5 Things You Can Do to Encourage a Bottle Feeding Mom
When I had my eldest son, I was not able to breastfeed his full first year. After about 2 1/2 months of pumping and failing to get him to latch properly, I gave up on breastfeeding and my milk dried up quickly. I then resulted to bottle feeding with formula.
This is the story of thousands of new moms. Then there are moms who simply choose to bottle feed with formula, or pump and bottle feed only. Whatever the decision for whichever reason is totally normal and ok. Here on MMC we promote breastfeeding for many positive reasons for both mom and baby, however, we totally support our bottle feeding mamas as well. We have both bottle fed our children and understand sometimes breastfeeding is not the choice of some moms.
I’ve been there. “Girl, give that baby some breast milk” “why are you not breastfeeding?” The questions, the looks from other moms, the look the nurses in the hospital give you when you say you are not breastfeeding. The pressure can be discouraging to a new mom and she SHOULD NOT be judged for her decisions regardless of her reasons.
1. No Judgement Zone!
Judging someone for their decisions is just not a kind thing to do. People are allowed to do as they please especially with their child(ren). Instead of judging try to understand a person's decisions and reasoning. Often times you will instantly become empathetic to a moms reasons or be able to help educate them if they are open to the information.
2. Be Supportive!
Parenting is a tough journey. We all need support in many ways. We all have different parenting styles and make different decesions when it comes to our little ones. Be Supportive! Encourage that mom that she is doing an awesome job at caring for her baby. Support their decision to bottle feed their little one. That is what they feel is best for their baby either by pure choice or by force due to being unable to breastfeed. For those moms who just simply can not breastfeed due to low milk supply, medical reasons, etc it is already pretty devastating for them so be supportive and empathetic to their situation. For those who simply choose not the breastfeed remember that is that moms choice to do so and they have every right to make that choice.
3. Keep Your Comments To Yourself!
Like I said for some moms choosing to bottle feed was a forced decision for whatever reason so when you see a mom feeding her child via bottle KEEP YOUR COMMENTS TO YOURSELF! A bottle feeding momma should not have to hear things like “breast is best”, “if you really wanted it you would do it” etc. Again most times you don’t know why that mom made that decision, and to be honest your opinion can come off very painful and ignorant. So just keep quiet if you don’t have anything encouraging to say. Simple!
4. Do Not Offer Alternatives
I remember with my eldest I was out in the mall feeding him a bottle and a lady walked up to me and said “oh is he drinking breast milk” i replied no and she said “oh that’s so sad I can give you information on where to find donor milk” I respectfully replied no and kept walking however in my head I wanted to GO OFF! How dare she not only judge me but offer me milk from someone else as if the formula was so terrible. (Donor milk is a great option for some moms however that was not my choice) Again your comments can be rude so if you don’t have anything encouraging to say ZIP IT!
5. Educate Yourself
Just as there are benefits to breastfeeding there are benefits to bottle feeding as well. Being able to know exactly how much your baby is consuming, being able to get rest while others feed your baby, knowing bottle feeding is a much more accepted in public, and being able to take needed medications without fear of passing them on to baby are just a few of bottle feeding benefits. There are tons of resources online for you to educate yourself further, I suggest taking a look.
Remember Mamas whether you choose to bottlefeed or breastfeed, be encouraging and supportive of parents decisions as you’d want the same in return.