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02/24/2011 at 12:00 PM ET

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N.S on

I just hope that any new moms about to giv birth and trying to decide whether or not to breastfeed don’t read Monica Bielanko’s article right there – I hope they come across websites that tell you the truth – breastfeeding is important. No – it does not define what sort of a mom you are, no – formula feeding moms are not bad, and no breastfeeding moms are not good – but breastfeeding is so important.

She says “The period after a baby is born is filled with anxiety about What To Do and What Not To Do. It is not the time to greet that very tired new mother with unwanted monologues about how beneficial breastfeeding is for the baby.”

That is just ridiculous – almost ALL new breastfeeding moms struggle – and it’s the ones who have the support of thosepeople who can tell them how beneficial it is who succeed at it.

What you DON’T need when you’re struggling with breastfeeding a newborn is someone saying “Oh well, it really isn’t worth the hassle, just give up.”

Ach – I do sympathise with the feelings of judgement held by people who choose to formula feed – but I do NOT support any “Formula feeding and proud” kind of attitudes.

ricki on

First off, I don’t think anyone should feel compelled to justify themselves to anyone. However, since she’s putting it out there, I find it odd that her mother (presumably a Mormon also) breastfed 4 babies…Also, for those moms who for whatever reason cannot bf, notwithstanding the fact that formula can obviously be a lifesaver for their babies, I’d hardly call it “awesome” like she did.

jessicad on

N.S, you just did exactly what she asked you not to. Did you read the article? She associates breasts with sexuality, shame, and sin. The thought of breastfeeding makes her uncomfortable. She smiles at other moms who feed in public and doesn’t shame them even though it makes her feel awkward, so we shouldn’t make her feel bad. We all have different life experiences and hers made her feel uncomfortable with breastfeeding, her baby will be fine!!

I breastfed, but I in no way think I’m better than those who did’t, that’s just ridiculous.

Rach on

I like the breastfeeding article. I am horrified that this poor woman has to explain to others the decisions she is making for her family. As a sufferer of the breastfeeding nazis also, I can relate since my experience was nothing I had imagined. My son was born early and my milk had not come in also due to the meds I was on.I pumped and pumped like a mad woman, being grateful if I got a teaspoon of milk.The nurses in particular seemed to make it their mission to make my life miserable so that I left with ppd. I felt like such a loser and a failure,both as a woman and a mother.I have pcos,so this time was important to me, I just wanted to do things “right” and none of these people were helping.

Since I could not produce enough pumping and they could not measure if he was actually getting milk when I would bf,my son had to have his feet pricked and blood sqeezed into a testtube after every feeding to check his sugar levels..yep after every 3 hour feedings..he is 2 and still has the scars on his heels. After days of this and no milk,no sleep,sore nipples, I finally freaked out and MADE the nurse allow me to feed him formula.Like he was her baby and I needed permission …sheesh.. He thrived so much better after that and his NICU stay that would have been an additional week or so, was cut down to 2 days.

Also,a friend who had her baby on the same day and bf until almost 2 comments on the formula decision,thinking maybe she should have.Her baby was the healthy one,but did everything later,ex mine started crawling at 4m,walking at 8m.Mine,to this day never had an ear infection,while hers does alot.The biggest one she had to face was that her sons new teeth began to rot. Which is something I noticed alot in my mom group,formula fed babies tend to get their mouth wiped alot than the bf ones because you worry because its not as natural as bm.

I know people think they are helping,but honestly, sometimes its more bulldozing you with their opinions and ideas.After my experience,and all the crap that came after it,I may give it a try again,but honestly, the whole experience felt violating. I look at that time as my dark days,which is so horrible that the stupid breastfeeding overshadowed my beautiful baby.My mom, told me feel no shame,she too had problems producing milk even though my gran bf 9 kids . My husband now thinks it was a huge waste of $, especially for new parents. My breastpump alone turned out to be half of my rent !AND that is not even counting the first one we bought,but could not return that turned out to be crap.I know ppl mean well,but sometimes situations are not so natural,and you have to keep moms like me in mind when you bash us.

Kate on

Rach, your ignorance about breastfeeding floors me. If it needs to be measured how much breast milk baby gets the baby is weighed before and after feeding. Also, newborns need to be fed way more often then those 3 hours recommended, they need to establish milk supply, and often in the beginning eat every 30 min-1 hour. I feel like those 3 hours is very misleading for new mothers, and that was one of my problems with my 2nd child. Baby needs to be on the breast constantly.

My first one was formula fed, and I still regret it but I was young and didn’t have access to information current parents have now with internet and such.

I understand there are as many different situations as there are babies but stop lying to yourself that formula and breast milk are the same

Rach on

Kate, maybe in a normal situation, a baby is only weighed after feedings, which was not my situation when my son was born. Honestly,if it were an option,I think the NICU Staff would have went that route alone .Like I said though, my baby was born early and in an incubator, attached to wires. As if that was not hard enough to deal with, the drama that came with the breastfeeding was overwhelming. From what I understood, our circumstances, and maybe since its Canada with free healthcare, the care team that looked after my son wanted accuracy, even if it meant constant lab tests. The incubator I think displayed weight,I could be wrong on that though. There were two nurses in particular that came close to tears themselves right alongside me and my husband during these prickings.

It was not until a nice nurse,who was not even my son’s one on one nurse, pulled me aside and told me to try supplementing…a word that none of the breastfeeding supporters had even mentioned after 4 days even when my baby went down to 4 pounds. I did not even know that was possible,as I was a new mom and I was told it was one or the other. Then, the fact that I literally had to fight with some nurse to supplement my own son was ridiculous to me. Not to mention the snide remarks and the fear mongering tactics. I swear, the same nurse had me in a fright that my son would die if I fed him formula and had me believing that I was just doing it all wrong,since she breastfed all 4 of her kids and I probably was not trying hard enough.

My point is, who do these kind of tactics really help ? Mothers like me are just bombarded and not given full information because these kinds of people think that they can make these kind of choices for all of us. It was not a wonder that the women waiting at the OB office would all mention to young mothers not to tell the staff they were breastfeeding to save yourself the stress.After this experience, it all finally made sense. My aunt personally in another province,other nurse had a similar situation,but she was less weak and trusting than I was and she actually had a huge fight with her.You know who was a huge help to me ? The lax people myself,who were more willing to teach. I still laugh, that a woman with no children who had never breastfed taught me more about breastfeeding than the mom of 4.

No one said that formula is better than bm. It is though a substitute. As I said, from what I know from the moms I have talked to, did not breastfeed because they wanted to, they breastfed because of some sort of peer pressure and it was no longer their choice. people make these huge assumptions nowadays and it turns into you are labelled as a bad mother if you do not or can not breastfeed. Some even compare bottlefeeding to the equivalent of child abuse. Its like you are giving Pennzoil in a bottle to your child. Another mother I knew developed severe ppd over this whole debacle and the way other women treated her. She felt like she did not breastfeed her first children from a previous relationship, so the new baby was somehow superior to the other two and it made her feel awful like she mistreated her other two. She thought I was the only one she could open up to in our group since I was lax on the subject. To this day and given my experience,I still have that same opinion, try it and then draw your conclusions. Sometimes moms who thought they would hate it,end up liking it and sometimes moms like me think we will be great at it and then realize we are not. That way, baby gets the colostrum and you at least try it.

And for the 3 hour feedings, my baby had jaundice as well and had to stay under the light as much as possible.His feedings were timed and were logged and written down like clockwork.When tests came back,they too were logged and recorded.I think back on those days on the empty breasts,IVs,prickings,pumpings and drama that I found out in the end would not have been necessary if I had just bottlefed.That to me was a huge slap in the face,but that is what I got for putting blind faith in some of these people.I just wish after my baby was born,they had given me the straight facts and options.

Also Kate, to ridicule me for something that I have witnessed and lived through, is ignorant and in poor taste.Especially when I can safely say these were the worst and scariest days of my life. Were you there ? Did you know what was going on ? What the situation was ? Nope ? Well then please respect other peoples situations and experiences.

Ooh..and ps..after we started bottle feeding my son..not even hours later I filled a 4 oz bottle with breastmilk..turns out the added stigma and stress was what I needed to get over,more than the medication.

Rebekah on

Kate-your mommier than thou attitude floors me. So because she trusts a medical professional, she is ignorant? It sounds to me like she went through hell and back trying to breastfeed and it just didn’t work for her. Maybe it was the timing issue you mentioned or maybe it was the stress of having a premie in the NICU who can say but NO ONE should make ANYONE feel like less of a mother if they choose not to breastfeed, ESPECIALLY if the mother gave it her best effort. At the end of the day, formula provides just as much nutrition for babies as breastmilk (I realize there are other benefits, such as antibodies/immunitiy from mom) and as long as mom and baby are thriving, that is all that should matter.