I hope you didn’t click-through to this post to read some heated one-sided debate in which I completely slam one side or the other. Because that’s exactly what’s not going to happen here. Which may come as somewhat of a surprise considering this is coming from a mom who exclusively breastfed from the time my daughter was born until she weaned herself just weeks before her 1st birthday.
I had my mind made-up from the time I knew I was pregnant. I knew I for sure wanted to try breastfeeding Alea. If it worked, great. If it didn’t, oh well. We weren’t the most financially well-off when we found out we were pregnant, so breastfeeding was really the ultimate goal. What’s better than free, right? Thankfully from the time she first latched it went off without a hitch. I had one episode of mastitis, but after a good round of antibiotics, I was lucky enough to be able to breastfeed Alea until the day she pushed me away and reached for her sippy cup.
I say lucky enough because that’s exactly what I was: lucky. Not every mom has it that easy and I’m well aware. There’s so much that can go wrong when it comes to breastfeeding. Clogged milk ducts are so very painful and if I would’ve experienced that one more time, I may have given up all together. If I wouldn’t have had the support I had from Cory, I would’ve really had a hard time with breastfeeding. Some women don’t have that support. Some mamas have to go back to work and struggle to keep up with pumping enough for their babies while they’re away. I absolutely hated pumping and can’t imagine how long I would stick with it if I had to exclusively pump.
I don’t blame any mother for choosing formula over breastfeeding. When it comes down to it, it’s a very personal decision. It’s our bodies. It’s our breasts that we have to give-up for however long our little ones decide to breastfeed.
I firmly believe that neither breastfeeding nor formula feeding makes you a better mom. They’re both completely different. And they’re both completely the mother’s choice. No mother should feel incriminated for choosing one over the other and unfortunately in our society, I think that nowadays, women who choose to formula feed are feeling that way.
And that’s saying a lot. It’s great that we’ve come so far where breastfeeding has become a more acceptable form of feeding an infant, but those who choose to breastfeed shouldn’t incriminate those mom’s who choose to formula feed. Unfortunately, I’m afraid the latter is what’s beginning to happen.
This little rant was inspired by the Breastfeeding vs. Formula article over at Yahoo! Parenting. I loved that this article shared my similar viewpoint on this “Great Debate,” but I also love that Yahoo! Parenting shares articles on various topics in parenting with all different viewpoints and stances. It really is a fabulous reference if you like to get lost in heated topics like I do!
What’s your take on the “great debate” of breastfeeding vs. formula?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.