View Full Version : Judged for Bottle Feeding
I was in a parents room at a Shopping Centre the other day when I struck up this woman who was Breast Feeding her baby. She was nice and asking me all sorts of questions until I pulled out a bottle and started to feed my six-month old.
She kind of gave me this weird look and then didn't talk to me again. That was it...she was friendly UNTIL I started bottle-feeding.
I understand that "Breast is Best" and all that...but surely nourishing my child the only way I can is better than nothing!(Breast Feeding didn't work out for us...even though I tried my hardest...she just wasn't getting enough milk out of me).
I felt so judged...and I felt guilty for NOT breastfeeding my daughter, much to my shock. Why should I allow people to make me feel bad for feeding my daughter.
I hate it how SOME breast-feeding mothers (obviously they're in the minority of BF mothers - I'm not trying to start a breast vs bottle war) act elitist. It's not like Bottle-Feeding is a crime...and it's not as if I'm injecting my daughter with cocaine...even though elitist BF mums act as though you may as well be.
Has anyone had negative responses to their bottle feeding?
(And I DO understand that BF Mums get criticised too...mostly for doing it in public or for "too long". When I DID BF, I got dirty looks for doing it in a local shopping centre...there was no parents room and I wasn't having my baby scream down the building!)
oh dear .. ((hugs)) how ridiculous!!! how dare she judge you? she has no idea how you feel or what you and bubs have been through...
I haven't experienced anything as direct as you (although I may have annoyed the woman by insisting and continually talking to her till she fessed up that SHE had an issue :p ) - but I have noticed a few looks in cafes etc ... I just assume that they are looking at my stunning DS - not at the bottle (its my coping mechanism and I'm sticking to it!!!)
dont let her get you down... obviously the woman had no (or few) issues with bfeeding... and just cant see the other side... :rolleyes:
That is horrible. Sorry this happened to you.
I have plenty of friends who BF their babies until 6 months and then switched to bottles because of various reasons (going back to work etc) and often feel they have to announce to everyone when they pull the bottle out that they had infact bf for the first 6 months. I can't understand why on earth its anyone else's business.
Conversely I have had other friends with older babies who receive comments about how their baby is too old for BF.
I guess we are going to be judged by someone, somewhere all the time so try not to let it get you down - we all do what is best for our bubs and our family environment and thats really all that matters. :)
Like it has anything to do with anyone but you and your baby! I think that many people don't understand that many women out there try their hardest and for what ever reason it just doesn't work I know of two friends who this happened to.
Like yourself I intend to BF but like if I can't do it or shes' not getting enough nutrution what am I meant to do, let her starve! err noo out comes the bottles I even bought them just in case!
but my boobs are leaking all over the place so my fingers are crossed lol
Well, last time I checked it was illegal to starve children in this country, so I remind those judging people of this when they feel it their right to criticise me for bottle feeding (like my MIL :mad: ).
Tell me - would they judge a breast cancer survivor who had a double masectomy?? Or in their eyes should she never be so bold as to have children knowing there was no way she could bf them?
Seriously, these people need to get a life. There's more to this parent gig than bf or ff.
you poor thing!
I have bottle fed from day one... I made this decision before bubs was even born!
Some people tried to lecture me about it before she was here and I basically told them to get over it and they havent bothered me since!
Just be confident in the fact that you know that you are doing what is right for you and bubs...
I actually have a lot of people ask if I am breastfeeding and I say.. no I am bottle feeding and they normally reply with " I dont blame you.. I will be bottlefeeding my next ones because It was so hard"
Anyway how does she not know that it was expressed milk because you were uncumfy feeding in public?
I never let people bother me and to tell you the truth I dont even notice people passing judgement....
You are doing a GREAT job and your bubs loves you thats all that mattters! Bub doesnt care where the food comes from just as long as they get it! :D
I breastfed my son until 4.5 months and then went to the bottle.
I had glances from others when I was breastfeeding, especially when I did it in a pub, shopping centre etc.
I also had glances from others when I bottlefed him.
I think people are just curious and like to have a look at what others are doing and sometimes as new Mums, we may overanalyse people's perceptions. Whether you're stooping down to tie your shoelace or your bottle feeding your baby, people will be looking at you, it's only natural. I do it all the time;) It doesn't mean that they're alwys thinking negative thoughts.
I've breastfed and bottlefed and I don't have a problem with either method - a lot of people are the same - I wouldn't worry about a small minority.
And remember, you get to wake up every morning to your beautiful child, the evil people have to wake up with themselves. Who's winnng now ?:D
wow- I'd seen that response to my friends from health care nurses but not from other mums...hold your head high girl...everyone has to do what's right for them, and really who is anyone else to judge?
I've been on both sides of the bf/ff fence, after having to put my son on the bottle after a long struggle to help him feed. Someone out there is always going to be ignorant and rude, and not stop to wonder what you have been through. And if you happened to pull out some solids, or a dummy, or whatever.... People just seem to prefer to judge than give each other kudos these days. It's sad, but don't let it make you sad!!
I had a similar experience when my daughter starting eating solids, she is tall for her age (daddy is 6.5, so it's no wonder) & has always fed really well but she looks smaller than most kids her age & while in the parents room changing her another mother commented on how tiny she is compared to her son who was only 3 wks younger than Liv, her son was massive but I hadn't failed to notice that the little boy was eating unhealthy snacks & had been eating the whole time we had been there. I think that there are a small percentage of people, no only other mums who think that its ok to just say whatever they think but I know that my daughter is healthy & thats all that matters. Don't let anyone else make you feel like a bad parent, you will second guess yourself enough you don't need to let anyone else do it to you. Enjoy your happy, healthy, content baby.
I take my hat off to all FF parents out there. I am currently trying to keep BF my 6 week old daughter but due to supply issues I have had to do some bottle feeding the last few days. IMO breast is easier for me - Getting bottles ready and then washing and sterlizing is just too much work for me - mind you that said I've got the added time of expressing too.
Just another thought - for all this woman knew you could have just had a bottle of expressed BM and no-one would ever know!
No matter what you are doing or where you are there is always going to be someone there ready with critism - best we all just ignore those ppl and enjoy being parents - IMO the best job in the world!
Glad to see everyone being so lovely! :-)
I don't really have an issue with bottle feeding my daughter. Whether you breast feed or bottle feed...you're feeding your child and that's all that matters. It would be far worse to NOT be feeding your child...wouldn't it?
Next time, I will try and breast feed again...but if it doesn't work out - well, I know a good formula and I know the whole steralising technique down pat...so I'll just switch. At least now I know that my daughter is getting enough (sometimes I wonder if she's guzzling down MORE than enough...lol...little piggy that she is...), and I know that, if for whatever reason I can't sit down and feed her (eg. walking in the middle of the street with no benches to sit on), I can hand her a bottle. She knows how to hold it in her mouth herself...so I'm freed up a little.
I once read that breast feeding was a 2-way relationship between mother and baby...so I figure that if the relationship isn't working, you make some changes.
Ive had many a look but ive learnt just to shrug because they dont know why im ff rather than bf.
But it does become tiring of having those judge you for not bf.
Yes we do feel guilty because of outside pressures & to say that thats something we need to solve is rather annoying considering we dont have a problem until either someone says something or gives us a "look".
My MIL needs a swift kick thats for sure !
It's really a problem with her and not you. The truth is that we can't please everyone and if we tried to they still wouldn't be happy with us. Try not to expect anything else from people such as these.
Try to visualize yourself leaving the way she's caused you to feel in her lap- the problem belongs to her, so she can take the narrowminded attitude with her and the way she's made you feel, she can have that too.
I'm sure you're doing a fine job at feeding your baby because you've chosen what works well for both of you.
I agree with mummabear. You're not starving you bub, you're feeding her with the best there is for the both of you. I still breast feed but would never judge anyone else on their choices.
Keep going strong and ignore others who judge. You've obviously got a healthy little baby with lots of love for her....what more do they need.
keep your head up
With DD#2 I was bf for the first 4wks solely and a couple of my friends were always chatting to me etc but then I stopped bf and ff and since then they "disappeared of the face of the earth". Bothered me for about a week. Then got over it.
Now they are a bit strange to me since I've gone back to fulltime work and put both girls in daycare. blahhh them I don't care anymore!!
I've always been judged for bottlefeeding both my girls and I am soooo over it - couldn't care what people say - my girls are well adjusted healthy normal children.
I couldn't BF either of my children for long and I had one friends husband tell me my DS would not be very bright becuase I bottle fed. I was devastated! I have only just come to terms with it all. DS is now 8 weeks old and thriving. My 3 year old is very smart also but you know when people say something and it just sticks with you for ages. That's me. I still feel a little guilty about it but will get over it soon. My question is "Why do you people feel they need to express such strong negative opinions about BF" I know Breast is best but I think the welfare of the mother and child is paramount!!
Hold your head up high, you are caring and nurturing your child and no one has the right to make you feel inferior.
I too have been on both sides of the fence & yes it is sooo sad the ways some people carry on, i think as long as the lil baby is getting feed then that's all that matters.
God what do they thing that formula is made for.
I tooo had a lot of difficulty feeding my ds fb he never liked the milk so i put him on formula & i have to say that it was a big relief for me just knowing that he was getting food in his tummy instead of starving.
I would just ignore them.
Let's face it, there are some really stupid people out there who obviously have nothing better to do than criticise other people for the decisions they make, instead of concentrating on their own lives. Like somebody said previously, "I didn't know starving was allowed in Australia." I have to say that I'm a rather straight to the point person and would tell them to 'stick it up their behind' if someone approached me. Rudeness seems to be very contagious these days. I was ff and there's absolutely nothing wrong with me, some others might say differently about me of course tee,hee. I've never had any health problems, am not overweight, so I guess formula can't be blamed this time!
I wouldn't worry too much about people like that. My MIL often has a go at me for not breastfeeding....but hey, if I was breastfeeding & not bottle-feeding, poor little Katelyn would have starved by now cos there was never much milk there.
I haven't had a problem with strangers having a go at me for bottle-feeding....but if anyone had a problem I couldn't give a stuff & wouldn't be afraid to tell them what I thought!
I was unable to continue BF due to severe recurrent bouts of mastitis (my Dr - huge advocate of BF, actually suggested that it would be a good idea for me to stop!)
I have never had anyone (so far!) be outright rude, but I have had a few mums ask me about it - why I wasn't breastfeeding, how my baby was doing on the bottle etc. One lady asked me a lot of questions because she was about to return to work & was going to switch to bottle-feeding.
Sometimes I feel as if I have to defend myself, which I hate but I think that is more me than other people.
I have actually started to feel proud that I have such a happy, healthy, clever bottle-fed baby!
Heya my advice is, don't worry be happy. as long as you and your bub are healthy and happy that's all the matters :)
Like others have said, unfortunately the world is full of negative people these days. You will be judged no matter what. You will be judged being a working mum. You will be judged being a single mum. You will be judged if you are young mum, or older or medium! You will be judged whether you breastfeed OR bottle-feed! :rolleyes:
So once again, I know its not going to be easy to ignore those ignoramus but hey as long as you and your bub are healthy and happy that's all the matters :)
You're so right T'smum, we're all judged by others, it doesn't matter WHAT we do!!
Not sure if it was on this forum or another, but I heard this story of a woman (a BFing mum) who was out shopping with her younger sister. They saw a woman sitting down bottle feeding her newborn baby. The sister walked up to this woman and made a very rude snarky comment about how she should be breastfeeding.
The poor woman started crying. Then - with great dignity - replied that there was nothing she would like better than to breastfeed. But breast cancer had ravaged her body, and the only thing that saved her life was a double mastectomy. :(
I couldn't BF my son, I tried for a couple of weeks and got severe mastitis and ended up back in hospital. Instead I chose to give him EBM for the first 6 weeks and even then I got the looks! Expressing milk was so tiring after 6 weeks. It would take over half an hour to feed him and then half an hour to express and I was buggered!
I can tell you right now we got looks and comments when bottlefeeding in public. It was awful, I felt so guilty at first and then it turned to anger at them for judging me when they knew nothing about me!
Don't worry about those mothers who comment - it's not like you're feeding their baby formula! Our son was so much happier on a bottle than feeding from me because it was quicker and easier for him (he was a bit chubby and lazy, lol). We also found he slept better too and had longer between feeds which helped when I was so tired.
I'm currently expecting DS#2 and my brain is completely messed up on the topic of breastfeeding. I know it's the best thing I can do and I will try again (I think). But part of me feels like I'm setting myself up for failure which won't go down too well (I'm very stubborn).
Breast might be best in nutrients but bottle is sometimes best for sanity and not too far off for nutrients either!
Gosh, that lady was completely rude. She needed disregarding immediately.
Besides which, I haven't done either yet, but I thought that if you breast feed you can express it and bottle feed it later anyway?
So how would the "judgey ones" know that you haven't done that (not that is their beesWAX anyroad).
- but I have noticed a few looks in cafes etc ... I just assume that they are looking at my stunning DS - not at the bottle
Hehehehehe.... well said!!! :D :D
I have in the past (both kids well and truely weaned now!) had people come up to me and berate me for bottle feeding my kids.
I would explain to them that I was giving them expressed breast milk as they were physically unable to feed (dd had a really high hard palate, ds was tongueited and I have very flat nipples) and even this was unacceptable to them!
In the end, I would tell them that if they were so worried about it, they should go and find a solution for me as I would have dearly loved to breastfeed and was feeling dissapointed myself!
Once I got to the point where my breast refused to produce any more and put my bubs on formula (at approx 6 weeks) I would just tell them that I was sick of feeling like a cow constantly in the cowshed and if they wanted to supply some milk they were more than welcome to ... this didn't go down to well with the men who had bagged me out!
Like many women who have responded I have breastfed and bottlefed both of my children.
I was judged for breastfeeding in public (difficult to be discreet when your boobs are an H cup:o ) but I always tried.
I was judged for pulling out a bottle.
The bottom line is - your bub, your choice and people who are going to be judging you without knowing the facts are not people you should give a toss about. If anyone stared at me I smiled at them. Still do.:D :D
The irony is that no matter what choice you make people will judge you.
My son has been BF until last night and my MIL has criticised and sniped about my decision to BF for the last 7 1/2 months (apparently all our probs wld be solved if we bottle fed). But I have also seen first hand the discrimination, snide looks and scorn friends who bottle feed have had metered out by other parents (particularly in parents rooms). Both criticisms hurt.
I really struggled to breast feed initially but with much assistance my son and I managed to work something out. I was pleased that worked for us. But if it hadn't I would not be less of a mother. I have finally had to start supplementary bottle feeding because of dwindling supply. I admit I was a little sad about it - more because its a change, its about him growing up and its about my screwed up body. But I am still not less of a mother. If I had made the decision to bottle feed straight up it wouldn't be because I loved my son any less.
Frankly most mothers I know have more than enough of their own guilt, what with all that judging and second guessing, and other mothers should be the first to realise this... unfortunately some people are just too focused on themselves to consider others and that's about them not about you.
(Another long post, sorry guys, I know less is more but...)
Some people just need to realise that some times it just isnt possible.
I know I hate getting 'those' looks. The person glaring doesnt know what i have been through but still choose to judge.
I guess both sides get judged just as often though. Some people dont approve of Breastfeeding in public and some dont approve of bottles.
Its what is best for YOUR baby that matters not anyones views but we live in a society that doesnt like freedom of choice sometimes.
I hope you dont get the stares again it makes you feel so crappy
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