Feeling Judged

  • I'm sorry you had to go through that. I actually went through the opposite issue. I told a family member I was breastfeeding and then had to listen to 10 minutes of why that wasn't a good idea. It was as if I had said something horrible. Luckily I have other supportive family members that helped me through that because I was angry and hurt by it. My sister-in-law has been great. I'll pass on what she continues to tell me, What works for one mom, may not work for you. In the end it's your child and you will make the decisions that are best for your child. Try not to listen to the critics cause they're everyone.

    Congratulations on your new family member!

  • Hello,

    I had 2 sons; one will be two next month and one just turned 6 months old. With my first child, I tried breastfeeding for a couple weeks, and then pumped and fed him in a bottle for a month. I had bleeding nipples (both sides) and it was just so painful when he sucked. Apart from my pain, I didn’t want him to drink blood with breast milk. Last, I didn’t want to get infection from having cracked nipple. I googled to figure out how to heal my nipples, but as new born needs to get fed so often, my breast couldn’t get much rest to be healed.

    With my second one, I had same issue. I saw lactation consultant few times, and she could not see any issue with latching. But then I really wanted to continue with breast feeding, so I gave the baby bottles for a couple days and back to the breast feeding. Also I had high blood pressure when I delivered the baby, and it lasted long after the birth. I was allergic to magnesium, so I really suffered from the medicine I was given. I had many stitches from the birth, and with all the pains I was going through, I didn’t know how I would manage to continue breast feeding. I gave all the credit to my mother-in-law who looked after me for a month. She was very encouraging and made me feel good with decisions I made. Every morning, she told me “you just went through another day of breastfeeding, but remember that baby needs happy mother. It’s not the end of the world to bottle feed the baby. I will help you with breastfeeding as you wish to continue, but I personally think that you should not feel bad about giving your baby bottles.” She breastfed all her 3 children, but she was very supportive in every decision I made, and I wanted to try my best to get though the first month. Now my baby is 6 months old, and I am still breastfeeding him J

    However, I ended up falling apart with one of my best friends. When she came to visit me, she didn’t like the formula I used for my child. She even said that the reason my baby boy is “fat” is because of the formula that I was feeding him. She also thinks that women who don’t breastfeed their child is just too selfish, and all they want is to lose weight by starving themselves. I told her breastfeeding is supposed help losing baby belly, but she was very firm. She also disagreed with my sleep training “crying out”, posting massages on my facebook about how it would not work for my child. She says she is “watch dog” for children, so it’s her place to say what the right things to do. I got very offended, multiple times. I finally got sick and tired of talking to her as I had to hear lecturing every time I was on the phone with her. I decided not to speak to her for a while as I didn’t need any unnecessary stress in my life. It’s very sad that I am not speaking to her as much as we used to, but she doesn’t seem to realize why I cut her off even after I told her I want her to respect my decision.

    I may not the best mom in the whole universe, but I’ve been definitely trying my best to care and love my children. My two sons are happy and healthy babies. I learned to filter what to listen and what not to listen. Also, I, myself try not to be judgmental to my other friends who are expecting or new to motherhood.

  • You don't have to have a reason not to breast feed, my mother never did with me and did with my sisters and I'm the healthiest, tallest one with no allergies.  Anyway I have two children and my youngest is five months. I chose not to breast feed either of them because  I  had two bad c-sections and I was on narcotics for 4 weeks to recover.Come to find out they were both lactose intolerant and colic anyway so I used/use lactose free similac sensitive.   Although when people asked I simply said ,Some women are breast feeders and some women aren't, and I'm just not.   The more confident you seem in your answer the quicker they will stop asking you questions about it. Both of my kids are in the 100th percentile of height and weight so there are no worries about that. Just remember at the end of the day , why is it so important to them if u breastfeed? That is what u should ask them.

  • In 2010 the AAP published info about jaundice and feeding:  http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/bfm.2010.9994

  • Hi Miss_Dot, I too had planned on ebf my baby girl.  My medical problems with pregnancy induced hypertension got in the way of that & how I envisioned her birth to be.  I just wasn't producing enough milk & now she's 1 month old & I still am not able to stop supplementing formula.  I am taking supplements to increase supply & just not getting there.  Its stressful & almost depressing for me to realize many decisions aren't always as easy as I thought they would be.  My sister ebf her 2 kids & she just couldn't get my problem & kept telling me just offer her the breast more often.  What she didn't get was my baby just wasn't getting enough no matter how long she nursed & that is an awful enough feeling w/o family telling you your not doing enough!  I felt really judged when I decided to just try pumping & bottle feeding since its gotten harder for her to want to nurse since she's had the bottle too.  Its tough but I am doing all I can to not give up pumping breast milk all together so I just try & ignore those comments. Which isn't always easy when its family.  Just hang in there you are doing great!! 

  • I planned to exclusively BF my son until he was a yr, but I had virtually no support and it was so hard.  I did it for 2 1/2 months and after all the stress and judging, plus going back to work and working 10 hr days, I couldn't do it anymore.  THEN I got judged for stopping...  So you know what?  I just learned to try not to take anything personal.  I have also learned to ALWAYS trust your instincts when it comes to you and your child.  You know what's best, even if you second guess it.  As was said earlier by another member, formula babies turn out just fine.  

    I just keep telling myself that he did get a little bit and that's what counts.  I especially wanted to continue it since he was a preemie, but I just couldn't anymore.  It was to the point I was so stressed my milk supply was actually decreasing.  I went from 2 oz every 1 1/2-2 hrs to 1/2 an oz a DAY.  That's when I knew I had to give up.  I was really depressed when I did, but I've overcome that...  I've also gotten a lot more outspoken towards the people who decide to be bold and say something about it...  apparently they're non supportive no matter what I do, so their opinions just don't matter to me.  As negative as this sounds, sometimes you just have to ignore some people who constantly stab at you and attempt to judge.  Just because something works for them doesn't mean it works for you , vice versa.

    Keep your head up, and know that if you don't exclusively BF, or even if you have to switch to formula all together, baby will be just fine.  (Plus other people can feed him as well, so you can have a WELL deserved break :) )

  • I am in the same situation. I had originally planned to BF, but I never knew how difficult it would be. My baby really did'nt latch on and when we were at the hospital I asked for them to bring me formula because I wanted her to eat something, since she wasnt latching on to me. I had so many issues from engorgement to bleeding and cracked nipples. I ended up pumping instead. It was so much easier for me because that way I was able to see how much of my breast milk she was having. I was also able to BF  that way, of course, I was still supplementing because I never pumped enough to where I could feed her all day. It makes me sad that she was'nt able to latch on because things would be so much easier if I was able to nurse her without having to pump. I had to go back to work, and my milk is starting to dry up. I feel horrible because I can barely get only 1 ounce from each breast now. I just feel that whatever breastmilk the baby was able to get is better than no breast milk at all. I am trying to debate on whether I should just give it up, I dont know if I can get my breast milk to come back

  • The same thing has happened to me!!  One friend even pulled my husband aside, trying to tell him that he should help me give BF a try again.  So many people have asked and seem disappointed when I tell them that I had to stop BF after 9 days.  Seriously, were they there on those sleepless nights when my child was screaming and wouldn't take the breast?

    Thankfully, there have been some sympathetic BF moms who know that it isn't easy, or have a friend who went through the same thing.  And then there was the random friend who said she heard that GOATS MILK was better for your baby than formula! Sad

    My pediatrician rightly told me, "Babies need nutrition and love.  What matters is that you are giving your baby both." I've started to tell people that. And I've also shared how bottle feeding has helped my family members (especially my husband) bond with my baby. 

  • I am so on the same page as you!  I breastfeed and my family all thinks it's weird.  I had my babysitter (for my first 2 kids - I am now SAHM with 4) tell me it was ok to let MY kids have soda once in a while.  They were 1 and 3.  I have to say how happy I am they both hate soda not like it is osmething we even have in our house but I do have one occassionally. 


    People will judge every and any decision you make.  You just have to stand strong and know you are doing what you feel is best for your family.

  • My friend and I (both of us first time Mom's) had the same backlash come up about exclusively breastfeeding, mainly from the hospital people. I agree with the "breast is best" slogan; however, not everyone can breastfeed. I tried it and it was awful, my almost 9.5 lbs. baby was starving, and I was having medical issues anyway. He does great on formula, though he'll occasionally root for my breast or nipple and I'll feel a pang of remorse about not breastfeeding. One of the things that helped me was having so many women near to me tell me they formula fed their babies and their children turned out to be wonderful adults. Only you and your partner can make this decision and really its no one else's business. By the way, my friend is supplementing and I am exclusively using formula.

  • It is your choice. No one else. Don't pay any attention to them. It's a difficult thing to do and I chose not to BF. Don't stress.

  • I just wanted to check in and see how things are going with you and your baby. Have you been able to find some resolve to feeling judged? What has worked for you? what is still hard? I'd love an update! :) Jess
  • I also felt horribly judged by everyone.  My doctor almost made me cry.  I had to do it though my son have sucking and latching problems.  I have flat nipples.  I was a combination for disaster.  I fed my daughter till she was 11 months.  I just couldn't with him and pumping just became a hassle.  I say ignore these people.  I do that now.  They don't understand the situation if they are judging. 

  • At this point, DH and I are exclusively formula-feeding DS. Though all the support on these boards has done WONDERS for me, I'd have to say that the best piece of advice I've gotten so far is that no matter what, I need to be confident in my own decisions. If I tell someone something about a decision I've made, I need to say it with confidence. When I start off telling someone that I'm no longer even pumping I have to voice it in a strong, confident manner. If I start off with an excuse and a wishy-washy tone, I'm setting myself up to get knocked down! I have to say, bottle feeding in general has been really great for us (be it w/breastmilk or formula). DS is the first grandbaby born for both my family and DH's so everyone's clamoring to spend time with him. Both grandmas LOVE feeding him and DH really likes the bonding time that he gets to have w/DS during feedings :) 

    I've loved reading every response this post has gotten. I don't have a real-life mommy community to talk to so these discussion boards are great. Just what the doctor ordered :D

  • Dot,

    With my first, I had an extremely hard time BFing. I had wanted to BF exclusively, but ended up doing both, than going to formula exclusively after a little bit. I was in the same boat as you, people were attacking me (especially my mother who had BF me and my brother). It did bother me, but after a while, I just started smiling at them and saying "good for you for BFing." While BFing may be best, it is absolutely up to you and your DH. So, if you just let people know that that is the decision you have made, and make them focus on something else, you should be fine. Hope this helps!