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“I Support Formula Feeding If…”

support Formula feedingSomething has been on my mind for a while and it’s something that, as a woman, a mother and as a person who has a pair of breasts, is very important to me.

Saying “I support formula feeding IF” is just as bad as saying “I support breastfeeding BUT”.

I breastfeed my children because I CAN and because I CHOOSE to.

I’ve breastfed my son for 3 years and I’m currently breastfeeding my 2 year old.

So, as some people may imagine, I’m no stranger to people (even people I don’t know) telling me what I can and can’t do with my own breasts. People, on occasion, have felt they’re entitled to tell me when I should stop breastfeeding my children.

Here’s a quick thing to remember when you’re talking about someone else breastfeeding – THEY’RE NOT YOUR BREASTS.

This applies to howling about breastfeeding in public, breastfeeding beyond infancy or babies who are not breastfed at all.

Yes, breastfeeding is optimal.

Yes, breastfeeding is natural.

Yes, 100 years ago women didn’t have a choice. But let’s not base a woman’s rights to choose what she does or doesn’t do with her own body on the rights women had (or didn’t have) 100 years ago.

“I support formula feeding IF…” is just as bad as “I support breastfeeding BUT…”

“I support formula feeding IF the mother is absolutely unable to breastfeed.” NO!

“I support formula feeding IF the mother has to go back to work.” NO!

“I support formula feeding IF the mother is unable to breastfeed and she cannot source donor breast milk.” NO!

“I support formula feeding IF…” JUST STOP!

It doesn’t matter if a woman’s reasons for not breastfeeding are good enough for you, because her reasons are none of your business.

It’s not always a choice, some women can’t breastfeed, but even if it is a choice, it’s still her choice to make and nobody is owed an explanation.

In a country with access to clean water, quality formula and education for parents about how to correctly and safely make up a bottle, formula is a perfectly valid option.

For ANY mother.

For WHATEVER reason.

About Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central Australia. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner.She has a background in early childhood education, but right now is content to be a stay at home mum.She is passionate about birthing rights, breastfeeding and mental health. She enjoys crafting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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4 comments

  1. Kathleen Boyd

    Pathetic this day and age people should be criticised on how they give thier baby nutrition. This subject is getting really old, parent decide how to feed thier babies, as long as they are healthy and are getting fed, it doesn’t matter which way. A friend is about to give birth and was asked to sign a form saying that she is definately breast feeding, sorry personal choice and if the baby can take the boob or not, mine could not until the second week, so I co fed. Bad mother? Every doctor visit she was given the thumbs up.

  2. Melissa Kelsey

    it is so stupid how “society” has this obsession with breast feeding only up until about 6-8 months old, then it’s a “why are you still b/fing that baby, they are old enough for a bottle.” public breastfeeding a newborn is lovely and smiled upon but anything after they can hold up their own head is shameful an disgusting, and don’t even talk about b’fing after 1 y/o. they shouldn’t even be on formula by then, cows milk in a sippy cup, and only once a day! get over it people! if baby and parents are happy and healthy, it’s no one else’s business how, when and where they are fed.

  3. Very well said Rach. It’s heartening to read a breast feeder express this. There is no if. Butt out and mind your own business, as long as a baby is being fed it’s no one else’s concern!