Bottle or boobie… who cares?

It all started when one of my Facebook friends posted about her son being below average weight and having trouble getting him to put on weight. I can relate, because my son is also below average weight, but our doctor assured me that I should not be worried because his weight problem came from him being so active that he just burns off all his calorie intake. He is gaining weight and growing steadily, he’s just a skinny mini… but I digress.

Anyway, my friend posted a picture of her adorable son in his high chair with a variety of finger foods in front of him, ranging from a hard boiled egg to french fries. Yes, french fries. I didn’t see anything wrong with it until one of her other friends made a remark about the fries, to which she replied that she was trying just about anything to get more calories into her baby’s diet. As a friend, I read her comment as a call for help. So, with all good intentions, I asked her if she had thought about putting cereal in his last bottle before bed. Oh boy, what had I done. She curtly replied that her son does not take a bottle. So I left it at that… until she commented again (yes, she replied to her own comment) and this time proceeded to lecture me on the harmful effects of bottle feeding. Explaining that it would make baby more dependent and yet ruin the bond between mother and child (contradiction, anyone?), and also going into details as to why synthetic milk (a.k.a. formula, for us commoners) was not healthy and did not have as much nutritional value and did not provide as much for the immune system as breast milk.

Before I knew it, I had been dragged into the much dreaded debate of bottle vs. breastfeeding. I lost it. I replied that first of all not all mothers are able to breast feed, and that it was ultimately a personal decision. I also explained to her (in my teacher voice) that her whole reasoning about the nutritional value and immune system build-up was heavily flawed for 1 simple reason: my son, who has been on formula only since 3 months old, has only been sick once, and it was only a little cold that lasted 2 days. Her son, however, who has been breastfed only since birth, has been sick basically every month since birth. Who’s your Mama now?

This whole thing is so stupid and so ridiculous that I don’t even understand why women get so worked up over it. I can’t stand women who patronize other women on their feeding choice for their babies. Why can’t we just let each other be? If you are so high and mighty, and if you know so much more than everyone else, then good for you. But seriously, who died and made you the single, highest, authority on baby feeding?

My friend’s reaction seriously ticked me off. I took it very personally because I was one of those moms who was so dedicated to breast feeding, but I physically could not keep going as long as I wanted to. I stopped producing milk very early and I had to supplement very early on. I really felt like her comment was belittling and she was nagging me because SHE could still breast feed and I could not. Thanks for the reminder, bitch. I know a lot of women who have had babies in the last year. I mean, it’s a ridiculous number. Seriously, it’s like every single woman I know decided to have a kid in 2013. Some breastfed, some did not. Some tried for a while and could not keep up, and some did not even try. But WHO CARES? As long as their baby is healthy, isn’t that all that matters?

Anyway, she’s dumb. Rant is over.

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8 thoughts on “Bottle or boobie… who cares?

  1. With hours to days left before I meet my second little one, I think often of how much time and energy I wasted on breastfeeding the first time around. My focus on making it work consumed the first month and a half of my son’s life. I’m going to try again this time around, but I will not sacrifice all in the erroneous misunderstanding breastfeeding is the most important aspect of mothering an infant. It’s not, and I am committed this time around to a kind whole picture, one many people don’t yet seem to see.

    Mind if I share a link to my post on breastfeeding? It fits in with all this, truly.

  2. Great post! I am the same as a couple of readers. BFed number 1 for a year and by the time I got to number 5 he was done by 3 months! I have always said that it’s rare that a child grows up and says to their therapist “I am screwed up because my mum didn’t breast feed me”. Seriously. It’s usually the hard core BFeeding mums who start the argument and it’s generally because they still have a 2 year old hanging off their boob and want to justify their decision.

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