This series was inspired by the I Support You campaign, which was created by three amazing bloggers: I Am Not the Babysitter, Mama by the Bay and The Fearless Formula Feeder. I want to provide a place where moms can feel free to share their experiences and find encouragement, love and acceptance – regardless of feeding choices. All moms deserve to feel supported.
Dana is the mother of a beautiful little girl. Read her story below and give her some love in the comments!
Please share a brief summary of your feeding experience.
I had a great experience with breastfeeding. I had a fairly easy time with it and after the the first 4 or so months I began to really enjoy it myself. I breastfed my daughter until almost 9 months. She stopped showing interest in it so I stopped and started her on formula.
Formula feeding was good too. Although I felt sad to stop and as though she didn’t need me anymore, I also felt a bit of freedom again. Like I had my own body back and I felt as though my schedule wasn’t so restricted. I remember though actually feeling guilty for giving her formula and felt as though I needed to explain as to why with those who I knew breastfed and then I felt a sense of relief not having to breastfeed in front of those who formula fed.
What was your original plan for feeding your child, and how did that compare to what you ultimately ended up doing?
When I first was pregnant, the thought of breastfeeding never even crossed my mind. I never knew anyone who breastfed and I knew nothing about it. It has always been you just formula feed. However, once my friend who was 6 months farther then I had her baby and breastfed, it made me start thinking about breastfeeding. I then decided that this is what was best for me and my baby and I exclusively breastfed for 9 months.
What kind of support did you have for your feeding choice?
I really didn’t have much support. I had my husband, a helpful lactation consultant , and a couple of friends. That was pretty much it. Everyone else just didn’t understand it so therefore they didn’t know how to support.
What was the best part about how you fed your child?
Well, besides the fact that it saved us money, I got to cuddle with her and develop a closeness that I don’t believe I would have other wise.
What was the worst?
The worst part would have to be just feeling as though my body wasn’t MY body. I felt like I was always feeding as well as dealing with my family who didn’t really understand.
What myths about how you fed your child were the most hurtful?
I was called a hippy by my brother and told that I lived in America and not a 3rd world country so I should act like it! That hurt pretty bad!
What would help you (or would have helped you) to feel supported/understood in your choices?
I think it would help everyone if we didn’t put the pressure on each other. Who cares if you breastfeed or formula feed…at least you are FEEDING your baby! I was always feeling self conscious and worrying what the next person was thinking. I just wanted to be told I was doing a good job because I was caring for my baby…however I may have chose to do that.
Think ten, twenty years into the future. If you could give your grown child(ren) one message about how they choose to feed their child what would it be?
Do what is best for YOU and for your family and for your baby! Don’t worry about ANYONE else and what they THINK is best! They don’t know!!! Because what was best for THEM may not be best for YOU! Trust yourself!
Thank you for sharing your story, Dana! You are a good mama.
Tell us in the comments how support from family helped or hurt your feeding experience!