When you share with people that you’re expecting, the first thing that most people tell you is to “sleep when the baby sleeps.” That's quickly followed by asking if you plan to breast or bottle feed (as if it’s any of their business). It doesn’t matter why you choose either option, you have to do what works best for you as a parent.
But just in case someone comes out of the woodwork and goes extra hard with the mom-shaming towards you for choosing to bottle feed, here are some really important reasons not to feel ashamed.
1. You’re still bonding with your babe.
So many people think that the only way to bond with your baby is through breastfeeding, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Feeding in general is a very bonding time and it doesn’t matter if it comes straight from your body or from a bottle. Everything that you do with your baby, whether it’s giving them a bath, joining them for tummy time, or playing — it’s all bonding.
2. Formula is filled with plenty of vitamins and nutrients.
There is no poison in formula, despite the way that people act about it. Every scoop of formula is filled to the brim with all the vitamins and nutrients that your baby needs to grow, gain weight, and develop. Don’t feel bad about feeding it to them.
3. You’re not neglecting your child's needs, promise.
You’re actually doing the exact opposite. By formula feeding you are attending to all of your child’s needs and making sure that they have a full belly. What’s more important than that?
4. Sometimes, it’s actually better for the baby.
Sometimes babies are underweight or have different intolerances, and formula can end up being better for their overall health.
5. Because fed is best.
Honestly, the shamers out there would be way more upset if your child were being neglected or not fed at all. I will never understand why people feel the need to push their breastfeeding agenda on formula feeders, but it seems unavoidable these days. With every single bottle you make, you’re nourishing your little one and giving them what their body needs. Nothing more really needs to be discussed.
6. There are other moms who feel the same way as you.
Just keep in mind that you have this huge community of moms feeling the same way that you do. Unfortunately, we’re all often being judged for parenting decisions that we make. But find your mom tribe to build you up and you will see all the parents out there dealing with the same pressures, and you will feel nothing but relief.
7. You’re doing the best you can.
You totally are! We are all doing the best we can as parents faced with really big decisions every single day of our lives. Know that you are doing your best every morning you wake up and every night when you go to sleep, and your moments of mom guilt will pass much quicker.
8. It just might make your life easier.
Yes, you’ll end up doing a lot of dishes, but having the option to hand your baby to another family member or friend if you just need a quick second to take a shower or want to step out of the house to do something for yourself — that can be a really great option to have. I know that we all want all the bonding possible, but if you need to step away, you can. Having options and flexibility is a really important thing in life.
9. It’s your choice.
There is something pretty empowering about becoming a parent and making decisions about another human being’s (one that you created) life. Find solace in the fact that you made a choice that works best for you, your family, and your baby. It doesn’t matter what factors contributed to that decision — just feel grounded in that choice.
10. No saggy boobs.
This obviously come with age, but choosing to formula feed certainly delays the process.