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Breastfeeding & Formula Feeding: Something’s Gotta Give

A few days ago I was taking photos for a product review I was doing. Completely clothed, fully covered but breastfeeding. I decided to share it and another on Instagram because I was completely proud of it. I in turn lost 2 followers within 3 minutes of posting it; and not before they left some “kind” words for me. No biggie, I’m a big girl I can take it.
 See anything wrong with this photo? Nope. Neither do I.
Some people do, and that’s fine. I understand we live in a world where not everyone agrees with everything others do and I get that. I respect that. I however do not agree with leaving nasty comments or saying mean things when it’s about something you don’t agree with. This happens A LOT in the world of blogging and even more so in the world of Mom. Something’s gotta give.
I don’t post breastfeeding photos often. When I do, Generally I get nothing but praise for having 6 kids and breastfeeding. I just don’t feel comfortable posting them because the odd time I do get negative comments – I can shrug them off but I worry about others. Others who may be struggling or needing a little extra support and encouragement. I worry about them seeing such comments.
I got pregnant with Jordan at 17. Became his mom at 18. I had zero support let alone ANY support for breastfeeding so I switched after 2 weeks of breastfeeding to formula and that’s okay. But it would have been nice to have some support and encouragement.
Did you notice how I phrased that? I “switched after 2 weeks” ? Not failed, switched…
That’s because you never fail when you have to switch to formula. You never fail when you chose just go with formula from the get go either. It isn’t failing, it’s simply feeding your baby. Period. No mother is any better by choosing to breastfeed or formula feed. No mother is better because she CAN breastfeed while one CAN’T (because yes, there are some moms who cannot) but there are also some who simply choose not to – that’s okay. Why? Because as long as baby is being fed, who cares?
That’s all that matters.
So if I do post those few breastfeeding photos and I get a discouraging comment I do get disheartened because what if a young mom with no support who is struggling with breastfeeding were to see and notice a negative nasty comment? What good do those comments do for her? Even if you don’t agree with breastfeeding, or think it’s for you – it may be for someone else, so even if you think leaving your opinion is your right (which sure it may be) just think about the consequences first and who it may impact.
I didn’t try breastfeeding babies #2 or 3. But did try again with 4. I had lots of help and support but again at two weeks switched – I had gotten mastitis and just couldn’t fight on.
So when pregnant with #5 and armed with a team of support both at home and online I knew I could do it! I did! We successfully strictly breastfed for 14.5 months. When he weaned himself. I was and still am beyond proud – but had I had no support, or read comments I see now all over the place I never would have done it. When baby #6 was coming I knew I was going to no matter what because not only did I still have the support but I had the knowledge and knew I could do it and if I ever doubted that I knew I had support, and people to turn to if needed.
What about those that don’t have support? Don’t have anyone to ask questions? Sure they can switch to formula and that’s fine, but what about that one mom who has her heart set on breastfeeding but is having a bit of trouble and would like to reach to others with experience for support before making the switch?
What about that mom who couldn’t breastfeed? Or the one who chose formula because it is what’s best for their family? Because I’ve seen a lot of bad mouthing that too.
Just because a mom may not be able to breastfeed, or chooses not to doesn’t mean they are any less of a mother. It just means they chose what is best for them, their baby and their family. This isn’t something to warrant attacks, this is something everyone needs to realize –  even if you disagree, it’s right for her. Not every person who chooses formula, or needs to use it needs educating on why “breast is best” either. Most mothers know this, and most mothers give this a lot of thought. I’m sure there are lots who haven’t and aren’t too knowledgeable on the subject but there are ways to go about giving information.
So, I’m here to tell you something’s gotta give. With Facebook deleting breastfeeding photos – Instagram too… And all the reports “a mom in such and such a place got asked to cover up or move to the bathroom” I think it’s time we stop, take a moment to realize – it’s no ones business how any child is fed, as long as it’s fed.  (I won’t even touch on the whole Breastfeeding in public issues right now that have been going on because that’s a whole other blog topic).
But, Making rude nasty comments – only hurts those innocent moms who are trying so hard to do what they feel is best for their child and their situation and it’s no ones job, or right to bring her down. NO ONE. It may also hurt the poor mom you are leaving the messages for on a level you may never imagine. How about lifting up those who breastfeed and formula feed? How about giving some praise, because they are trying! They just brought a brand new life into this world, the last thing they should be doing is dealing with anyone else’s negativity. They are doing what is right for them and their beautiful babies and don’t need to be told their decision is wrong, gross or indecent. They don’t need to be told any of it.
Educating is one thing, attacking and judging are another. Moms need to stick together, and fight the fight and leave the mom wars behind.
See a young girl needing advice or educating on breastfeeding or formula feeding? Offer up some advice or tell her if she has any questions to ask. Be supportive whatever the choices may be. Don’t attack or assume. There’s always a story, and a reason why people are doing what they are doing. Simply not knowing or even just choosing to do what’s right for them. Let them be the judge, how about being an ear or a shoulder.
Just something to think about.