Feeling Judged

  • Hi, My daughter was born on the 8th of Feb so our kids are about a week apart. i too had planned on exclusively BF, I did up until today everyone tells me to bf as much as possible but I dont produce enough milk to store and have ready when I need to go out and do things. So Ive decided to alsosupplement with formula, although I have yet to inform my BF community I know Im in for it, but honestly its your life and your baby. Many babys have grown up on formual alone and turn out fine, Know that its a hard thing to choose but they dont know the life style you live. Some people that exclusively BF are stay a home mothers or dont have to go out much and your life could cause you to always be in the car or on the go, so dont feel stressd out they are only giving their opion baised on what they lived, base your choices on what your LIVING and what makes you Comfertable as a mom. Stand firm on all your decisions because you'll show stability and know that some things we'll learn other things along the way. Just tell them I also wanted to bf only but due to my busy schedual or due to the lifestyle I live it was impossible and the important thing is that my baby is healthy. And that alone make me happy.

  • I agree that no one has to justify their choices to others.  Hopefully we all make well-informed decisions based on good values and our unique situations.

    Everyone's situation is different.  I feel very blessed.  I exclusively breastfeed and work outside the home 40 hours a week.  I pumped at work.  My employer has 2 pumps and a fridge in the nurse's office.

    I also volunteer and participate in organizations.  I was fortunate enough to be able to take my baby with me on evenings and weekends in a baby carrier. I even took a six-week salsa class with my baby on my back.  So being on the go didn't stop me from breastfeeding.  I am definitely NOT a stay at home mom.

    Again, everyone's situation is unique.  There's no need to feel obligated to explain things to someone who doesn't understand what's happening with your family.

  • You are definitely not alone. I'm so sorry your having to deal with their mess. I am a new mom too. I am 26 and DH is 28, and we too are completely new at all of this. We had our daughter, our first baby, on 3/25. So just a couple of weeks and we have learned that none of what we had planned matters, because it's all about her and what she wants right then!

    First, I would have to say tell them that you appreciate the advice and support but you have it all worked out and you are all doing fine. If they keep pushing, just tell them back off. Unfortunately sometimes you just have to let them know they are crossing the line. I haven't really had to do this with anyone because everyone in my family has bottle fed except for 2 people and honestly it didn't last that long. Even my great grandmother bottle fed, and yea, believe until I was pregnant I didn't even know they had bottles then so imagine my surprise.

    I am a nursing student and my husband works a rotating shift that are 12 shifts all the time. So I knew that even when I decided I wanted to put forth my best effort on breastfeeding that we were going to suplement. I bought the breastpump and I pump as much as I can possibly stand, and even bought a manual pump for on the go or school or what have you. But I'm not always available and my husband and family really love to get a chance to feed her and just bond with her.

    So really, forget all these other people. They aren't what is important right now. You and your husband and your new baby are all that matters right now. And guess what? Your baby isn't going to roll over and die because your not breastfeeding. So don't beat yourself up or wonder if your a bad mom, because your not. Your not alone, so many of us have been there and we are here with you.

    I wish there was more i could say or do to help, but just keep your head up. You will be fine.

  • I totally feel your pain and even with a 7 month old, still deal with it.  I ALWAYS planned to breastfeed.  I had my pump on hand, my plan for when/how I'd pump when I went back to work, how to store it in my freezer, etc.  When I had my son, I was in labor for 14 hours and then had an emergency c-section.  I think a combination of that and me having PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) prevented me from getting a good milk supply.  I never got engorged, I never felt different or pain or anything.  My son would not latch, I had 6 different nurses help without success.  He'd latch for maybe 30 seconds then drop off and scream.  I pumped until I went back to work, but even with that I barely had milk and I'd get like 2 oz an hour.  Anyway after much pain and heartache, I decided I had no choice and formula fed my son.  Friends and family have made comments to me about it and believe me I've wanted to fly off the handle.  I pretty much try to say "well things don't always turn out the way you plan" and change the topic.  People need to mind their own business.  We are doing what is best for our babies and that is all that matters.    

  • I myself exclusively bottle feed. With my first child I was determined to breastfeed but I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I went to a lactation consultant, pumped and took domperidone. I still got nothing but drops I felt so guilty I ended up using a supplementer but she was still exclusively formula fed. With my second child I again went to lactation consultant before and after he was born, pumped and took domperidone and still only drops. I was upset but I had to concede that I was one of those women who will never make enough milk. Even knowing my situation I had family members telling me I did not try hard enough and anyone can breastfeed. It was especially hard to hear because of all the postpartum hormones. My son is now 5 months almost and he is very bonded to me and we love each other and he is incredibly healthy. I am still asked if I breastfeed and am told that I should try to get milk from a donar. I feel I am very lucky a lot of women in my position cannot have children and wihout formula my two children would be dead. Though it is hard to hear other peoples condescending remarks especially when a mom naturally questions if what she is doin is right. Breastfeeding is not always best for mom. You really need to do what is right for you and just love your child and remember a stressed out mom is not the best thing for your child. A child will flourish with lots of love from their mommy.

  • first of all, you're doing great!!!!! In my opinon, The hardest thing about being a mom is the judgement from EVERYONE! Take it in stride. Remember, you are his momma and know what is best for him. If you are a happier mommy because you are not exclusively breast feeding then that is ALL that matters.  When I had my first son, I wasn't sure what I was going to do as far as breast or formula. I figured I'd give it the old college try and if it didn't work...at least I tried. I ended up nursing him for a year (or at least I should say, until I got pregnant with my second! :) ). So when I delivered my second little boy, I thought "hey, at least I don't have to worry about nursing. I got that part down!" ....or at least I thought. My son had some medical issues which made it difficult for him to nurse. I too ended up pumping and feeding him from a bottle. I felt judged by my family and friends as well. Even though I was feeding my baby breast milk in a bottle, I still felt the need to explain that it is indeed breast milk.  Once I let go of my insecurities of how I was being perceived, I was much a much more relaxed mommy.

  • I know I am super-late to jump on board here, but your story sounds JUST LIKE MINE and I was so nervous about doing something wrong or nipple confusion or the thousand other things that everyone talks about when referencing breastfeeding. I'm a young mother too (23 when I had my son) and intended to breastfeed exclusively (because, hello, free food for baby, great nutrition, and help me burn calories? SIGN ME UP), but my son was not on board with that idea. :) He had a very hard time latching on, and he also had jaundice, so getting some food in him to help with that was important.

    When the Dr told me to go home and give him formula because he was getting dehydrated, I felt two things. 1) I am SUCH a failure. I can't believe that I can't provide the most basic thing my child requires from me- milk. 2) I'm so happy that there IS such a thing as formula because now there is some pressure taken off of me, as well as knowing that my baby is getting better (ie, not dehydrated, less jaundiced, etc).

    I was very fortunate to have the Army provide a New Parent Support Program that included home visits by a lactation consultant and after thoroughly helping us with our breastfeeding situation..... we still couldn't breastfeed. My son was such a BITER that I was bleeding and crying and I'm pretty sure we touched on some PPD too. I was beside myself and hating being a mom. I was certain that I'd made a huge mistake in having a baby. But the lactation consultant helped me to realize that all is not lost. I could still pump. So I pumped and I pumped and I pumped and I did that for six months. (I had the Medela Pump In Style Advanced and it was amazing. Expensive, but WORTH EVERY PENNY.) I recently stopped because we moved and I cut back on pumping due to schedule and now my son is on formula and starting solids. He is perfectly healthy. I don't regret pumping at all. He was still getting the same stuff, just in a different way. Pumping can be tough and people kind of look at you funny for doing it, but you know in your heart that you're doing the right thing. Might not be the easiest thing, but you know it's right.

    It's funny that you mention pro-BF people as looking at you the wrong way when you were still pumping (and thus, giving your child BREASTMILK- ???), but all of my friends formula-fed their babies and looked at me like I was the freak for giving my child breastmilk. I guess it was seen as being too much of an inconvenience. Whatever. Block out that noise and go with your gut. This parenting thing is not for the faint of heart, is it? :)

    Best of luck to you!!!

  • How I handled it? I cried alot and lived miserably til finally about 2 weeks ago I just quit. I slowly added more and more formula into his diet and just quit when I finally accepted the fact that my bm was pretty much like water and my son was eating every hour to two hours and I hated my life. I am the type of person who doesn't care what people think I look like or wear etc but I always want people to respect me and think I am intelligent so not breastfeeding was hard for me because your right people judge. Here's the thing..... really in the next few months how often are you going to be around people? I just told people that I formula feed in public because I am too shy and now the people I see on a regular basis dont even think twice about me making a bottle. Plus anyone who does matter to you should know your sanity at this point is just as important as your son's health and trust me about the 3 month mark you will start loosing your marbles if you aren't happy and doing what makes your life easier. My son is 4 months old and if I could have done anything differently it would be to have learned that "mom knows best" waaayyy earlier. Do what you want, if it isn't life threatening then your doing just fine  :)

  • Im the same age as you and my baby will be 5 months old tomorrow.  When I had trouble breastfeeding and went to pumping with formula supplements I had similar backlash.  Just remember you carried that child each day and no one else.  If you feel your decision is right then stick to it.  I always talked to my pediatrcian about the decisions I made.  I was informed that if you can pump through the first 5 weeks then your child will get all the immunity he will need.   I dont know about you but the lactician consultants at my hospital were extremely strict about breast feeding.  I felt like a horrible mom because i fed my baby formula.  So far she has turned out fine.  She has been at the normal growth ranges and survived most of the winter (fingers crossed that it will continue) with nothing more than a little congestion here and there.  I found that breast feeding is a most daunting task and thought it was to be more of a natural thing.  Just remember this is only the being of you being judged on everything you do as a mom from here on out.  I always consult my husband on my decisions and go from there.  Now that the holidays are coming up everyone is fighting about where my daughter will be going.  I told them all it depends on her mood because I am not dragging a cranky, overstimulated, over tired or anything else child from place to place.  Like I said before you carried that child around for 9-10 months so therefore you are the main decision maker about what is best for your baby boy.  Good luck!

  • I had wanted to exclusively BF also but wasn't able to produce enough for my 9.5 lb baby. What amazes me though is how many people think it's OK to even ASK how she was being fed in the early weeks. It's no one's business but your own. I decided after 3 weeks of struggling with pumping and supplementing to just use formula exclusively and I was amazed at the backlash. But my response has been to not lay down when people get on me about it. Not only do I nicely explain that I was physically unable to feed my child, I look the person dead in the eye and say something to the effect of "thanks for adding to the guilt I already feel. It certainly was what I needed to hear today."  I truly believe that if someone is going to be rude enough to comment on a choice I made, that I am fully in my rights to be confrontational and rude right back to them. Stopping to their level, childish, whatever you want to call it. I always feel better when I respond that way instead of just brushing it off.

    Keep your head up. And remember that the only "right" decision when it comes to feeding is what works and feels right to you and baby.

  • I never intended on breastfeeding. I think its great for other people but honestly it kinda creeps me out. Apparently I was born that way ( my mom could NOT get me to latch on although my older brother did). I tried pumping with both of my sons. I made it farther on my second but due to a c-section gone bad, I was having to pump and dump so after awhile I just gave up.  They both got the colostrum but I never produced enough milk to pump exclusively. The only backlash I got was from myself - I wish I could have hung on a little longer but both of my boys are healthy and happy and that's what matters! Just ignore the crappy comments from people but don't be afraid to take advice. When my oldest was very little he had horrible gas. I couldn't wait for a veteran mom to give me a new trick to try! I would try anything to help make him feel better. None of it worked well enough and in the end I figured it out myself. After having 2 miscarriages I feel very blessed by God to have the 2 that I do. I take care of them the way I see fit (of course I get the "you are too overprotective") but they are mine and that's what matters. Keep your head up and don't worry about it. Congrats on the baby - enjoy every minute of it because in the blink of an eye he will be starting school!

  • I’m sorry that you are going through that. The big thing to remember is that you have to do what is best not only for the baby but FOR YOU as well. You can't be a good mother to your child if you don’t take care of yourself as well. I have had to learn that the hard way. Don’t let anyone tell you that not exclusively BF is wrong. I have two little boys and my youngest is now 4 weeks old. I tried BF him and he was having too many issues with it and I had to start him on formula. I couldn't have been happier because it has been such a relief to not have to feed him all by myself.

    Just remember that you are the mother of your child and it’s your decision that counts the most. No one else can know your child and their needs more then you can. Trust yourself and the choices you make. And as for the rest of the people that are rude to you or give you a hard time... you can tell them it isn't any of their business and this is your choice. I hope things get better for you. :)

  • honey, do not let anyone judge you...you do what's best for your child. if you don't want to bf, that's your business and your business alone...good luck and god bless...

  • So sorry. People are so rude & judgemental. Frankly its not even their business really. I think its definitely a decision between the parents. My milk took longer than usual to come in. We supplemented with formula. My husband didnt want to put our baby on formula because its expensive but I honestly think I was so stressed over it thats why my milk too so long & I couldnt produce very much. Formula was the best decision we made & Im still happy we did it I have no regrets. You just need to do whats best for you & your baby. I know its hard not to let everyone bug you but seriously its your baby not theirs. 

  • I'd say its your choice, and you shouldnt judge yourself because others feel you should be BF.. Do whats best for you and y our  baby..and don't let those  kind of people make you feel bad.. Oh by the way that's my Mom's birthday. Take care and continue on enjoying your baby and all his joy