You are here

Get Answers

Sometimes it's nice to get advice from experts with a lot of letter degrees behind their names, but other times, you just need to hear what another parent (with a M.O.M. behind her name) has done that has worked. You've got questions? These moms have answers.
 

I don't want to breastfeed so why is that a problem for everyone else?

11 answers
I have never had the desire to "want' to breastfeed therefore I don't think I should be pressured into breastfeeding. Yet, everyone (doctors, family, WIC office) insist I am a terrible mom if I don't want to. WHY?

answers (11)

Hi Sarah, no one should tell you how to feed your baby. The dr. will give you advice, and scientifically breastmilk has more nutritional benefits, so that is their first suggestion.  I had the opposite problem, most of my family and friends weren't familiar with breastfeeding and didnt understand why I just didn't give up after having so many problems with both my children.  My husband would say, just quit and give the baby a bottle.  My boss thought I was pushing myself too hard using all my breaks at work for power pumping, in the end I had low milk supply and fed both my sons breastmilk and formula. My child would not have survived without formula, it is the only alternative to breastmilk. It is a personal choice and you are not a terrible mom for for choosing formula.  The main goal of parenting is that the baby is fed, loved and cared for. If you feel you absolutely do not want to breastfeed, then there is no reason to feel guilty or pressured to try it.  You will end up feeling uncomfortable and helpless if it doesn't work out.  Hopefully knowing that you have a healthy baby will let others know that you are happy and enjoying being a mom, not obsessing over how others nurture their children!  Take care, good luck with everything.
I agree that noone should pressure you to feed your baby one way or that other. All of my doctors and wic office and everything were quick to suggest breastfeeding and I agree that it was probably because it is suppose to have health benefits for both the mom and the baby however if you decide that you want to formula feed then that is your choice and your choice only. Just look at it this way then its your body if you dont want to breastfeed then noone can make you do it lol dont make a choice based on someone elses opinion I have breastfed both of my babies and it is very time consuming I could see you easily feeling you were forced and holding a grudge because of it.. take care
Well, that's the thing about parenting, it's not really about what you do or don't "want" to do. It is simply about what is best for the life you have brought into this world. Breastfeeding is taken so lightly these days, people say "yeah well technically breastmilk may have more benefits, like studies show breastfed babies had higher IQs, etc..." which is true, but that really doesn't convince you to breastfeed. However, when it's put "Formula fed babies amost always had LOWER IQs, weaker immune systems, and for females a 33% increase in breast cancer rates" doesn't that make you want to breastfeed? Breastfeeding is difficult, no one's saying it's not, but it is SIGNIFICANTLY better for your baby and you should at least try. Even just a few months of breastfeeding can improve the rest of your childs LIFE, so why not give it your best shot?
Do what you feel is right for you and your baby.. I didnt breastfeed with my first baby, but now that i am expecting my second, i believe i will try this time to breastfeed... in the end only you can choose whats right for you and your baby.. Hope i helped!!
@ AlexandraKate, I know you mean well, but you have no idea how helpless, hopeless and useless mothers feel when breastfeeding doesn't work. I saw 2 different lactation consultants, 3 different ped drs., researched every website, had a brand new double electric pump, tried an Avent manual pump, bought a supplemental nursing system, power pumped, woke up between 1am & 5am to pump - as suggested, took Fenugreek and drank Mother's Milk tea round the clock.  Put my son to breast every waking hour even though he screamed and turned his head. Finally my midwife said, you had this problem with both children and tried everything, I am diagnosing you with low milk supply and you must supplement with formula so your baby can thrive. I was devasted, I wasted so much time and money and was a walking zombie just so I could try BF my baby?  Formula may not be better than breastmilk, but its the next best thing - actually the only next thing and I wish I would have just decided to use it from the beginning and be at peace instead of struggling a second time with trying.  Also, both my boys have never been to the ER or dr for other than their scheduled well-child check-ups.  My older son is probably not a genius, but he is quite clever & bright for his age. The younger one is darling and does baby sign language and both never had much breastmilk, despite my attempts to provide it.  As far as breast cancer, look into those statistics, there are other factors and the fact that I felt terrible, had bleeding nipples, pumped until they felt like they were going to fall off and spent time away from my kids trying to get my milk supply up and researching, etc. is not worth hoping for an approval from a judgemental, obsessed group of people who live to say "breast is best".
I breastfed my daughter and am currently pregnant and plan on doing so with this one as well, but I do agree with you that there is a lot of pressure and negativity given out to mom's who either can't or choose not to breastfeed. I think that it's unfortunate that live in a world where everyone seems to think that everyone's business is their's to stick their nose in. When I had my first child I was amazed at the amount of pressure I felt about so many things. It's like you are constantly being judged and compared to your peers. You just have to be comfortable enough in your own skin to know that you love your children and that you are a great mother. I found it helpful to always keep this quote in the back of my mind, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."- Eleanor Roosevelt
I don't think anyone really WANTS to breastfeed. It can be difficult and akward but just try it. And try not to make a firm decision until after you have the baby. Of course, you dont have the desire now but maybe after you have the baby your body/instincts will change your perception of breastfeeding. I hated breastfeeding at first but I persisted. Eventually, it became so easy and convienent I couldn't imagine the alternative (formula). I could sleep longer at night because I didn't have to get up and fix a bottle all I had to do was roll over and let my baby feed herself while I slept on. I never spent a penny on formula while my sister was spending $60- $100 a month on formula.  After six months I started doing both BF and a little formula when it was convenient. Just do some research about it and you make the decision  that is best for you. But block out the sea of opinions, fears, wants and desires and when your baby gets here go with the flow, no pun intended. well, mabye :)
Breastfeeding can be hard and difficult and trying and time consuming. But I don't think you should look at the time consuming part as with bottles you should be holding them to have a bond and connection. Babies should never be propped with bottles as that can create bottle decay.Really, no matter wether you try or don't want to try, it is the MOTHER's choice in what she decided to do. Don't let people make you feel inadaquate as a mother. You are still giving your child the best nuritishment wether formula or breast. I have nursed my pervious two children (one 1 week exculsive and other 6 weeks) and the one that was nursed longer has been more sick then the other. Also my 6 month old, who's still currently nursing exclusively, is sick for the 3rd time. Really the better immunity thing is based on what Mom's immunity is.In the end it's your choice and you decide. Don't like others do it for you. Enjoy your babe!!!
there is nothing wrong with bottle fed kids i fed both my kids on the bottle and they are both healthy and i am 19 weeks pregnent with my third and i am going to bottle feed my daughter because breastfeeding is not for me.
I started a FB group about this topic.  Join and we will support each other.  It is called "There are many GOOD reasons women DONT breastfeed."  

Pages

*DISCLAIMER
Parenting.com's Answers are provided by members of our community. While your fellow moms and our editors have plenty of great advice to offer based on their experience, it is not a substitute for professional medical help. Always consult a medical professional when seeking medical advice. All submitted answers are subject to the rules set forth in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use