10 Things Never to Say to a Formula-Feeding Mom

Rant 164

baby formula bottleI formula fed my daughter. It's taken a long time for me to be able to say that without wanting to cry. I always qualify it -- I did try breastfeeding, and for myriad reasons, it did not work for our family. Still, my daughter was primarily bottle fed as an infant.

And for nearly a year, I would steel myself before taking my daughter's bottle out in public, putting up a wall to protect myself from the rude comments that seem to be part and parcel of using formula in this day and age.

But no wall was ever big enough. They still hurt.

They hurt then, and to be honest, they still smart a bit now, with a healthy 8-year-old running around my house.

I knew I couldn't be the only one still walking around with a wealth of pain over the judgment lodged at moms for using formula. So I decided to ask other moms to share some of the worst things said to them about formula feeding, the comments they've never really been able to get past.

More from The Stir: Mom Writes Poem to Bring Breastfeeders & Formula Feeders Together

These are the comments that hurt moms. These are the things you should NEVER say to a mom who is formula feeding:

1. Breastfeeding is a better bonding experience with baby. Define "better."

2. They will never be healthy if you don't breastfeed. Never?

3. Why aren't you breastfeeding? ... Well, she SHOULD be fine, just keep an eye on her. What? Are you actually threatening that something is going to happen to her baby?

10 things not to say to a mom using formula4. Don't you know the chemicals in formula can be bad for your baby? No, I haven't been stressed out about that at all, thanks for reminding me so I can let it start eating at me again.

5. Wow, you know you're just taking the easy way out, right? Easy is in the eye of the beholder, my dear.

6. Why didn't you even try breastfeeding? Who says she didn't?

7. Don't you love your child? So now we're measuring strength of love based on the food we give our kids?

8. Breastfed children are smarter than formula fed kids. Just saying. So say some studies. But others say that's a load of hooey. The science is really still out on that one. Just saying.

9. I breastfed because I want what's BEST for my baby. Oh, honey, we all want what's best for our babies. It's called being a mom. You don't get a medal for that.

10. Formula is for selfish moms. I don't think I even need to comment on this one ...

Breastfeeding moms, have you ever said any of these? Formula moms, what are the comments you wish people would STOP saying?


Image via Bradley Gordon/Flickr

breastfeeding, formula


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nonmember avatar summer

No one ever said anything to me. I was happy to bottle feed my kids. They are healthy, smart and I still have perky boobs with normal size nipples. Everyone here is happy.

nonmember avatar PCutler

I have to say, I'm so confused. I'm going to be a FTM in January, but I really don't understand why you would say anything to anyone about how they feed their baby. How would anyone know it ISN'T breastmilk in the bottle? Perhaps you just wanted to avoid having the whole NIP debate, so you pumped at home before you went out like everyone tells you to do? Even if it IS formula, why does anyone care? It's not their kid, not their body, and really, it's just so judgy and non-helpful. I feel like this whole thing is out of control. I don't care if you BF, Pump into a Bottle, or Mix up Formula. The only way I would judge a mom is if she wasn't feeding her kid at all!

*Steps Down off Soapbox* Thank you for letting me get this out there.

fave82 fave82

*Sigh* Another "things never to say" article..... Can we basically just put out the statement stating "NEVER SAY ANYTHING.. TO ANYONE... ABOUT ANYTHING... EVER" and call it a day?

nonmember avatar Kristi

You are kind of a "real" mom.

Movie... Moviebuff

Finally an article about this topic but it wont be long before the breastfeeding bullie say somthing.

B1Bomber B1Bomber

Who would ever say any of this to anyone? Seriously?

If a random stranger's obnoxious comment bothers you that much, you should work on your IDGARA.

pezch... pezcharlotte

I was not able to breastfeed. My daughter refused to participate.  So I pumped and had to supplement. I once had a complete stranger approach me in a store when I was buying formula and she said to me that I was poising my baby.  So yes, these things do absolutely happen.

nonmember avatar jess

I highly doubt half of these were ever said to you. this sounds like crap you came up with when you were going through your guilty phase. no one says this crap and definitely not enough for you to need to Steele yourself to go out in public with a bottle. I call bullshit on this whole article.

katyq katyq

S there an epidemic of bottle feeding moms being harassed in public? If there is then i didn't fet that memo. I gave never ade any comments to a formula feeding mom now h anyone i know,to my knowledge. 

nonmember avatar Ashley

My daughter is 9 months old and I formula feed her. I tried to breastfeed for about 2 months and it just didn't work out. If anybody had the balls to say any of this to my face, they would probably have a black eye. you just don't say these things to a mother.

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