 21. They were formula-fed because although I tried, I didn’t have enough milk for either of them and found breastfeeding painful. I actually received very little shaming at the time. But when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 37, I got retroactively shamed by people telling me that if I had breastfed I wouldn’t have gotten cancer.

      1. I know there is a possible correlation, thanks.

      2. I’m not sure about causation, because I’m not an oncological researcher, and guess what, neither are you.

      3. Did you really just tell someone going through chemo and multiple, devastating surgeries that it’s all their own fault?

      Why are women so cruel to each other?

    • InRemissionNow

      October 17, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      (I’m in my late forties, now. I mentioned my age at diagnosis because there’s an extra rush to judge and identify the “cause” of cancer when it happens to a youngish person.)

  3. prochoice

    October 15, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Not surprised one bit. Have heard this way too many times. Have a friend who was raped and her rapist focused on her breasts which means she freaks when anyone touches them. The lactivist told her that she had recovered enough to have sex and she was just making excuses to not breastfeed. Rage does not begin to describe my emotions.

    As a formula feeder who chose to formula feed, the vitrol that comes out of the mouths of some of these people is astounding. Luckily I am secure enough to tell people off (and once got a round of applause at a restaurant) who dare to judge me. How someone could judge a person who could have died for something out of her control is horrifying.

    • Valerie

      October 15, 2014 at 10:31 am

      Oh God, you must be kidding. That poor woman.

    • guest

      October 15, 2014 at 10:32 am

      If I had been nearby I don’t think I could have controlled myself from physically assaulting someone who would utter such moronic nonsense.

    • SnoozyPuppies

      October 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

      I admit I kinda want to hear more about the round of applause story. You sound awesome. When I am in that kind of situation I get all tongue-tied and can only think of the real zingers when it’s too late.

      I was fortunate enough to have never encountered any judgement at all for how I chose to feed my babies. May the day come where every mother has this same experience.

    • prochoice

      October 15, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      I just had some woman call across three tables that I ought to be doing the right thing and breastfeeding my baby. My little one was about 5 months old or so. I told her that she should spend more time minding her own business then sticking her nose where it did not belong and if she dared to say one more word to me about how I was raising my child I was going to hit her over the head with my chair. I got much applause from customers and waitstaff alike and supportive comments like “you tell her!” and “damn skippy.” My husband was laughing hysterically wishing he had recorded it.

      I am in crunchy southern California so that was not the first nor the last person I have had to shut down. I have defended other forumula feeders and a few breastfeeders. I have no problem calling people on their shit.

      The best part was hearing her husband whisper to her that he told her she shouldn’t have said anything.

    • guest

      October 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      I love this a lot. I would have been the one shouting damn skippy or offering to hold her down whilst you whooped her ass. That is fantastic.

    • Jen TheTit Whisperer

      October 15, 2014 at 10:40 am

      What the actual fuck? I cannot comprehend that.

    • cabecb

      October 15, 2014 at 10:41 am

      People are always finding a new low to sink too.

    • Jen TheTit Whisperer

      October 15, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Looking for a fast ticket to hell apparently.

    • cabecb

      October 15, 2014 at 10:41 am

      I’m sorry that crap happened to your friend. What right did that woman have to tell her that? My god, your friend has the right to decide what happens to her body and what parts are touched and not touched.

    • PAJane

      October 15, 2014 at 10:53 am

      I’ll say it again. What. The. Actual. Fuck.

    • Wildrumpusmom

      October 15, 2014 at 11:15 am

      Why are hospitals hiring people like this? That is bullying. Who the eff? What? I can’t…..

    • Spitting_mad

      October 15, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Okay, I have to ask something.
      Did that lactavist leave the room with all her teeth? And if so, who failed to hit her as hard as she deserved? Were the chairs bolted to the floor?

    • prochoice

      October 15, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Her husband went ballstic as my friend started crying. He chased the lactivist out, down the hall and security was called. When he explained what happened security released him and they sent a patient rep to her room later and took down what happened. The patient rep could not believe what he had heard and the lactivist was fired while the head of the hospital came down the day my friend was released begging forgiveness. They were just thrilled that horrible woman was fired so she could hopefully not hurt anyone else again, but she probably just got hired somewhere else and is making more mothers cry.

    • Katherine Handcock

      October 15, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Liking this because the hospital responded appropriately. And hopefully she won’t get hired again when new places check her references.

    • ted3553

      October 15, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      I was just thinking as I read this that I may actually have punched her in the face.

  4. Ursi

    October 15, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I’m waiting for the day the lactivist crowd starts championing wet nurses like in days of old. Just wait.

    Formula is a modern marvel. We should be celebrating the fact that we have a viable replacement for breast milk in the time we live in.

    • TheQuirkyDiva

      October 15, 2014 at 10:26 am

      But…but…it’s CHEMICALS!!! Don’t you know that chemicals will kill us all??? **grumble**

    • Shea

      October 15, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Yeah, formula contains dihydrogen monoxide! You don’t want to introduce shit like that into your precious infant’s vulnerable system.

    • kitty

      October 15, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      H2O. That one never gets old.

    • jane

      October 15, 2014 at 10:30 am

      They do. Milk share programs.

      That’s not to say that if someone wants to use one and has access to one that milk share programs aren’t great. But absolutely there is a vocal group out there that thinks that milk from another mother is better than formula.

    • Sarah

      October 15, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      I wonder about milk share programs, and how they test for diseases etc. A friend was talking about how you can buy milk off Craigslist and I was all……… you WHAT NOW????

    • SunnyD847

      October 15, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      I would much rather feed my child formula than milk from a stranger who could be drinking, taking drugs, sick, etc. That seems horribly irresponsible to me.

  5. The Redhead

    October 15, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I have talked about this before on this site, but I am unable to breastfeed (except for possibly the first week or two) because I have MS and have been advised by two doctors that I need to go back on my medication immediately after I give birth. If I delay the medication I risk having a flare-up that could make me unable to care for my baby.
    I am already dreading the comments I am going to get about it. I know I shouldn’t care what strangers think, but still… why can’t people just mind their own business?

    • cabecb

      October 15, 2014 at 10:45 am

      There seems to be an assumption that people have the right to comment on women’s choices when they feel it is wrong. I was raised in a family where I was taught to respect people’s choices even when I don’t agree with them. Not everyone was taught that.

    • ted3553

      October 15, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      My parents were big on stfu in situations like this, when it has nothing to do with you.

    • cabecb

      October 15, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      Same here. They were like we do our thing you do your thing.

    • guest

      October 15, 2014 at 10:53 am

      I so sympathize. My medication can’t be taken while pregnant (or even TTC) because of fetal abnormalities, and it’s also dangerous while breastfeeding. I might manage to make it through pregnancy, but I have to go back on it ASAP after birth – so breastfeeding isn’t even on the table. I’m dreading the whole mess surrounding it. *hugs if you want them*

    • Katherine Handcock

      October 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      Because they are jerks. But there are more of us decent people than there are of the jerks — they’re just louder. Hold your head up and don’t let anyone get to you. Your child is better off with formula and a mom who can care for her.

    • Spitting_mad

      October 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Start practicing this one now:

      Off is the general direction of which I would like you to fuck….shoo.

    • J.D.

      October 15, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      I liked one of the comments on the original story where someone said people, “Should never miss a good opportunity to shut up,” or something to that effect. I’m saving that for use some day.

  6. TheQuirkyDiva

    October 15, 2014 at 10:26 am

    ARGH! Stuff like this makes my brain boil. There is absolutely no reason why, in this country, a mom shouldn’t feed her baby however she is comfortable. I mean, does the WHO recommend exclusive breast feeding until six months and up to two years with complimentary food? Yes, they do. But people in this country forget that the WHO has many, many underdeveloped countries under its wing. In those countries, it really is safer for mothers to breastfeed because of lack of access to clean water to prepare formula. But here? Yeah…not so much.

    All that said, I read these articles about people being stopped in the streets and scolded by strangers for random things and I think, “Wow…that has *never* happened to me.” Ever. Maybe I just look intimidating? My daughter exclusively was fed breastmilk for a year, but from bottles. I never got one single comment from anyone. Weird.

    • MomOf1+2

      October 15, 2014 at 11:06 am

      The thing that I have run into with the most aggressive lactivists that quote the WHO is that they are also the ones that tend to question vaccinations and choose an alternate schedule or are anti-vax (not saying all are like this just that it’s something I’ve noticed anecdotally). And last I knew the WHO recommended vaccinating on schedule. So if the WHO is the almighty info source then why are you questioning their vaccine recommendations- either they know what they are talking about or they don’t. You don’t get to pick and choose which of their policies you believe are correct and which aren’t; they are either reliable or they aren’t.

    • TheQuirkyDiva

      October 15, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Exactly. I think people also have a problem separating macro-level health policy recommendations from personal decisions. Taking all factors into consideration, WHO’s “breast is best” policy is probably a good one at the macro level. But it’s not going to work for everyone. It couldn’t, considering that WHO has to craft policy that affects billions of women. The tough thing is when you try to have conversations about the high-level policies and people get offended because they think you’re judging them. Or when you cherry pick recommendations to justify your own concern-trolling. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately because I have been known to do it regarding my own soap-box topics! **cringe** I would never be rude enough to comment to a stranger about feeding her kid, though! My goodness.

    • js argh

      October 15, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      I’m beginning to wonder if my Resting Bitchface® is what kept people from making comments about my bottling feeding Kidlet.

    • noodlestein's danger tits

      October 15, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      You mean that could someday work in my favor?? Score.

    • ted3553

      October 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      I think this is what worked for me as well. I never had one comment.

    • JAN

      October 15, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      RBF is why I think no one ever patted my pregnant belly, I highly recommend looking unapproachable!

    • TheQuirkyDiva

      October 15, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      You know, that could explain a lot. I never, ever got people giving me unsolicited opinions, trying to touch my belly, the baby, etc. Ever. RBF FTW!!

  7. Emee

    October 15, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I’m not a mother yet so can’t comment on personal experiences but… is this mainly a US thing? I have plenty of friends over here (UK) who have formula fed and while they have personally been down on themselves for it, I was never aware of anyone trying to shame them for their choices. Do I live in a bubble or, as I said before, is this something which happens more in the States? Any non US-ers able to comment for me?

    • guest

      October 15, 2014 at 10:38 am

      I would say this depends greatly on the area of the US just as an fyi. The area I’m in it seems to be a lot LOT more common to formula feed but you may get looks or whatever for breastfeeding I’d think before you’d get them for formula feeding.

    • whiteroses

      October 15, 2014 at 11:27 am

      My son was born in Australia, and I legit had people stare at me and tell me that I was poisoning my baby.

    • TheQuirkyDiva

      October 15, 2014 at 11:33 am

      HA! My response would have been, “Yes, and I teach him bad words, too. Fuck off.”

    • whiteroses

      October 15, 2014 at 11:34 am

      My response to that? “Well, what exactly do you suggest I do? Let him starve to death?”

    • Emee

      October 16, 2014 at 9:14 am

      This gives me the rage and the fear for when tiny person arrives.

    • Ukmummy

      October 15, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      In uk- been congratulated by a stranger for breast feeding in public, but never been shamed for bottle feeding….

  8. Guest

    October 15, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I must be lucky, I’ve only been mommy-shamed once for formula feeding when I was out at a store one day. The all-natural, earth-mom with the 5 kids starting yammering on about how ‘fulfilling’ and ‘natural’ it was and I was ‘robbing’ my son of his ‘natural being to take from me what is produced’

    I told her the truth – “Well unfortunately lady the udders ran dry so it’s either this (waves bottle in her face) or my son starves to death. Which would you do?”

    I did try to breast-feed, but after two weeks it was a no-go.

    • Valerie

      October 15, 2014 at 10:32 am

      Don’t ever feel the need to explain yourself to pieces of shit like that. I would just be like “I’m sorry, what did you say?” and keep saying that over and over until she realizes how ridiculous the words coming out of her mouth truly are.

    • noodlestein's danger tits

      October 15, 2014 at 10:34 am

      I’m even meaner. Once, when a friend was bottle feeding in public and got shamed for it, I lied and said the baby was adopted, and thanks for reminding her that her womb was barren. Shut that sancitmommy right up and sent her hustling away tout suite!

    • Valerie

      October 15, 2014 at 10:45 am

      Hahahahaha that’s awesome

    • AP

      October 15, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      I don’t remember if it was here or on another website, but someone commented that they were once confronted by a sancti-breastfeeder and lied that the baby was formula fed because the mom died in childbirth.

      I think it’s bad karma to fake-kill someone, but the sentiment is 100% correct.

    • cabecb

      October 15, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      I fake-killed my dad once when a telemarketer called. They took our names off the list. My dad heard me and laughed after I explained what I did. He approved.

    • Azalea

      October 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      I once put my dad in federal prison with a telemarketer. If he ever had doubts before that I was his daughter, he had none after that! 😛

    • Shea

      October 15, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      If I were the mom in question, I think I’d be okay with being fake killed in order to shame a nosy sanctimommy.

    • LeggEggTorpedoTits

      October 15, 2014 at 10:44 am

      That’s brilliant. I might even couple it with the dead on eye-contact and no expression.

    • Maggie J

      October 15, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      Saying that you “robbed” your son of his “natural being” (whatever the fuck) is just as stupid as saying that a woman who had a C-section didn’t really birth a child. Because childbirth is such a magical experience and should only be done one way, amirite?

  9. noodlestein's danger tits

    October 15, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Not even a parent yet, and I get PRE-judged about saying I don’t think I’d breastfeed if I had kids. Lots of poison comments, lots of well, you’ll change your mind once you’re pregnant, you couldn’t possibly understand now commnets, a whole lot of NO THANK YOU for your comments, dickbags. The fact that women get judged for how they feed thier babies makes me want to kick the world in the balls. Fuck. You. Agressive. Lacktivists.

    • LeggEggTorpedoTits

      October 15, 2014 at 10:41 am

      I can’t wrap my head around the whole idea that people actually voice this stuff to your face. I mean, just… wow. I think I really would have squirted someone in the face with my boobly milk gun if they had said anything about my nursing…I think you could probably use a bottle similarly? Just a little squirt to the eye as a “fuck off I didn’t ask you”?

    • noodlestein's danger tits

      October 15, 2014 at 11:01 am

      Good plan! I’ll tuck it away for future use. I’ll start practicing my sarcastic, “oops, my bad,” now.

    • guest

      October 15, 2014 at 10:45 am

      I’m currently pregnant with my second child and deciding not to breastfeed. Yesterday, the nurse was talking all of my “birth plan” info, and she asked if I plan to. When I answered no, she told me “that’s perfectly fine…and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it!”. I’ll admit, coming from a nurse it made me feel good…but when I got home I just kept thinking about how mad I’ll be if anyone dare say a word to me about it lol

    • noodlestein's danger tits

      October 15, 2014 at 11:00 am

      That’s awesome! I wish more people in the healthcare industry were like that. I’ve heard some real horror stories. Glad yours isn’t one of them. 🙂

    • prochoice

      October 15, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      That is awesome. I had the head nurse at the hospital tell me that if anyone gave me flak to tell them that Tracey told me to tell them that I was taking their BS up with her. My hospital did a lot of baby friendly things but was not certified because they did not believe in forcing women to breastfeed or room in. I had to listen to a speech about the benefits of breastfeeding but I ignored it and played on my iPhone.

    • Katherine Handcock

      October 15, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Awesome nurse is awesome!

    • guest

      October 15, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      I was in my friend’s hospital room when her nurse came in and asked if they were bottle or breast feeding. She said bottle and the nurse said ok we’ll bring in the supplies and you can start with blank ounces. Literally could tell she was exhausted but clearly did not give even an ounce of a fuck what my friend did which was fantastic because I’ll most likely be delivering there as well.

    • Mystik Spiral

      October 15, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Makes me kinda sad to be past my childbearing years. I want to have a baby now just so I can feed it formula out of SPITE.

    • noodlestein's danger tits

      October 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      You. I like the cut of your jib.

    • J.D.

      October 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      Wear one of the prego-simulator bellies around. When the nosy-bodies ask, you can tell them, “No. I don’t plan to breastfeed.” When they get judgy, just to blow their minds you can add. “I don’t intend to bottle feed either.” And when their blow little minds have them down to just sputtering and gasping, add, “I’m gestating an air fern. Isn’t it wonderful? We’re SO proud!”

    • jendra_berri

      October 15, 2014 at 11:37 am

      It’s 100% your business.
      But as someone who formula fed after nursing didn’t work out, let me just say that while there are the much-discussed benefits to BF, formula feeding comes with benefits too. Just because they don’t get as much air time doesn’t mean they’re not real and incredibly valuable or indispensible to those who formula feed.
      You do exactly what you want!

    • shel

      October 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      I do think it’s one thing for a medical professional (which sometimes, don’t know if I would put lactation consultants into that category- I mean, I know they are invaluable in the hospital and I refer patients to them all the time, but it’s easy for many of them to be very biased) to encourage and discuss breast feeding, whether that is OB or a pediatrician in a prenatal visit.
      Breast feeding is recommended, and does have many benefits, and often is worth attempting at least for the first few days, barring of course a medical/psychological reason for a woman not wanting to. HOWEVER, when a patient flat out says they don’t want to do it and aren’t interested, it’s not something that needs to be pushed. It, of course, can be a somewhat delicate conversation, since no one deserves to feel bad about their choice… but it is the job of a physician to make people aware of options and benefits etc. Though aside from mentioning that early breast milk, as in colostrum in the first 1-2 days has some great immune stuff that they can’t put into formula, I don’t have a single negative thing to say about formula. It’s most certainly not poison.
      But not someone random in a public place… and really, once you’ve had your baby and made your feeding decision, as long as it’s breast milk or commercial formula (sorry, can’t endorse unregulated ‘homemade’ dangerous formula) I don’t care and will happily encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing.

    • noodlestein's danger tits

      October 15, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      Absolutely right. People definitely need to be made aware of the benefits, given all the information that they want, etc. Lots of lactiation consultants are great and an invaluable tool for new mothers. I just hate the ones who perservere in the face of clear opposition. There is information sharing, and there’s pushing, and that’s bullshit. It’s just so…disrespectful.

    • Angela

      October 15, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      Yes, I think it’s fine to let women know that there are benefits to breastfeeding and to tell her what they are IF you are a licensed medical professional (doctor, nurse, midwife, etc) AND if the woman has come to you for treatment (Not your neighbor that you bumped into at the store). But if they do that then they also need to be clear that formula is also a viable option (and the best choice for many families). Even when it’s a medical provider, it’s irresponsible if they only give half the information.

    • ted3553

      October 15, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      My pediatrician asked at my son’s first check up if I was breast feeding. When I said no, she asked why and I told her it was mainly because I was going back to work so quickly and didn’t want to go through getting him started and weaning within 6 wks. She said that even 6 wks of BF would be beneficial and I just said no and she ended the conversation with that. That’s how a medical professional or semi-professional should act. Arm your patient with info and let them make their own decisions.

  10. LeggEggTorpedoTits

    October 15, 2014 at 10:35 am

    “No one needs your moral stamp of approval…

    Really, this. This is really all there is for any MOMent when we feel like offering our own unsolicited opinions about how someone parents.

    I shall use it as a mantra….and probably forget it as soon as I read an article that makes me want to bash my face against a table.

  11. Spongeworthy

    October 15, 2014 at 10:42 am

    I’m sorry, is it supposed to be encouraging to tell a mom with a mastectomy that she might lactate out of her armpits?! Because that sounds freaking terrible.

    • Valerie

      October 15, 2014 at 10:45 am

      Come on, dude- you know it’s best for baby to shove her in your armpit so she can suckle. It’s NATURAL!!1!!

    • Maggie J

      October 15, 2014 at 11:34 pm

      That gif made me snort-laugh so hard I woke up all three of my dogs.

    • LadyClodia the Modest Rat

      October 15, 2014 at 11:05 am

      Bats’ nipples are in their armpits…Batmom! (and yet, still nipples.)

    • Spongeworthy

      October 15, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Nah nah nah nah nah nah BATMOM!

    • PAJane

      October 15, 2014 at 10:54 am

      This would be fucking horrifying to me.

    • Spongeworthy

      October 15, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Right? I would have run away screaming.

    • LaughingRat

      October 15, 2014 at 11:02 am

      It reminds me of how platypi sweat milk for their young. Was the consultant implying that cancer survivors gain platypus powers? Because there are way better animals to get your superpowers from.

    • Mystik Spiral

      October 15, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Aw, man, leave the poor platypi alone. What did they ever do to YOU? 🙁

    • LaughingRat

      October 15, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      Well, they don’t breastfeed, for one thing.

    • Mystik Spiral

      October 15, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      Touche.

    • brebay

      October 15, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      But they think the rules don’t apply to them…entitled little shits. You’re a fucking mammal! Quit laying eggs!

    • brebay

      October 15, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Platypi is the first time I’ve smiled all day.

    • noodlestein's danger tits

      October 15, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Shh, honey, mama’s armpit is almopst ready for you, hnnnggg… http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/shh-armpit.gif

  12. LaughingRat

    October 15, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Christ on a toasted brioche, can people not make assumptions about strangers just to make themselves feel more important? Can we just stop doing that? Please? All it does is cause hurt feelings and perpetuate the general assholification of society.

  13. Angelica

    October 15, 2014 at 11:04 am

    The fact that women would do this to one another makes me rage. It wasn’t until I became a mother that I realized how truly vile and despicable some women can be to one another.

  14. Azy

    October 15, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I tried breastfeeding with both girls. I managed with my older daughter for a little over six months and then I broke. With my second daughter, I tried for the first few weeks but my oldest was desperate for my attention and at the time I had three other kids I was taking care of 24/7. I stopped at four weeks partly because it was rough but mostly so I could spend more time with my oldest and the other kids.

    At first, every time someone would ask me why I wasn’t breastfeeding, I would go ‘I tried but-‘. As if I needed to justify my actions. It all came to a boiling point when someone who had been a friend for eight years commented on a picture of my baby asking why there was a bottle in the picture. I tried explaining and she just went on about how I didn’t try enough. You know what? She’s probably right. I didn’t try very hard this time around. I don’t care.

    Just thinking that someone like that former friend (because you bet we don’t talk anymore) might harass a cancer survivor like she did me makes me so angry. Breast-feeding is great. It should be normal but going around harassing people isn’t helping – not moms or anyone else.

    • Katherine Handcock

      October 15, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      That former friend of yours is allowed to judge your decision when she’s living what you were living, as far as I’m concerned. I’m glad you made the choice that would keep you sane and functional.

    • Rowan

      October 15, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      Why is there a bottle in the picture? Cos I can’t get vodka to come out of my boobs, that’s why.

  15. NotReallyCrazy

    October 15, 2014 at 11:09 am

    All those hardcore lactivists and consultants can just STFU. I was trying to breastfeed my twins but since they were preemies it was a challenge. Thanks to the “consultant” insisting that formula would harm my children, I tipped over into full-blown PPD complete with two separate hospital stays & a year on multiple anti-depression meds. I would have gotten to full-blown PPD on my own (go me!) but no one in my family doubts that that last phone call pushed me over the edge a heck of a lot faster.

    Makes me so foaming at the mouth mad the way they act all holier than thou. I look back at some of the videos I recorded of my boys & you can tell from my voice how depressed I was. Then after I stopped trying to stress about breast feeding & got the help I needed, things got so much better.

  16. Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

    October 15, 2014 at 11:12 am

    I was shocked to read the original post this week. People are just…ridiculous.

  17. wildrumpusmom

    October 15, 2014 at 11:12 am

    1. I was always under th impression a lactation consultant was there for support, not to add undo stress.
    2. There is no such thing as a legitimate reason not to breastfeed. It is a personal choice that needs no supporting evidence.
    3. Arm pits are gross. I would never feed my child out of my postpartum ungodly hormonal my sweaty arm pits.

    • SunnyD847

      October 15, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      When I had my girls, I was asked if I planned to breastfeed and when I said yes I was asked if I wanted the lactation consultant to visit before we left the hospital. There was no reason for the lactation consultant to be anywhere NEAR that woman, let alone to be treating her so despicably.

  18. MomOf1+2

    October 15, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I was lucky that I never ran into the lactivists. My oldest was a BF champ (and went through a period of refusing a bottle right before I went back to work) but my supply tanked at 3 months and I was dry at 6 months. My twins were born healthy but a month early and since I had GD they had to eat every 3 hours and their blood sugar was monitored. They got formula within an hour of birth. We had to teach them to suck from a bottle because they were too little to know how on their own. I wanted to BF but the LC told me that I should only put them to breast once a day for the first 1-2 weeks (and feed formula or pumped milk the rest of the time) because they were spending more energy trying to nurse than they were taking in from the BM. I ended up combo feeding them- they mostly BF while I was home and then got about 50% BM and 50% formula when I went back to work. After 7 months of getting up at 1:30 am to pump I decided to give up that pumping time and my supply slowly diminished. They drank their last drop of BM at 9 months and I was thrilled to get that far but also thrilled to be done spending 2.5 hours a day pumping! I just wish people would but out! I understand hospital staff asking ONCE about BF and then providing the needed support if that’s what the mom chooses but if the mom says “Nope, formula for baby please” then it gets noted in the chart and mom isn’t asked/bullied/lectured. Out in public no one has the right to ask how a mother is feeding their child! Child should be fed. Period. End of story.

  19. aCongaLine

    October 15, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Ugh. What if she had a double mastectomy? What if there was residual radiation? (no idea if that’s possible). What if she’s had enough of her boobs hurting, and other humans poking at them? Leave the poor woman alone. Sheesh.

    What a double douche.

  20. DreamGene-y

    October 15, 2014 at 11:31 am

    After being unsuccessful bfing my first, I came to terms with it and didn’t stress with my second. What’s killing me this time is my little one has allergies to milk and soy, reflux, and uncoordinated suck/swallow. Needles to say, I spent a lot of time perusing message boards for advice and support. What I do not need to hear is “Well if you just breastfeed you won’t have these problems.” …..because I don’t feel bad enough that she’s having issues?!! Its really disheartening to see the lack of support there!

    • Katherine Handcock

      October 15, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      I’m sorry about your little one! If it helps, one of my friends had the same allergy issues and reflux with her two babies — both of whom she started breastfeeding, but had to switch because of the allergies. Breastfeeding may be good for kids, but it’s no magic elixir, and some kids will be allergic no matter what you do.

      I hope you found the support you need!

    • JAN

      October 15, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      That is just ignorant and annoying. All three of mine have been breastfed but two have had reflux and one has a dairy allergy. Breastfeeding wasn’t a cure for any of these issues. Argh.

  21. jen

    October 15, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I’m not going to lie, I judged someone I know b/c she said “It doesn’t feel right. The breast isn’t for the baby. It’s just weird.” I judged her thought process though, not the fact that she gave her kids formula.

    • Katherine Handcock

      October 15, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      I like your distinction between judging the thought process and judging her action. I don’t even have a problem with someone saying that it doesn’t feel right – I know for some women it just creeps them out (or hurts and never stops hurting!) But even if you’re one of those women, you do kind of have to admit that the breast really is for babies, even if you make the valid choice not to use them that way.

    • bigbellysurprise

      October 15, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      I don’t think she could admit they were for babies? She just point blank said they were for sexy time with her hubby. I just changed the subject b/c nothing skeeves me out more than knowing about a friend’s sex life.

    • guest

      October 16, 2014 at 11:18 am

      I feel like your friend will end up on STFU parents talking about conception dates in the future :-/

    • andrea

      October 15, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      See, I fall into this “doesn’t feel right” category, but let me elaborate. I developed early, was the first of my peers to need a bra (4th grade) and rest assured there was no “training” bra, it was straight to B for me. By high school I was DD. Adulthood? Sometimes DDD is too small, but I force it anyway because ordering bras online is such a PIA. Anywho, my ENTIRE LIFE since puberty began, I have received sooooo much negative attention (boys pointing to my breasts saying “lunch!” Grown men in a bar stopping what they were doing to chant “Tits tits tits!!” (just barely got my husband out of that one without him decking one). For me, personally, my breasts became something almost to be ashamed of, to minimize, cover up, pretend didn’t exist.

      Even given all that, I was bound and determined when I got pregnant to BF….Until I found myself special ordering a 36I (yes, an “I” as in: “I” didn’t even know they made cup sizes that big). My back ached constantly. I was measured for a bridesmaid dress (joy) and my breasts were LARGER in circumference than my 7 month pregnant belly. At that point, I decided I was NOT going to even try BF. 1) I had to be back at work from my unpaid leave within 6 weeks of giving birth. 2) my breasts were so huge they were causing me 24/7 pain 3) the thought of exposing them at all, under any circumstance that large was absolutely mortifying, demure cover-up be damned.

      So mentally, and physically, it just did not feel “right” for me. I wish that were not the case. I don’t give a fig whether others bottle or breast feed, if you love and nurture your baby, you win.

    • bigbellysurprise

      October 15, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      My heart goes out to your back 🙁 My friend didn’t feel right b/c she said they were a pleasure source for her and husband, not a food source for her kids. I think I just said “oh…” and changed the subject because I didn’t want to talk about it anymore after that.

    • guest

      October 16, 2014 at 11:17 am

      I’ve met plenty of people who view them as sexual and don’t prefer to mix that with the feeding of their child because it makes them deeply uncomfortable. If that is the case, who cares? As long as the kid is getting fed and mom is happy I could give a shit.

    • blh

      October 16, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      I don’t think it feels right either and I’m not going to “justify” it. I don’t have a reason, I was never raped or anything. I’m not going to go from using them sexually to a baby using them. The thought grosses me out. They’re my boobs and I can feel how I want about them and it’t pretty stupid to judge anyone for.

    • Just Judy

      October 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      This thought process might seem a bit off, but give her the benefit of the doubt. Something may have happened. I know I won’t be able to breastfeed due to a history of sexual assault. It’s strange, but it’s there. It wouldn’t feel right to me. I support a woman’s right to choose, and I would never call out a breastfeeding mom, but I just can’t associate my own breasts with a baby.

  22. jendra_berri

    October 15, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Next time I’m asked if I breastfed, I might just give a blank look and say, “What’s breastfeeding? I’ve never heard of such a thing! Please, tell me more!”

  23. SunnyD847

    October 15, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Just try. JUST TRY?? How about you “just try” to fly off this effing building?

  24. Joy

    October 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I fail to see the point of bugging someone about breastfeeding. Chances are, if they aren’t doing it already, it’s too late to start now, and if they are, pat on the back for them I guess. But harassing strangers about it accomplishes nothing except possibly making somebody feel bad, so just STFU.

    I am breastfeeding my five month old but occasionally pump and bring bottles if we are going to be out because he’s so easily distracted it’s hard to get him to nurse in public with all the noise and new sights and whatever. I’ve had a few people give me crap about bottle feeding him, even after I tell them “not that it’s any of your business, but this is breastmilk so back off.” Sorry I don’t feel like breastfeeding in the food court, random nosy old biddy!

  25. Kitty

    October 15, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    I read this woman’s article, and I’m baffled by the yogi who confronted her about bottle feeding when the baby was three months old. What sort of response do people like this anticipate when they make such comments? I for one would love to see a scene play out where the bottle-feeding mother pretends she is just hearing for the first time that “breast is best,” stares at the bottle of formula in dawning horror, casts it aside from her hungry baby’s mouth, then throws herself at the accuser’s feet sobbing, “Please! Make me lactate!! Teach me your ways, o wise one!”

    I’d like to think that would shut them up, but some of these people take themselves so seriously this could open up a whole new set of problems. Would someone who has a baby right now please try this though, for our amusement???

  26. Abby

    October 15, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    I just legitimately do not understand the mindset of anyone who would go up to anyone else and start preaching about “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG” about anything… and this is exactly why. You aren’t in that person’s head. You don’t know their life. So unless someone is being obviously harmed (and I mean OBVIOUSLY harmed, not “formula is poison!” harmed), why wouldn’t you just mind your own business? Ugh.

    • noodlestein's danger tits

      October 15, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      Plus, who are they trying to convince?? Do the people who do this REALLY think that their offhand comment is going to change somebody else’s life? It’s really the least effective way that I can think of to actually help someone be informed, if that’s what they’re thinking. What comments like this are really about are the speaked verbally fellating their own choices, just to confirm in their own heads that they right and are the bestest on the planet at doing whetever. It’s gross, and unproductive and assholey.

    • guest

      October 16, 2014 at 11:13 am

      Well and even if you convince them (which you wouldn’t with that type of approach)…chances are the breatfeeding ship has already sailed so wtf would they like you to do about it? Jesus.

    • noodlestein's danger tits

      October 16, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Right??

  27. Katherine Handcock

    October 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Just try. JUST TRY?!? You are a LACTATION CONSULTANT. It is your JOB to know how this works.

    I totally agree that it’s awful to judge anyone for not breastfeeding, but really, that lactation consultant in particular needs one of those terribly quiet chats about smartening up and learning their damn business.

    • AP

      October 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      I wonder if she says that to gay or single daddies. “Well, if you TRY hard enough, you’ll be able to nurse your baby.” No, science says otherwise.

    • Katherine Handcock

      October 15, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      Don’t go there. There are those who think that men could express some amount of breastmilk with the help of hormones, and since it’s liquid gold, dontcha know, someone will be jumping on that.

    • Angela

      October 15, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      Ugh. I have heard a few people say that and it just goes to show how little they actually understand. When I was in nursing school I did a rotation with a midwife and there were a few adoptive moms who wanted to try breastfeeding that we gave the hormone injections to. Now if they’d carried a previous pregnancy close to term, then they generally did fine. But the women who’d never been pregnant really, really struggled. Even with hormones, medication, herbal supplements, pumping every 2 hrs, etc. they really only produced minimal amounts of milk and the baby wound up needing to be mostly formula fed anyway. Breasts change a lot during pregnancy and no amount of hormone supplementation is going to make up for that. Once in a blue moon there might be a woman who manages to exclusively breastfeed this way, but it’s extremely uncommon.

      And these were women. Men have even less developed mammary glands and while yes it’s possible they’ll be able to produce some milk with the proper hormones we’re generally talking about a few drops at a time. Definitely not a viable option for feeding a baby.

    • Katherine Handcock

      October 15, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      But it’s liquid gold! Even a drop could mean the difference between your child becoming a Nobel Prize winner and being a dropout junkie.

      It’s ludicrous and silly and just puts a stupid amount of pressure on women.

  28. Angela

    October 15, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I am all about promoting and supporting breastfeeding . . . by offering all moms paid maternity leave, providing free access to lactation consultants/pumps/nursing supplies, and by allowing moms to nurse wherever they damn well please without being pressured to “cover up”. But I do not, cannot support shaming and coercing women for making a perfectly legitimate (and formula IS perfectly legitimate) parenting choice. And I especially don’t support shaming people who don’t even have a choice.

  29. Rachel Sea

    October 15, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Promoting breastfeeding as social and health policy is a great thing. It means pushing for:
    -Extended paid maternity leave
    -Lactation consultants and breast pumps being covered by insurance
    -Hospital policies which promote mother/infant bonding from birth
    -Free parenting classes for low-income parents, which include breastfeeding education
    -Managing formula marketing so that it can not make unproven health claims

    It NEVER EVER means you give women shit for not doing it. Not fucking EVER.

  30. Briana

    October 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I was at church one day and this woman had a baby the same age as mine. She said “Do you breastfeed?” and I said “No, I’m currently taking antidepressants and blood pressure medicine that will hurt my baby” and she stuck her nose up in the air and walked away.

    • guest

      October 16, 2014 at 11:19 am

      “Why are you asking me about my breasts? That is inappropriate.” Stick your nose up and walk away. (For next time 😉 )

  31. Andy

    October 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Effing hell, are these people real? I breastfed both my kids for the first year. My reason? I’m a SAHM who’s cheap and lazy. Not so I could be a snotty judgemental bitch.

    • SunnyD847

      October 15, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      I know right? I was lucky that it was easy and practical for me. Not everyone has the same experience. It’s none of my business.

  32. C.J.

    October 15, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    My mother is a breast cancer survivor. She was left with radiation burns that she still has problems with 8 years later, scarring under her arm so severe that my dad has to shave it for her and what she calls an angry boob. Dad isn’t even allowed to touch the angry boob because it hurts. I can’t imagine trying breastfeed like that. I also don’t believe breast is best and I breastfed both my kids. There are too many instances when breast is not best to make a blanket statement like that.

  33. JAN

    October 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Ok, I am extremely “crunchy.” I extended breastfed my older two and am breastfeeding my nine month old. I cloth diaper, I baby wear (though I use strollers too). However, I don’t think these are any kind of cure all of the only way, it’s what works for me. My best friend formula feeds, the only thing I’ve ever said to her when she lamented breastfeeding not working was that her baby is happy and healthy and I’m sorry it didn’t work out like she wanted but her baby is healthier than mine. The only reason I said anything is because she brought it up. I say nothing to other mothers about their choices unless asked and I can say what worked for me but with the caveat that it may not work or be the best choice for them.

    What’s funny, or sad, is I’ve been “shamed” for nursing in public and for bottle feeding in public. There’s no freaking winning. I don’t even explain or justify either choice, if I’m feeling polite I say “I’ll give that statement the consideration it deserves,” if I’m feeling less nice I have been known to introduce myself as “Doctor.” It usually shuts them up and I am a doctor…of pharmacy.

    Finally, there is no woman in this country that needs to be told “breast is best” any more than a smoker needs told that cigarettes cause cancer, (I am NOT equating formula with cigarettes, just pointing out the ubiquitousness of the message). Finally, when my mother was bald from chemo and didn’t opt to wear a wig or scarf, people would say all kinds of rude things to her about why she shaved her head, was she a “lesbo,” etc. (My favorite was to watch their faces when she said yes). Come on people, MYOB!

  34. shorty_RN

    October 15, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Mmmm, armpit milk. WTAF.

  35. Shannon

    October 15, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    No. Just no. I firmly believe breast is best, because it’s what our bodies have fine-tuned for our babies over the last several millenia. What I do NOT believe in, as I wait for my IBCLC exam results to come back, is bullying women into nursing when they don’t want to. If I meet a woman who wants to combo-feed, or doesn’t want to try breastfeeding at all, I just say, “If you change your mind or you have any questions, I’ll be glad to come talk to you.” Bullying and hectoring will never get anyone to change her mind, and is that what lactivists really want, anyway? Moms who got guilted into nursing? Women who really, really don’t want to do it but feel like shit if they don’t? I cringe so hard when I hear about LCs and “boob nazis” who give everyone else a bad name.

    • Sarah

      October 15, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      For everyone talking about breast-feeding being “natural” etc, please be aware that MASSIVE maternal and infant mortality was natural until some time in the last century in the developed world, and still is a huge issue in developing countries. Our bodies are NOT perfectly designed for childbirth, walking upright means our pelvisese are badly aligned, and “natural” means feeling genuinely lucky if both a mother and child live to the child’s adulthood.

    • Shannon

      October 15, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      And that’s why science is awesome and I am glad formula exists, among other life-saving inventions. It’s not my place to tell people what to do. It’s an LC’s job to answer questions about breastfeeding and give the help that’s requested and then move on.

    • guest

      October 16, 2014 at 11:11 am

      This is my favorite. Whenever people say “its natural” and “women have been giving birth since the beginning of time” I just want to add that a large portion of them died and not to miss that important tidbit.

  36. Hibbie

    October 15, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Is this a new phenomenon? My mom formula fed us kids and no one batted an eyelash. She did this on military bases, where there’s always a certain contingent of wives with irrational superiority complexes, and even they didn’t say a damn thing. I had to stop nursing for medical reasons, but I never encountered even one person side-eying my use of formula. It blows my mind that people can be 1) so fucking nosy and 2) so self-righteous to harass a stranger.

  37. Pingback: Paula Abdul Creates Breast Cancer Awareness Music Video

  38. Caitlin Fry

    October 15, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Having just spent seven weeks literally working my t**s off trying to breastfeed I want to make a t-shirt that says “**** off and take my hyperprelactinaemia with you.”

    There’s still a mark on my wall from throwing the Australian Breastfeeding Association book after I read that “Even breastmilk with alcohol in it is better for your child than formula.”
    By the time I was using drugs, a machine, a supply line, nipple shields AND formula (all the time having to let her cry while I set all this stuff up) in an effort to “feed naturally” I realised clinging onto the “need” to breastfeed was starting to be more selfish than bottle feeding and getting on with the fun stuff (such as playing and just gazing at each other – not looking at the ceiling muttering in agony.)

    I’m nearly all the way through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief about not being able to breastfeed and this week I finally stopped making my partner go buy the formula because I just haven’t had the guts to.

    • js argh

      October 15, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      It’s absolutely normal to grieve, but don’t let anyone else make you feel bad. You sound like an amazing mom. Have fun with your baby. 🙂

      I pumped for 7 mos from just one breast after I had MRSA-induced mastitis and honestly? It made me miserable. I felt terrible sitting for so long, pumping, to not even get enough for 1/4-1/2 of the sustenance she needed for a day. The guilt was upped whenever she would start crying in the middle of me pumping and I couldn’t hold her or comfort her. I regret not switching to entirely formula sooner, because I would’ve enjoyed her first few months a lot more than I did. Our whole family was happier when we switched her to all formula, and it felt like a huge burden had been taken off my shoulders.

      All that to say, I hope you reach that feeling sooner rather than later. <3

      Also, "Even breastmilk with alcohol in it is better for your child than formula." Ugh. Just…what? Who…? I can't. I can't with that.

  39. Kathryn Mackenzie

    October 15, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    As someone who was never breastfed, I get really fucking annoyed when I see people listing off all the things I’ve supposedly missed out on, or how I’m probably deficient in certain things, because I only ever had formula.
    Fuck them. I’m a happy, healthy, gainfully employed adult, who has never had a drug problem, has a close relationship with my mother, and is at least as smart as my breastfed siblings. (Possibly smarter than at least one of them).

  40. CrazyFor Kate

    October 15, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Milk coming through your armpits? What what what. That sounds like total nightmare fuel. In this society, the benefits of breastfeeding really are pretty negligible. The only person who should have a say in it is the mom – and everyone else needs to butt out unless asked first. Jesus Christ, is that so tough to learn?

  41. jo

    October 16, 2014 at 8:37 am

    AND when you have a child with cancer people feel like it’s their business to ask if you breastfed. And if you did, what did you say during breastfeeding to give your child cancer

  42. Nerdy Lucy

    October 19, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I’m currently pregnant, and I plan on breastfeeding should my body cooperate.

    I believe that breast is best, BUT do you know what I believe in more?
    Making sure my child’s belly is full.

    If my breasts fail, then I’ll use formula, and I dare anyone to give me shit about it.

  43. Pingback: UK Breastfeeding Voucher Program Is A Great Idea

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