“Fed is Best”. “Breast is Best”. Are you on one of these teams?

Chances are, if you are a mother, then you’ve been a member of one of those teams. And unfortunately, with social media today, you may have experienced “mommy shaming” from the formula or breastfeeding camp.

You can support "Breast is best," but not be anti-formula

Well I have a confession to make…I’m on BOTH teams.

Let me explain…

During my breastfeeding class- before my son was born- I learned all about the benefits of breastfeeding. The bond…the antibodies…and the cost! My goodness, formula is expensive! I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby for all these reasons. But things didn’t exactly go according to plan.

After my son was born we dealt with a poor latch and a lot of pain. Despite a consultation with the lactation specialist and a few weeks of (unsuccessful) attempts, I switched to exclusive pumping. But my supply could never keep up with his appetite and we had to supplement with formula.

This was a hard blow for me, personally. I so badly wanted to have that contact and bond with my son without the bottle. I did extensive research on different formula brands and didn’t like some of the ingredients I was reading! I’m somewhat of a “granola” mom, and want everything to be pure and natural, and I didn’t feel like any of these formulas added up to the purity of my breastmilk.

But then…I got over my aversion to formula.

I had to. At this point, I really had no choice. I had to feed my baby. I accepted the fact that although the formula didn’t come directly from me, it is designed to give babies what they need in order to grow. Millions of babies are fed formula, and they are perfectly healthy! In fact, we are lucky to have access to such nutrition in our country.

I will always believe that breastfeeding should be attempted first, for the health benefits and the bond between mother and baby. But it is certainly a challenge too great for many women, and mother’s health and well-being are important too! But before becoming annoyed with the labor and delivery nurses for being “pushy” about breastfeeding, remember that they are not trying to be judgmental or rude. They are encouraging new mothers, not pressuring them. There are many resources to help breastfeeding moms today, from social media to local meet ups. From a member of the breastfeeding community, we are here to support and guide you…not make you feel guilty for choosing not to breastfeed.

I am currently exclusively breastfeeding my eight-month-old daughter, and couldn’t be happier.

I’m proud of myself for powering through another rocky start in our breastfeeding journey, and the bond I have with my baby is indescribable. I do get sad that I didn’t have this with my son, and wish I would have known then what I know now. I hope this article can inspire other women to attempt breastfeeding, even when it feels impossible!

This post is meant to encourage mothers to be supportive of each other no matter what. Our country is facing a great deal of judgment and disagreements right now, and we all just need to respect one another. We can offer our knowledge and experience while keep our minds open to other’s feelings and views.
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Gloria Brooks

I was born and raised in New Jersey, but now live in Tampa,FL with my husband David and 2 babies, Noah (2) and Cecelia (3 months). I went to the University of Florida to study special education and I'm currently an Autism teacher in Tampa.I'm currently extending my maternity leave to be home with my babies, and will return to teaching in January. Being a full time mommy right now is the most wonderful (and exhausting!) job in the world.

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