We all have well-meaning friends and family members who feel like it is their duty to inform us of everything we should be doing as parents. There seems to be a lot of pressure on parents these days. It’s almost impossible to measure up to everyone’s expectations. This is even true with the choice between formula feeding and breastfeeding. We all have the friend who insists we will damage our baby if we don’t breastfeed for at least a year. You may have a mother-in-law who insists you are going to ruin your baby if you don’t give him a bottle. There are those who express disgust at either situation. My advice to you? “Plug your ears!”
That’s right, don’t listen to anyone but yourself and your baby.
Every situation is different. Some moms get the luxury of staying home with their babies. Other mom’s don’t want to, or can’t stay home. Some babies or mamas have health issues. Some mams can’t quite get their bodies to make enough milk, others make too much. There are a million different scenarios going on from house to house. What is your situation? That’s all that matters.
It can be heartbreaking to have someone tell you that your beautiful feeding relationship with your baby is gross. It can by worrying to have someone tell you that your baby isn’t chubby enough. When these things come up, look at your little one. He is happy and healthy. You are giving him the very best. Breastfeeding is as natural and as healthy as it gets. Keep up the good work mama and don’t listen to them. They don’t have a clue.
If you are constantly being pressured by someone who is anti-breastfeeding, it might be time to inform them of the facts.
-Breastfeeding is the most natural way of feeding your baby and was the only choice for most of human history.
-There is nothing sexual about breastfeeding. A baby sees his mother as a source of care and nourishment.
-Breastfeeding will not in any way spoil your baby. The close bond you develop while feeding (breast or bottle) an infant lasts a lifetime.
-Breastmilk has all of the right ingredients for a healthy baby and in the right amounts. A mother’s body communicates with her baby and can tell what he needs. Each feeding contains the right amount of fats, protein, nutrients and sugars for what your baby needs in that moment.
-Breastmilk contains antibodies which help your baby fight of disease.
-Babies who are breastfed have a different growth chart than babies that are formula fed. They are often, though not always, a little leaner.
-Breastfed babies often have healthier guts and immune systems.
-Breastfed babies have less allergies, lower instances of childhood obesity; and are less likely to develop childhood diabetes.
There are many more facts that can help combat people’s doubts. Start a conversation and inform the nay-sayers.
I hear so often that a mother feels like a failure because her breastfeeding relationship didn’t go the way she had imagined. There are so many reasons why it can be necessary to formula feed a baby. You have to do what works best for your family. And when you choose good organic formulas, you can be assured that you are doing the best. So don’t listen to anyone who expresses disappointment in your choice.
While it is true that there are a lot of formulas on the market that aren’t good for your baby, there are several that are good healthy choices. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends and co-workers all need to be informed that there really are healthy formulas out there. Unfortunately in a society saturated with big name brands, people feel that there are no good choices. But there are! You just have to know where to look.
If you are already using Hipp, Holle, Lebenswert or Babylove, you know that quality, natural, low sugar, organic formulas exist. These formulas are as close to breastfeeding as we can get. Formula feeding doesn’t have to have a bad name. You can assure your friends and family that you are doing the very best for your baby. You are making sure that all of your family’s needs are met. Don’t be ashamed to feed your baby these products. Be proud that you are making a good healthy choice that fits your needs.
Above all, don’t put up with peer pressure and bullying. You know what’s best for your baby. Let that be enough, because it is enough.