You Are Doing A Good Job, Mama
Updated: Mar 7, 2019
To the Mama contemplating breastfeeding or formula feeding, I want you to read this. To the Mama who just has a baby and doesn’t know if breastfeeding is for her, I want you to read this. To the Mama who is formula feeding, I want you to read this. To the Mama who is a superhero and can breastfeed her child with no issues, I still want you to read this. To all the Mama’s, new or seasoned, I want you to read this.
You‘re doing a good job, Mama. No matter what you decide, you’re doing a good job.
I breastfed and I formula fed.
I have friends who only breastfed.
I have friends who only formula fed.
And I have friends who did both just like I did.
Let me start from the beginning. I could only breastfeed my oldest for few short months because of a bad infection and the amount of pain I was in from of breastfeeding. I saw a lactation consultant. I changed positions as much as I could. I used a nipple shield. I pumped. I did everything in my power to breastfeed my daughter, but I couldn’t.
You want to know what happened to me when I decided that breastfeeding wasn’t for me at that point in time? I got mom shamed. Not only by other mom’s, but by doctors and nurses alike. I heard it all and when I say I heard it all, I did.
I heard the “breastfeeding is so good for your daughter you need to do everything in your power to keep breastfeeding” or “power through the pain it gets better with time” or “do you know how important your breastmilk is to your daughter” and my favorite “well if you can’t breastfeed and you give up like this then your daughter will suffer”.
Let me say this for everyone who has ever told a Mom she HAS to keep breastfeeding for xyz reasons-she doesn‘t have to do anything that involves her being in pain, risking her mental health, or putting her child through the ringer because someone somewhere told her she can’t stop breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is not worth you losing your sanity or putting your mental health at risk.
Breastfeeding is not worth the constant pain if you are going through pain like I was.
And shocker, I know, sometimes breastfeeding DOES NOT get any easier.
It comes down to this with breastfeeding, if you can awesome. But if you can’t that’s ok too. I’m going taboo here but if you don’t like to breastfeed, don’t. If you can’t breastfeed, don’t. If you’re having troubles and think this isn’t for me, then stop.
YOU’RE NOT A BAD MOM IF YOU CAN’T or DON’T WANT TO BREASTFEED. It’s as simple as that.
As a first time mom I felt so pressured to breastfeed. I felt like if I didn’t or if I couldn’t it somehow made me a bad mom because of the comments of other people around me. We don’t realize it, but societal standards suck sometimes. Mom’s already have enough pressure as it is and having pressure on how to feed your child is ridiculous and shouldn’t happen. Who honestly cares as long as your baby is fed?
With my youngest daughter I honestly didn’t attempt to breastfeed because I was already suffering from bad anxiety during pregnancy, I knew if I breastfed I would’ve been hospitalized because of my mental state. My husband even told me no about the breastfeeding thing and shut people down when they “tried” to give me advice on it.
I told the hospital I was formula feeding when I was labor and you know what they did? They brought me the premixed formula bottles right after I gave birth. You want to know what else they did? They sent me home with a HUGE bag of the premixed formula bottles for my daughter as well. I was told they were overloaded with them because no one asks for them so they wanted to give me all that they could. Why are they so overloaded you ask? Because we mom’s know that society expects us to breastfeed and we’re scared if we ask for a bottle of formula someone is going to take our baby away from us.
You want to something else? Doctors offices also have sample can upon sample can of formula that they ultimately donate to other facilities because Mom’s don’t ask for the cans of formula. We’re too scared of judgment. We’re too scared someone is going to come at us like a wombat and lecture us about how formula is the devil’s juice and you shouldn’t ever give your child a bottle of formula.
You can give your child a bottle of formula. You can give your child a bottle of breastmilk. You can give your child your nipple to drink from. I honestly don’t care how you feed your child as long as they are fed and healthy.
I want the constant divide of breastfeeding moms vs formula feeding moms to stop. Guys, we’re all moms. We are all winging it. We’re all trying the best we can to get through motherhood day to day and make sure our child or children has the best life possible.
I don’t care how you feed your child as long as you are ok as well. Risking our mental health as Mom’s to make breastfeeding work isn’t worth it. I’ve heard time and time again from brand new mama’s that they cried the first time they had to give their child a bottle. Honestly, I did too. I bawled my eyes out. But you know what? My decision to stop breastfeeding my oldest daughter and formula feed her was the best design I made. My decision to only formula feed my youngest daughter was the best decision I made because of my postpartum depression and anxiety.
Can we all all agree to stop the mom shaming when it comes to feeding our children? Can we agree that if you breastfeed you're doing a dang good job? Can we agree that if you formula feed you’re doing a dang good job? Can we just stop with the feeding comments all together and just give mom’s a break they so deserve? Please.
Honestly there is that ONE year of breastfeeding or formula feeding that is such a debate. ONE YEAR. Yes, it’s a crucial year. It’s full of milestones, firsts, and so many other things. But it is literally one year out of so many more that we debate. You know something? All of us our kids are eventually going to eat GMO, junk, bad for your body food at some point in their lives. I know it’s hard to imagine, but it’s going to happen. Heck, my youngest still likes to eat dog food...you think that’s good for her? Probably not but I can’t stop her when she sneaks it like a quiet little fox all day long sometimes.
All I’m saying is let’s stop the breastfeeding vs formula feeding debate. Let’s support one another instead of saying “well if I can do this so can you”. Well I’m not you and your not me, and even though you can do one thing doesn't mean I can do it as well. That’s kind of like saying I can only eat one taco so you should only be able to eat one as well..uhm I seriously can’t eat just one taco, ever.
Breastfeeding is amazing and I’m so happy God made a women’s bodies to sustain life outside of the womb. Formula feeding is also amazing and I’m so happy that God helped scientists to discover a means of feeding our children when breastfeeding doesn’t work for whatever reason.
You’re a good mom no matter what. You’re trying your hardest. You’re living in a society that’s full of telling mom’s what is right and what is wrong and there is literally sometimes no option for you to decide for yourself. Society needs to change its standards. It’s not you Mama that’s wrong if you feed one way versus another, it’s society making you feel that way.
Keep being supermom. Keep doing what is best for your child. Keep feeding them breastmilk or formula as a baby. And know that however you decide to feed your child from the beginning of their life to when they stop listening to you about food, your trying your best and you’re doing a dang good job at it.