Commentary: Why I Didn't Breast-feed My Baby. Go Ahead, Judge Me!

Baby Bottle Feeding

As a mother, I've come across people who often come off pushy when it comes to how I should be feeding my baby. We're told breast is best, and mothers who don't opt to breastfeed are left feeling as though they're doing something really harmful to their baby.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not against breast-feeding, nor am I advocating formula feeding. What I am trying to say is that women should have the option to choose what's best for their lifestyle without being judged or made to feel guilty about their decision.

When I had my first child, I already had in mind that I was going to formula for various reasons -- I had read up on formula, I intended on going back to work because I had no choice, plus I wasn't breast-fed and neither have many other people I know, and we were no different than those we knew who were breast-fed.

But even if I hadn't made that decision early on, I wouldn't have been able to breast-feed my child. I wasn't like some of women who produce milk until their child is like 5-years-old. My milk never came. I couldn't pump or feed directly. There was nothing for me to give. I tried and tried, but the constant failure to produce became exhausting and frustrating.

So for this I should be judged or made to feel like I'm a bad mother? I don't think so.

These days formula carries many of the same nutrients as breast milk, including DHA and ARA, Iron and Vitamin D. So mamis, don't feel guilty if you are formula feeding! Some might make you think or feel as though this means you don't care or love your child as much, or that you won't be able to bond with your baby. But we know that's not the case.

For those of you who are breast-feeding, que bueno! You should continue to do so if you can because there are so many benefits, including a recent find reported by Time magazine which stated breast-feeding could help prevent breast cancer. And for those who live in countries where just drinking the water is a hazard, this is also probably the very best option.

All I'm saying is try to be understanding of the next woman's decision because in the end, we are all mothers, and we know this is no easy task.

What do you think? Share in the comments!