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High Five to the Formula Feeding Moms

4.1Dear Formula Feeding Mom,

First off, you can let your guard down, because I’m not going to lecture you.  I know it seems like every other mother is breastfeeding, but you can take a sigh of relief and know that you’re not alone.

You may feel a little isolated as a formula feeding mom in such a wholesome community, during a time when breastfeeding is a heated and public topic. There are no clubs or support groups for moms like us, but you should hold your head high nonetheless. You’re sustaining a life, and no matter how you feed that tiny mouth, it’s no easy feat.

2.1Go ahead and shake off anyone that tries to shame you.  But be prepared for awkward conversations–it kind of comes with the territory of parenthood. When you break out the bottle, you might get a few eye rolls… but you might get a few high fives, too. Give the strangers, acquaintances, friends, and even family a break because they likely mean well. They may say odd things like “Well, good for you!” or “Breast is best, you know,” but keep in mind that ultimately we all want what’s best for the baby. It’s just that not everyone knows (or needs to know) all the details about what that entails for your baby, for your family, and for you.

There’s no doubt that you did the research. You weighed the options. Maybe you even tried the recommended route and maybe it caused you stress and heartache. Maybe it was never an option for you. Or maybe you lovingly chose to provide a bottle the day your sweet baby was born – that’s okay too. Whatever reasons played in to your decision to formula feed are personal. They are valid.

Try to avoid the emotional debate on this topic, but don’t forget to be supportive of the mothers in your life that are breastfeeding. Recognize their decision and be a glimmer of grace at times when they are feeling isolated. We all have our battles, motherhood is hard, and we need each other.

3.1Don’t think for a second that you’re lacking a bond with your bundle of joy. You clearly have an amazing bond with your baby, that’s not exclusive to breastfeeding mamas. Enjoy every moment that you get to cradle her in your arms, gaze into her eyes and hold that bottle at just the right angle. And when your child’s father or another loved one is enjoying the task of feeding, let the sight of their growing bond fill your heart with joy.

If you ever find yourself feeling guilty, don’t be. There is absolutely no shame in doing what is best for your family. There were many mothers before you and there will be many more that fill their baby’s belly with formula instead of breast milk.  And you know what? Their babies are growing, smiling, and thriving just like the others. That’s what it’s all about.

Last but not least, I won’t judge you if you openly embrace the positive side of formula feeding. Go ahead and relish in the flexible schedule, drink your caffeine with abandonment, and feel free to do a happy dance when you breeze by the nipple cream, breast pumps, and nursing bras next time you’re at Target.  Maybe I’ll see you there and we can share a mental high five in the formula aisle. You deserve it.

1.1With Love,

A Mom Like You

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13 Responses to High Five to the Formula Feeding Moms

  1. Sherri Erkel
    Sherri Erkel February 9, 2015 at 9:01 am #

    Jessi, thank you for a great post! As a mom who formula fed from day one and took heat from a lot of other moms (and doctors), you told me just what I wished I had heard six years ago!
    High five!
    Sherri

  2. Amanda February 9, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

    It’s all really strange to me because I’ve formula fed both of my kids and never once have I been made to feel like less of a mother because of it.

    • Rebecca February 9, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

      You don’t need to comment on everything you read.

  3. Jennifer February 11, 2015 at 7:08 pm #

    Great message!

  4. Sarah February 18, 2015 at 8:35 pm #

    Thanks for this!! I really needed to read it today. Our baby is 5 days old and my nipples are so cracked & bloody & I have felt awful at having to give our girl formula. I’m expressing where I can, but to read this and have the reassurance that what I’m doing with formula is ok too was a godsend on a day where I’ve felt really down!
    Thanks so much!!

    • Jessi Simon
      Jessi Simon March 5, 2015 at 12:50 pm #

      Sarah, I’m so happy that this lifted you up during a stressful time. I hope you and your little one are both doing great — no matter how she’s feeding! 🙂

  5. Carol February 19, 2015 at 6:35 am #

    I’m 72 and have 2 children in their 40’s. I bottled fed both of them by choice. Yes, by choice. They both had all their injections also. They have been healthy throughout their lives. I was fortunate to have been a stay at home mom (my husband was in the Navy and gone alot) and my one big requirement of my husband, sitters, grandparents etc.was that the babies be held for every bottle and never put to bed with a bottle. My favorite memory is rocking them and feeding them a bottle. Do what is best for you and don’t let society force you into anything. After all, you’re there 24/7, and your baby is your responsibility. Enjoy every moment. It flies by!

    • Jessi Simon
      Jessi Simon March 5, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

      Carol, thanks for sharing this — I love hearing that other moms find bottle feeding as rewarding as I do. It’s my favorite part of the day! 🙂

  6. Blake G. February 20, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

    thank you thank you! my mama mantra is “fed is best”. neither feeding choice is better or worse. this is so great, thanks for writing it 🙂

    • Jessi Simon
      Jessi Simon March 5, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

      Amen sister!! High five!

  7. Jenna July 19, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

    Thank you so much for writing this! I’m formula-feeding and pumping for my 7 month old. Pumping 6 times a day to make only half of what he needs. I still can’t seem to give myself permission to stop, even though I’m exhausted. It seems like every mom around me is breastfeeding. When i read blogs like this it makes me feel not so alone. Thank you!

    • Kristen December 17, 2015 at 10:07 pm #

      It’s ok to stop! I pumped for a month while trying to get my son to breastfeed, but he only ever wanted a bottle. He and his younger brother were both formula fed. They are now 10 and 8 yrs old and are healthy, happy kids. While it seems huge now, in ten years no one will care how you fed your baby. Don’t be afraid to do what is best for you physically and mentally…a happy, healthy mom is the best gift you can give your baby no matter how you choose to feed.

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