It’s a known fact that breastfeeding is loaded with benefits. I’m here to tell you that while that’s true, it’s okay to not breastfeed your baby.
I love breastfeeding to the core, obviously. The benefits are truly mother nature’s gift. But you know what I don’t love? All the bullshit mom wars and shaming other mothers because they can’t or “won’t” breastfeed. If you’re that mom that has opted out, I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. Actually, there’s 3 reasons it’s okay to not breastfeed your baby and not feel bad about it.
While browsing the internet, it’s hard to avoid the whole “breastfeed vs bottle feed” debate. Which, quite honestly is a bunch of bullshit. We label each other too much by our parenting decisions. Is your child healthy? Fed nutritiously? Clothed? Bathed? Warm? Provided the essentials to survive? If you answered yes, than you are a fucking rockstar and have no reason to feel bad about your decisions.
I’ve heard stories about doctors, family, and friends putting mothers down for their choice to not breastfeed or worse – their inability to breastfeed. Who the hell are you to judge someone like that? Are they feeding their child dirt? No? Then sit the fuck down and mind your own business.
Now, let’s not mistake this for my love and fascination for breastfeeding. I think everyone should at least try it and research into how absolutely amazing our bodies are. Nature and science are some badass shit. But at the same time, I’m not going to try and tell a mother she is wrong for bottle feeding. It’s not right. As mothers, we should be supporting each other.
Now, let’s get more into the 3 reasons it’s okay to not breastfeed your baby. That’s the entire reason you’re here, is it not?
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Breastfeeding is really hard
Let’s start with the obvious, breastfeeding is really fucking hard. With my son, I didn’t know what I was doing and my milk never even came in before I called it quits. I actually didn’t even know that until I had my daughter and found out what it actually felt like to have your milk come in and start nursing like a champ.
Oh, my god. Talk about painful. I remember wanting to just lay in bed all day long because it hurt to even roll over. And no matter what I did – shower, nurse, ice the crap out of my breasts – it still hurt.
Now, I pushed through all that because I was bound and determined to make it work. But my 19-year-old self? No way would it have happened. Even if I had wanted to breastfeed and my milk had come in, I don’t think I could have handled it. And that’s okay.
Hell, sometimes it just doesn’t even work. You aren’t producing enough, you have an inverted nipple, baby won’t latch, or even baby is allergic to you. I’ve heard too many times about mothers who feel they have failed their babies because it just didn’t work out. The way you feed your baby does not make you a failure. Maybe if you fed them dumpster trash or plant soil but I’m sure you don’t do that.
Breastfeeding is hard and not all of us are cut out to do it. Breastfeeding is hard and sometimes we fail. Breastfeeding is hard and sometimes we have to opt for the next best thing and that is okay. It’s okay to not breastfeed your baby, mama.
Ultimately, it’s YOUR choice
My next great point here is that if you decide not breastfeed your baby, it’s nobody else’s business. It’s between you and your baby and that is it. If anyone else has any thoughts or opinions on the matter, you can invite them to send it to your suggestion box and you will get to them when you have the energy. (aka never!)
If your doctor tries to push it, find a new doctor. If your mother in law tries to tell you that you’re not doing what’s best for baby, you can kindly remind her that last you checked, that child came out of your body and not hers. If some twat off the internet wants to give you shit, use that block button that was made for a reason.
In the end, don’t take anybody’s shit. Your body. Your baby. Your decision if you choose not to breastfeed. Everyone else can take a hike to negative bitches land!
Formula is not “bad” for your baby
Now, lastly…. Whoever started the whole using the phrase “breast is best” shit to put down mothers who formula feed, needs to pull their head out of their ass. We all know that breastmilk is what nature intended, but formula is not bad for your baby. Get out of here with that crap. Seriously.
Here’s the thing: I did some research and formula dates back as far as 2000 BC (source). You know what we did before that? We hopefully found another woman who was also breastfeeding willing to feed our child. If that didn’t work? Maybe you’d find a lactating animal so your child didn’t die of starvation and malnourishment.
So quite frankly if you have anything to say about formula being “bad” and breastfeeding is “good”, just keep that to yourself. It’s simply a bunch of bullshittery.
I love breastfeeding. I think it is absolutely amazing. But I fucking hate all the mom shaming and mom wars around this. Who made you breastfeeding god that can go around judging other moms? I know I sure as hell didn’t.
Formula has enough makeup to be of nutrients to a baby. Sure, it’s not the exact same thing. But it gets the job done. It makes sure baby is fed, has the proper nutrients, and doesn’t die of starvation when mom can’t produce enough and has so supplement or stop completely.
So if you’re not breastfeeding, that is okay and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. End of story.
Need more parenting help? Check out these books:
What to Expect the First YearBrain Rules for Baby (Updated and Expanded): How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to FiveMayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Year: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too!