Ah formula feeding ... something many moms must do to give their baby the best start yet many make them feel absolutely and completely terrible about it. It's the second tier of new mommy judgement -- the first being how you birth.
I'm a huge advocate of breastfeeding and nursed my babies into that "you're still breastfeeding?!" stage. I even revealed the breastfeeding side effects no one tells you about, but I'm also a BIG supporter of moms who are doing the best they can. And that includes formula feeding moms. I was one, too. We love our babies just as much as the moms who make the liquid gold.
But what I'm about to tell you is what really happens if you formula feed. The stuff no one wants to talk about.
Before I begin, I just want to take a moment to make sure you all know that this is for the formula feeding mamas. This isn't to bash breastfeeders because, if it was, I'd be bashing myself ... and I don't like to do that. Mamas who bottle feed need and deserve support, too. And a chuckle.
1. Bottles will become the source of your misery even more than a colicky baby. All those parts! All the washing of the parts! All those times during the day! It's also a pain in the arse to prepare.
2. You can bottle feed in public without people giving you dirty looks. Well, except for a small number of people who scowl because you AREN'T breastfeeding and they judge you without knowing anything about your situation. (P.S. I support nursing in public -- I even nursed my twins in public. I also support bottle feeding in public.)
3. You will be judged for not trying to breastfeed. Even if you tried for weeks/had the worst mastitis ever/couldn't produce enough milk/had a life threatening complication after birth that prevented your milk from coming in. Ignore those people. You are doing a great job, mamas.
4. If your friend is able to successfully breastfeed, you may find you want to rip her breasts off and put her milk ducts on. Instead of doing that, celebrate her ability. As long as she celebrates how you are doing the best you can, too. If not, pour formula over her head.
5. You may shy away from posting your bottle feeding pictures on Facebook. Especially if you have many friends who breastfeed. Why set yourself up for Judgey McJudgersons?
6. You will find great delight when daddy, grandma, auntie, uncle, even your older child, can feed your baby. It's photo op time! You get to see the loving looks they all give your little spawn, and you have a moment to take a shower!
7. The first time baby holds your finger when you are holding the bottle will melt your heart into a ooey gooey mess of love. It's like she's saying, thanks mama. I love you.
8. Seeing your partner feed the baby, with that look of pride on his face, is just one of the many moments you find yourself falling more in love with him even when you didn't think it was possible.
9. Reading anything about breastfeeding will make you feel like crap. The worst side effects to this are a sense of failure, guilt, jealousy, and self-loathing. Stop reading. Stop thinking it's directed at you when you know you did and are doing the best you can.
10. You may start to feel dizzy and irate if there is a formula recall. And you will panic if it's your brand. And then you will read about it and the comments from the women who say "this is why I breastfeed ne, ne, ne, ne-ne-ne" will make you even more dizzy and irate. Did I mention you should stop reading?
11. The day your baby turns 1 and no more formula is needed is going to rival the best orgasm you ever had.
Were you aware of these side effects? Which ones are you dealing with the most?
Image via © iStock.com/Gewoldi