Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Can moms ever do anything right?

While browsing through books at the library this weekend, I came across a book called "Is Breast Best?: Taking on the Breastfeeding Experts and the New High Stakes of Motherhood."

At first I thought the book might be an interesting look at the science of feeding babies. But based on my very cursory perusal, I'd have to say this book is just one more way for mothers to feel like they can't ever get it right.

Breastfeeding advocates seem try to make women who feed their babies formula (for whatever reason) feel like they're not real women. This book seems to just turn the guilt around onto women who do breastfeed. Making it seem as if I'm depriving my baby by feeding it the way women have done for ages.

Women who breastfeed are already seen as less competent. I am shy and embarrassed about breastfeeding my baby in public (even with a cover up).

Sure, the book probably says that formula is just as good as breast milk. And in this day and age, I'm sure it is -- especially with clean, healthy water supplies. And there are plenty of great reasons to choose one over the other. All of which are personal choices for a mother, and I don't question any of them.

For me, breastfeeding is convenient and cheap. No, it isn't easy and sometimes it's frustrating and exhausting as all get out. But it works for me. I realize it doesn't work for everyone. My baby doesn't like formula and has spit out any we've offered to him.

I don't think anyone needs to justify her choice to breastfeed or formula feed. As long as Baby is growing and thriving, you're doing something right. And I don't think anyone should tell anyone else her way is wrong -- or better, for that matter.

Just shut up and feed your baby.


  1. Yeah, there's no winning. No matter how you feed your kid, someone out there is judging you. Now that both of my kids are older than a year and are no longer being fed breast milk or formula, I'm starting to see it all with more detached amusement. Why, oh why, do we make such a big damn deal about these feeding decisions that affect such a small fraction of the kids' lives? Both breastfeeding and formula produce happy, healthy kids. End of story.

  2. Dad likes it because it affords him the opportunity to be mostly lazy....that probably doesn't endear me.