Am I a Bad Mom if I Give my Baby a Bottle?

With Le Leche League advocates, physicians (myself included), lactation consultants, and many moms pushing the breastfeeding agenda…where does that leave the bottle feeding mom? Many moms that I know have been unable to nurse their babies. Some had preemies who were unable to nurse. Other moms’ milk didn’t come in. Some moms gave breastfeeding a great effort before “quitting,” while others decided from the start that they only wanted to bottle-feed. Although I’m a strong supporter of breastfeeding, I’m also a strong supporter of moms, their health, and their sanity.

Cute Baby At Hands Of The Mother In An Embrace, MonochromeEvery woman should be able to decide how she is going to feed her baby-without judgement or criticism! Several of my friends have adopted babies. Clearly, breastfeeding isn’t even an option in their situation without going to incredibly great lengths. The stares and comments that they have received for feeding their babies formula is insane. The fact that strangers feel comfortable criticizing how a baby is fed (breast vs. bottle) without even knowing the whole story is shocking to me.

Since I had a preemie, I was required to give my daughter two formula fortified bottles a day. Granted my bottles were breast milk mixed with formula, but all that most people saw was that I was mixing formula into a bottle. I could tell that I was getting disapproving looks. The idea that I felt guilty over feeding my baby formula (that she actually needed for the phosphorus and extra calories as a preemie) now makes me shake my head. I was doing what was best for my baby. I didn’t need other people making me feel like a bad mom.

I definitely don’t want anyone to think that I’m bashing breastfeeding! Quite the opposite. I do believe that breastfeeding provides infants with incredible benefits and that breast milk is the best nutrient option for most babies. But, I do want to give a shout out to all of the amazing mothers who either chose not to breast feed or who couldn’t. A formula fed baby can and will still grow, be healthy, develop a healthy immune system, and potentially go on to win a Nobel Prize! Baby Bottle And Milk With Clipping Path

As moms…we are all doing our best. We all have our children’s best interest at heart. Bottle feeding moms are just as amazing as breastfeeding moms. Don’t let anyone tell you differently or make you feel differently.

From The Mom in Me, MD

10 thoughts on “Am I a Bad Mom if I Give my Baby a Bottle?

  1. I breastfeed and occasionally bottle feed. I went to the baby expo recently and was looking for formula for under 1 year old and the lady working at one of the stalls told me that they weren’t allowed to sell formula for kids under one due to the breastfeeding association promoting and encouraging mothers to breastfeed.

    I breastfeed and I was offended. I couldn’t believe it. I thought they went a bit too far. Every mother should have the right to choose how they feed their baby.

    • i know that the formula industry is BIG BUSINESS! so there has been a push to get them out of some of the expos etc. I understand that thinking, because they do have a tendency to make us think that they are getting a better value for their dollar if they constantly get coupons for formula. Of course this doesn’t make sense because breast milk is free, but anytime any of us see a coupon or a stack of freebees none of us want to pass up the deal. In an effort to increase the number of women who do breastfeed, some steps have been taken to limit the presence of formula companies. I agree though that women should be educated on their options and should then choose what works for them. As a physician and public health specialist, I always encourage my patients to breastfeed, but I don’t devalue them if they choose not to. I think that is the difference. Mom’s need to make their own informed decision. We all have different priorities, abilities, constraints etc. Those of us who have breast fed need to make sure that we are still supporting other moms even if they aren’t making all of the same choices that we did.

  2. Nicely stated. As an ob/gyn physician I try to encourage and advocate breastfeeding due to the many benefits, but also don’t pressure my patients and continue to support them if they are unable to breastfeed or elect to bottlefeed. As you said “bottle feeding moms are just as amazing as brestfeeding moms” and we need to support and nurture ALL our mothers.

    • Thanks so much for commenting Dr. Jerath! As health care professionals we want what’s best for our patients. Supporting a new mother is always best! Motherhood is challenging. None of us need extra criticism:)

  3. Reblogged this on Women, Wellness, & Wisdom and commented:
    As an ob/gyn physician I try to encourage and advocate breastfeeding due to the many benefits, but also don’t pressure my patients and continue to support them if they are unable to breastfeed or elect to bottle feed. As the author of this blog post, The Mom in Me, MD, states, “bottle feeding moms are just as amazing as breastfeeding moms”. Ultimately, we need to support and nurture ALL our mothers.

  4. Private Comment – I’m new to the world of blogging and word press. I could not get the word press button or reblogging button to share your post on my site (I think because you are and I am so I cut and paste your post to my site and linked back to you as the author and the original site of the blog post. You can check it out and let me know if it looks ok or if you would like any changes – (it will publish tomorrow at 0800). Thanks for letting me share your post!

  5. Pingback: Am I Bad Mom if I GIve My Baby A Bottle - breastfeeding vs bottlefeeding | Womens, Wellness, & Wisdom

  6. Pingback: My Blog is my Baby – Do you feel so? – mySestina

    • HI My Sestina, thanks for checking out our blog. please do now use our images from our blog posts as headers for your own. we pay for our images from a stock photo company and they are copy written. So that is considered a copyright violation by the company. They are not to be downloaded/screen shot/ or shared on another bloggers site. If you would like to pingback our entire blog post that would be fine with appropriate credit. thanks!

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