I 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.
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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?
4. 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