Millennial Moms Make No Apologies About Formula Feeding for Convenience
Every parenting choice comes with a load of pros and cons —and a heaping side of guilt. But if there’s one thing that Millennial Moms do differently than previous generations (and let’s be real, they do a lot of things differently), it’s that they’ve decided to leave the guilt in the dust. The results of a new survey show that one of the most traditionally hot-button parenting decisions — formula feeding — isn’t so “hot button” for millennials.
Perrigo Nutritionals, the largest manufacturer of store-brand infant formula in the United States, recently conducted a nationwide survey of 2,000 moms with children one to three years of age. The survey, which asked questions about milestones, money, and maternity leave, discovered a large generational gap when it came to baby feeding. Sixty-eight percent of younger millennial moms (34 years of age or younger) felt confident with their decision to use infant formula, while 79 percent of older moms (35 years of age or older) felt guilty.
Just looking at my own group of mom friends, these results seem accurate. I’m a Gen Xer and was unable to breastfeed my babies, but the “breast is best” mentality had been so prevalent during my pregnancies that the guilt over giving them formula was often overwhelming. My younger mom friends, however, experienced none of this, and often were perplexed by my internal struggles with formula.
The study also had some other interesting results. Most moms said that if they were offered a longer maternity leave, they would have tried to exclusively breastfeed for a longer period. Because of this, “convenience” was the number one factor working moms chose to formula feed their babies. Also, more experienced moms were able to see the benefits of formula feeding. Seventy-five percent of moms with two or more children who used infant formula during their baby’s first year said they did so because of convenience. It’s hard to parent older children while you’re breastfeeding!
As much as I’d wanted to breastfeed my children, it wasn’t in the cards for me. My husband was incredibly supportive, and also happy that he got to experience the special bonding a parent and child have during bottle time. If millennials can formula feed their babies without the guilt many Gen Xers had, that’s fantastic.
Does this mean bottle shaming might soon be a thing of the past?
I doubt it, but these survey results are definitely promising.
(Image: iStock / Kenishirotie)