Have you ever felt judged for your decision to bottle feed your baby? Here’s a letter of grace and support for the mom who chose NOT to breastfeed her baby.
This post is part of the Dear Mom Letters series.
This post was written specifically for moms who made the choice not to breastfeed–not to those who wanted to breastfeed and had to use formula for some reason. For those women, check out this post.
Dear Mom Who Chose Not to Breastfeed,
It’s World Breastfeeding Week, so you’re apt to hear a lot of hoopla from those who advocate nursing your baby.
And I’m one of those.
But I do not hate you.
I would venture to say that most breastfeeding moms don’t. But I can’t say that for sure.
I know many breastfeeding moms feel judged by those who formula feed. But I always try to put myself in others’ shoes, and, yes, I can see that it goes both ways.
I know there are times you feel just as criticized–and maybe more.
The other day I read an article by a mom who lost a friend over her decision not to breastfeed.
That breastfeeding friend? She gives all of us nursing mothers a bad name.
It would seem that, in the Mommy Wars, breast vs. bottles tops the list of parenting decisions that divide.
My sister, this should not be. We should be supporting each other regardless of our choices. Not tearing each other down.
Motherhood is challenging enough without worrying about someone else critiquing our every move.
I cannot lie and say I don’t think breast is best, but for some reason you chose not to breastfeed. It wasn’t that you tried and had a hard time. You didn’t. For whatever reason, you just didn’t want to breastfeed.
And I know you want what is best for your child, so how I can say that your decision wasn’t best for your unique family?
Guess what? It was your choice. And…it’s ok.
Really? It’s none of my business how you feed your child. It’s none of anyone’s business.
Will I still advocate breastfeeding? Yes.
Will I still educate those mamas who want to breastfeed? Yes.
But will I pressure those of you who don’t? Absolutely not.
I am proud of having nursed my babies for the past 64 months (and counting).
But I am not more of a mother than you are. And you are no less of a mother than any breastfeeding mom.
You’ve made sacrifices, too.
Whereas I could lie in bed and nurse my babies, you had to get up in the middle of the night to make bottles.
And just as I hemmed and hawed over my breastfeeding diet, I’m sure you agonized over just the right formula you’d use to nourish your baby.
I don’t know why you chose not to breastfeed. And I don’t have to know.
You have your reasons, and you made what you see as the best decision for your child and your family. And that is all that anyone needs to know.
Hold your head high this World Breastfeeding Week.
Support and cheer on your sisters who did choose to breastfeed.
But don’t let anyone make you feel like less than a mother because you didn’t.
This is my 6th World Breastfeeding Week to celebrate as a nursing mama. And this year, I’m choosing grace for those of you who aren’t.
Go in grace, Mama. Go in grace.
If you do want to learn more about breastfeeding, read my entire breastfeeding series here.
Or read my letter “Dear Mom Who Tried to Breastfeed and Thinks She Failed.”
Read all of my Letters to Moms here.