Bottle vs Breast
-A War Story-
I never realized that I would have to defend myself in a new battle when my battle to become a Mother had reached it’s glorious end. I thought I was finally part of the "Mommy group". Little did I know a whole new battle was awaiting me....at church....at the doctors office......with family and friends. This may not have been a war by others standards but I felt as if I were a prisoner....a prisoner held by other peoples views, beliefs and opinions and I felt I was being interrogated and beaten up ....only it wasn’t physical.
So many hurtful words.....and what do I say back? Nothing! I am, at the time, a loss for words....words to explain just how much all of these false beliefs hurt me. I am no longer speechless. As if they were a shield and sword I take my paper and pen in hand....here are my words!
"Bottle feeding Mom’s are lazy....well except for women like you"
-Said to me by family-
My Words: Have you ever been a bottle feeding Mom? It takes work to get up at 2AM, walk into the kitchen to warm water, add powder and shake. Then go to the (now screaming) baby, pick her up and feed. All a Breast feeding Mom has to do it pick up the fussy baby, open the nightshirt and express milk that is already to go. Who exerted more energy? Who has to worry and check to be sure she packed enough bottles, formula and fresh water ever time we leave the house? Bottle feeding Mom’s are FAR from lazy.....you are just too busy being judgmental to see OUR bodies work to produce nourishment for our child!
"Every Mother should try to Breast feed"
-Said to me by friends-
My Words: Really?? Hmmmm....what about Mom’s who have been sexually abused and are uncomfortable with Breast feeding? What about Mom’s who’s bodies just don’t produce milk? What about Mom’s who would need to take medicine to get milk production....only the meds would cause a side effect called depression? What about Mom’s who just don’t want to do it? Are they terrible mothers? Not real women? Who are you to judge them?
"What’s in the Bottle"
-A question posed to me by another new Mom while we waited with our babies at the doctors office-
My Words: I can’t believe you just asked me this! Is it really your business? And after I told you it was formula why do you become silent and act like I am a terrible mother? But then once I explain that I adopted my beautiful daughter you are again accepting of me......why should it matter why I am feeding MY baby formula.......isn’t it enough I am giving her love, care and nourishment? Apparently not!
"Breast is Best"
-Said to me by every parenting magazine, parenting book and by everyone around me who has ever breastfed-
My Words: Do you really know what this says to me? If breast is best for my baby than what am I? Am I a 2nd Best Mother? A breastfeeding Mother is better than a bottle feeding Mother? Do you realize who helped scientists create formula? Do you think it is an evil source of food? Sometimes I wonder. Formula is Heavenly Fathers way of helping us help our babies. Formula is a blessing to many mothers and babies. It allows women like me to nourish our little ones and allows us to see exactly how much milk our babies are drinking. We don’t have to guess. It is a gift and a blessing to those of us who are not able to give nourishment from our breasts. To us formula is fabulous!
"Breastfeeding Mom’s & Babies are more bonded to one another than Bottle feeding Mom’s & Babies"
-Said to me by family and friends-
My Words: Rubbish! Bonding is a learned behavior and it doesn’t come in a drink! A bottle feeding Mother who holds her baby, sings, cradle’s , kisses, hugs, loves and cares for all of their infants needs are just as bonded to their child and child to them as a breastfeeding Mom & baby. People who believe this incredible myth are narrow minded and not willing to look past their own beliefs.
I am a bottle feeding Mom who takes the time to love, care for, nourish, teach and bond with my baby.....who are you to say I am anything but the BEST in any respect? Would I try to breastfeed if milk were flowing from my nipples? Yes. Do I believe breast milk has added health benefits? Yes, it probably does. But those benefits do not make for a better Mother.
Above all.....I know that Heavenly Father makes up for what I can’t do and formula is part of that!
Isn’t it time to start helping one another as women instead of hurting?
My response now ended,
I wanted to note: I am pro breastfeeding. I would do it if I gave birth to a child and I prepared myself for adoptive breastfeeding in the summer of 2005..but that baby didn't make it into my arms. I am also pro bottle feeding. To me there is no "one or the other" ...I believe deeply in the mothers right to feed her child as she feels best.