Feeling Judged

  • @AnswerDad01

    I'm sorry that you've experienced judgment about women who do not breastfeed.  Almost all my close mom friends breastfeed, but do not judge moms who formula feed.  I hope you are able to meet more people who are accepting.

  • All of the moms here have great advice.  I have 4 1/2 month old twins.  And I breastfeed them until 6 weeks.  I had planned on exclusively bf but they both had thrush and I got it and we kept passing it back and forth.  My smallest baby was in the nursery and developed it from the antibotics she received.  I was suplimenting because stricly bfing twins is daunting.  I was emotionally drained and felt like a failure too.  But when they didn't get better for over a month from the thrush (which by the way breast milk does cary it), I couldn't handle them being sick anymore and knew that switching to bottlefeeding and not pumping or bfing anymore would clear it up.  Initinally I was pumping and dumping, but trying to feed them and pump 10-12 times a day each was tough.  It was a really hard decision to make but I am glad I made in the long run. I did get a lot of flack from friends and family but none of them have had twins.  I actually said to them, it doesn't help when you critisize me as a new mom. I am sure you don't like it .  I know you are trying to help but unless I ask please don't offer your opinion.  My confidence still wavers on other subjects once ina while (that you will come up with as well) but I have to remember that I am there mom and I would never do anything to hurt them and I need to take care of me, my husband and my kids and no one else. 

    Just know that the moms that critisize the most are actually insecure themselves.  So don't let it get you down.

  • OK...I don't want to sound mean or anything.  But why do you care about what other thinks?  They are not taking care of your and your child, and not there in the middle of the night feeding your child right?  Why beat yourself up over what other people think?  It's a waste of energy.

    The only opinion you should care about is the baby Dr.  Just remember every child is different.

  • I think that it is hard to not take others opinions and judgements to heart, and even more so when we are tired or stressed!  I really like this quote by Elanor Roosevelt.

    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.Eleanor Roosevelt'This Is My Story,' 1937

    It's still tough in the midst of life to remember and own these words, but important none the less.


  • There are many women out there who cannot bf for one reason or another. I don't think any of us should judge another mom for her decision. I know plenty of women who couldn't bf because they don't produce enough milk. I personally chose not to bf because I am on several medications that I am afraid may harm our baby boy, Reagan Joshua, who is due June 13 2011. I verified everything preconception and I changed anything that wasn't acceptable, but once Reagan is born I am not willing to risk it. My hubby and I discussed it a lot and agreed upon this decision. I look at it this way, no body pays our bills but dh and I and it is between us and God. Do what you feel is right for you and your baby. Your real friends and your family will understand. I have found that you learn a lot about the people you consider friends when tough situations arise.

    God bless you and your son!


  • I do exactly what you do! I am a mom of three and my youngest is six months.  I pump and then supplement with formula. I like the fact of knowing how much my baby is getting. I am a mom who routinely feeds and have had mastitis twice with a lazy feeder who was more curious what his siblings were doing.  I could never differentiate when they say to give twenty minutes on this breast and then 15 to 20 on the other. Then they say not to let the baby feed on an empty breast for it can cause cracked nipples.  But you are encouraged to let baby nurse long enough to get to the hind milk.... I couldn't get it all together. So, I found what works for me and I pump and then add formula. I support you!

  • I know it's an awful feeling! My baby is 11 weeks and was BF until 8 weeks. I was never able to produce enough and have to supplement with formula. My sister was very judgemental when I said he was getting formula too. Although I cried for about the first weeks of giving him formula since it was not by choice it's your decision and no one else. Don't doubt yourself and it will get easier. Anyone that asks me if my baby gets formula or milk I say it's none of their business because it's not.

  • You all do such a wonderful job of offering insight, personal experiences and thoughts in your posts! I loved what you had to offer JOSHUACARLEY. Keep the support rolling! :) Jess
  • Im new here too :) and I found out quickly I dont have enough breastmilk to feed my baby even half a meal a day. after 4 weeks of trying (and failing) i gave up on breast feeding all together. people gave me SO much grief for "quitting" and "not trying hard enough". i know i was almost exclusively formula fed as was my husband and were both healthy adults. I had to tell several pushy people that it was my choice and they needed to respect my decision and leave it at that and my daughter is just fine being formula fed. you just have to put your foot down

  • Ivyhaugh I don't believe that you gave in, you are doing what is best for your daughter that isn't a failure. Keep up your confidence and know that you are doing what is best for your daughter.

  • I understand what you are going through when it comes to being judged. However, I wasn't judged by the breast feeding community but rather my husband's grandmother. Since the day we got married she has been judgmental. I suppose it's because my husband and I were very young when we got married and we didn't tell anyone that we were pregnant during the marital process. When it came out that I was pregnant things exploded with her and we received some rather unwanted advice. My husbands grandmother of course demanded that I breastfeed. That was my original plan but due to circumstances I wasn't able to supply adequately for my new born child. Sadly, this cause back lash from my husbands grandmother whom every time I saw would sit me down and tell me that she breast feed all eight of her boys until 2 years of age. I suppose she assumed that I decided the easy way out. However, my husband and I knew the truth. My advice, even though it might get you down to be judged don't worry about it. What you decided is between your intimate family until. Meaning, husband/boyfriend, yourself, and child. NO one has the right to make you feel like you made the wrong decision.
  • I too, planned to exclusively breastfeed. It seemed like when I was pregnant, many older women criticized my decision to breastfeed (especially my MIL who believed the baby would starve!). I read every book I could get my hands on and got lots of advice from friends and family.

    After I gave birth, I had a hard time breastfeeding, not from pain as many women complain, but from the baby blues. I felt that I wasn't doing well enough and my breast were already 44DD before pregnancy, leaving me with bowling balls once my milk fully came in. My baby did get colostrum but after a week I stopped trying to breastfeed and used only formula. My friends and family could not believe it and they harshly criticized me. I cried and cried for weeks about it. It didn't matter who tried to console me, I couldn't get past feeling like I was a bad mom.

    But, after a couple months I let it go. It's the only way to move on and give all of that attention and focus on your baby. My sister had her 3rd child two months after I had my first and she is breastfeeding. Our babies are no different. They have grown at the same rate (her's being 2 months behind, of course), and have reached milestones at the same rate. My pediatrician was probably the most supportive once I expressed my feelings of being a bad mom. She told me that she had been practicing for 26 years and yes, it is better to breastfeed, but when those children grow up, there is no difference. You can't look at a crowd of ten year old kids and point out.. "Oh that child must have been breastfed!"

    Being a new mom is very hard. No two experiences are identical. The advice does not stop either. You just get used to it after a while. Plus different pediatricians will recommend different courses of action, so just trust your mommy instincts and educate yourself.

    I have to say, that despite my baby blues and insecuries in the beginning, I am a terrific mom.  When you see a happy baby, you can't say for sure if that mom breastfed. But you can assume that she sings to her baby, talks to her baby, hugs/snuggles/kisses her baby, reads to her baby, plays with her baby, and LOVES her baby unconditionally!!!


  • Yes!  I totally felt, and still feel judged about not breast feeding.  People don't understand why I decided not to (I had severe mastitis right after my first was born, and then had post partem depression).  1. It was physically painful and 2. having all the weight of the feedings on my shoulders did not help me as a new mother who felt overwhelmed.  My midwives even judged me.  But I can honestly say that switching to formula was the BEST decision for me and my family!  So much so, that when I gave birth to my second, I decided to use formula.  I don't think I will ever understand these groups who feel that just because they bf'ed that everyone else should or that you are less of a mother for NOT bf'ing!  Each family has to make their own individual decision as to what works best for them and their babies.  I hope that this isn't as much of a problem for you now!  And congrats!

  • I EBF and know lots of EBFing mothers and lots of lactation experts.  My experience is that my friends and associates do not judge women who choose to formula feed.  I have noticed, however, that we do often correct the rampant misinformation and myths about breastfeeding.

    I've heard a lot of popular, but untrue things said about breastfeeding.  I try not to let it annoye me, but sometimes it is difficult not to correct the inaccurate information.

  • First of all, congratulations on the birth of your baby :)  Our children share a birthday!

    I planned to exclusively breastfeed as well, and discovered a few issues: 1. my sweet baby is a very lazy sucker and would stay at the breast all day if I let him and 2. he had jaundice and I was told by my pediatrician to supplement with formula.  I felt like a total failure to my baby for not being able to keep him completely healthy and exclusively B-feed...  But I have several friends who are very supportive of me and my choices (which is key when starting out as new parents!) and when I timidly voiced my fears that I failed my son, they told me that there was no such thing.  I was still feeding him, I was still caring for his needs and loving him with all my heart. 

    There is NO wrong way to feed your child, unless you just don't feed him :) 

    Relax and know that you're doing the best you can do for your baby.  Re-read that:  You're doing the best you can do for your baby.  He's your son, it's your family.  If anyone disagrees with your parenting choices, tell them to take a long walk off a short pier. 

    *hugs* and congratulations again!