Before I became a mom, the “F” word meant many things to me but none of the “F” word variations included the word “Formula”. It was more tramautic when I was a first time mom and I was first threatened with the use of the “F” word at the hospital. I was desperate to breast feed my baby and was scared of formula, bottles, or any variations there of. After all, my baby could have gotten addicted and then, I would not be able to fulfill my role as a mother and a provider of milk. What nonsense! If you attend a La Leche League meeting, use of the word “formula” may result in many opinions consuming hours of your time. Of course, I find that women on both sides are quite judgmental. Mothers in general, instead of supporting each other, end up really harming each other through judgment. Formula versus breast feeding, working versus staying at home, and the usual competitive moms too, saying things like, “my child was born potty trained or has been sleeping since he was born and has not woke up since.” Things like that just make the mom who is in sheer and utter hell feel horrible. But now, back to the “F” word….
As a second timer, I realize the “F” word is actually more of an insult sometimes than a threat. I have tons of formula stocked up at home because I will be supplementing at some point – after I return to work in another month, I know there will be days where I will have to supplement but for the most part, so far, we have done well in not using much formula at all. I say that using the “F” bomb is an insult because my mother has been living with us for about 3.5 months now and did not successfully breastfeed my brother or I. So, her only experience is with formula. She recalls it very well almost daily. It was worse the first time around but has tamed a little more now. Now, she basically tells me that what I eat affects the infant. She is right. She basically tells me that breast milk is easily digested than formula- she is right. She believes giving the child a bottle versus the breast actually helps them sleep longer- she is wrong! In fact, it has been tested in our own home with both kids over and over and formula or breast milk, bottle or breast, no kid has slept decently yet. She said to me, formula is heavier and so when it hits the stomach, the baby feels full and can sleep through the night. What? Needless to say, I am tired about hearing about the “F” bomb from women who did not have experience breast feeding. I understand they can only speak from experience but science and research indicate otherwise.
Before I was a mom, the “F” bomb was something else– now, it is formula versus breastfeeding. To all moms out there, breastfeeding does not affect your child’s amount of sleep at night. Sure, things pass to them from your milk so it is important to eat well and eat right. Hydration is important too but if you decide to have one beer, or eat jalapeno’s your baby will not be harmed. Whether you stay at home or work, you are a great mom and whether you can or cannot breastfeed, your child will turn out just fine. Making other moms feel bad about the choices they make does not make you or your kid better, in fact, in the long run, it just makes other wanna drop the true “F” bomb on you.