Dear Bottle-feeding Mom, #fedisbest

bottle-feeding mom #fedisbest breastfeed toddler

Hi Beauty! (Oh yes, I’m talking to you, lady sitting across the playground from me feeding her baby with a bottle)

You look so happy sitting on that park bench providing your baby nourishment while you watch your older daughter play with the other kids. Your smile is so genuine. The exchange of love as you and your infant gaze into eachother’s eyes filled my heart with warmth and joy when I noticed you from afar. I know that gaze. There’s nothing in this world like it. Instant mom-heart mush.

Suddenly something happened that averted your gaze, disrupting your bond. My almost-3-year old let out a shriek. Tears began streaming down his face. As he stumbled clumsily, holding out his hands to show me his scrapes, while simultaneously trying to peek at the scrapes on his knees, I knew what was to come. I don’t think you did. I cleaned him up, wiped his tears, and lifted him to my lap anticipating his request.  “Momma, I’m crying. I need boo-boos. Please?” Without giving it any thought, I offered him my breast for comfort. I looked up expecting the usual looks of disgust. Instead, I saw you, your smile had faded. Your loving gaze disappeared. Your eyes became sullen and you looked down toward your baby with sadness in your eyes. My heart sank. I felt as though you thought that me nursing a toddler meant that I was judging you for bottle-feeding. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I want you to know that I am not judging you. I want you to know that I think you are a wonderful mother! I see the love you have for your children. I know that you love yours as much as I love mine. I am not in your position and I don’t know why you bottle feed. Maybe you wanted to breastfeed but didn’t have the support you needed. Maybe you have a medical condition that requires you to be on medication that deems it unsafe for you to breastfeed. Maybe you are unable to produce milk. Maybe you are one of two mothers this baby has and you do not lactate. Maybe you adopted this baby. Maybe you don’t want to breastfeed at all but this lady across the playground nursing her toddler has suddenly stirred up some feelings that you don’t understand. None of that even matters.

All the possibilities I can think of shouldn’t matter to me or anyone else. You are doing what is best for you, your baby, and your family.

I hope that if I ever see you at the park again and you have questions about babies or feeding babies, that you reach out to me. I kinda know people. I’m sort of a wealth of resources 😉 Don’t be alarmed if I sit by you the next time I see you and strike up a conversation. Don’t be surprised when I tell you what a wonderful job you’re doing.

All of that to say, YOU ROCK, MOMMA! #fedisbest

Need help with newborn care or feeding?

Contact me to schedule a consultation or to request information on professionals in the Houston area who can help.

Click here to read about how I supported my client, LaKendra, who no family support when she planned to breastfeed her first baby.

4 Replies to “Dear Bottle-feeding Mom, #fedisbest”

  1. OH my goodness, how I appreciate your perspective. ❤️ I am now an ” empty nester” with three young adult children I love as much as is humanly possible. I could not breastfeed. It seemed to be impossible for me to master the beautiful art. I felt like an immense failure. Thank you for your loving, kind words that today bring reassurance to my heart. Rock on, sister!

  2. Thank you 😃 I am a mother of three boys, all 2 and under and no multiples. My first son never latched and I pumped for 6 weeks straight and could go on no longer (I also had custody of my nephews who are 23 months and 8 months older than my son). I got pregnant with my 2nd blessing 8 weeks after my first was born and he is what my family likes to call my “titty baby” because he did breastfeed the longest and best (and most often, he literally was nursing every hour) and I breast fed him till I got pregnant again (4 months) and then he refused it. My third I breast fed for about 3 months and then had my milk tested and I wasn’t producing enough and it wasn’t full of all the nutritional things breast milk usually is, so he got switched to formula (he is now 9 months old and healthy as a horse). There have been more times than I can count that I have gotten extremely judging looks from people, both for the fact that my oldest was not yet two when my third was born and for the fact that I don’t breastfeed (or vise versa when I was breastfeeding). This literally made me stand in my kitchen and cry!!!

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