Current Debate: Feeding your Child

I’ve been called selfish, spoiled, lazy, etc. I’ve been told I “took the easy way out” due to how I’ve chosen to feed my daughter.

I assure you, there is no “easy way out” with children, unless you are blessed to have a live in nanny that allows you to sleep for 12 hours a night, not feed them, not clean them, and not interact with them except between your mani/pedi appointment and your massage because, you know, you’re tense.

There is especially no “easy way out” with infants.

Beanie is an easy baby. Sure she gets pissed off when we’re mere minutes late with a bottle or if we have to put her in her crib for a second while we choose her outfit but overall, I consider myself very luck with her. She sleeps through the night, she naps very well during the day, she smiles constantly. She’s a peach!

But I worry constantly about whether I’m doing right by her.

I was told that she would grow up to have less of an IQ than a breast-fed baby. I was told she would grow to be obese because formula has more calories than breast-milk. Today I was told that I was “slowing poisoning my child” because I formula feed.

Really? Dramatic much?

Studies show that yes, breast-milk is best. I would never, EVER dispute this fact. But sometimes breast-feeding isn’t best for the mother and/or child. I couldn’t breast-feed. Physically, I couldn’t keep up with the demand. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to. So obviously, I had to rely on formula. But before that, I had already decided to rely on formula for assistance. Not because breast-feeding is hard but yes, I was selfish in that I needed sleep. And Beanie needed to eat. We found a system that works for us and now, at almost 4 months old, she’s been sleeping through the night for over a month now.

A part of me says, you know what? I altered my life for 10 months to grow her. I couldn’t eat bleu cheese, I couldn’t drink more than 300mg of caffeine a day, I couldn’t eat bleu cheese, I couldn’t drink beer or wine, I couldn’t laugh without the fear of peeing my pants, I couldn’t sleep on my back, my idea of a fantastic dessert was Zantac with a Tums chaser, I had heartburn that would make Mother Teresa curse, and most of all, I couldn’t eat bleu cheese. There’s more but those are the biggest things that come to mind.

And who’s to say that I would have to continue with all of those points after Beanie made her debut? Some breast-fed babies develop issues because the mother has eaten something that the baby can’t digest. I have one friend that drove herself over an edge, trying to figure out what she can cut out of her diet that was affecting her baby. Broccoli, Milk, Cheese, Sushi? WTF is this child still screaming and writhing in pain?

But not all stories are like that, I know. And I didn’t let those stories sway my decision, I promise. But I’m not selfish. I would cut off my arm for my daughter. I would run out and stop a train a la Hancock for that girl. And I would throw down with anyone, regardless of age, for being mean to her.

I’m not doing her a disservice by relying on formula to  feed her.

Many people get up in arms about breast-feeding because it’s become such a hotly debated item. I almost feel like some people need to make a statement with their breast-feeding BECAUSE it’s such a hotly debated item. There was a story about a mom that was asked to leave a water park because she was feeding her child. I’m all for feeding a child and I totally agree that there is no reason for a woman to be shoved into a bathroom to feed her child.

But this chick is feeding her child IN the pool. That’s not ok. What if the child threw up? Or someone accidentally knocked into her and she dropped the child in the water? A million and one things could have happened that day and the pool staff simply had to look out for the well-being of the other patrons. I’ve been to a water park with a mom that was breast-feeding. She put her cover on so as to not make a spectacle, she did what she had to do, and the baby was happy.

There was another story of a mother being asked to leave a store because she was breast-feeding in a store. Granted, she was in a corner that no one was near, but still.

I would never and have never fed my daughter in a store where I could get formula on the clothes that someone else was intending on buying. I’ve excused myself to feed my child in another room so I’m not dealing with a bottle-guzzling child at the dinner table. I’ve fed her in a restaurant before without making a scene. So I’m not positive why it’s such a big deal for a woman to breast-feed in public?

Boobs make people uncomfortable. No one can help that. I’d prefer to only show my boobs when I’m dancing on a bar to my husband. I know boobs are intended as a food source but the porn industry has sexualized them so much that it makes people uncomfortable. What I truly don’t understand is why people have to organize sit ins to prove that they are breast-feeding? No one is telling them they can’t do it. They’re asking them not to do it IN a public pool or in a clothing store. I’ve witnessed someone telling a woman that she needs to utilize the Family Room (aka fancy bathroom) for her to feed her child and I’ve spoken up. There is no reason for that. I’ve also witnessed walking through the mall, seeing a mother breast-feeding without a cover on in the middle of the mall, my husband glancing her way, and her going ballistic that he was staring at her while she tried to feed her child. No ma’am, he’s simply looking around like the other 5000 patrons of this mall and you happen to be sitting there with your breast out, trying to get your child to latch onto it. Relax, please. Not everyone is out to get mothers that are feeding their children.

My point of this post is simply: whatever you feed your child is fine. As long as you’re feeding them, they are getting proper medical attention, and you’re keeping them happy and healthy. If you aren’t in a position to be feeding a child, don’t talk out of your ass. While I agree that you shouldn’t be feeding your child in a pool or in a clothing store, I agree that you shouldn’t be shoved in a bathroom.

Mothers already get a raw deal between giving birth (whether you are delivering or having them forcefully removed via your abdomen), trying to figure out a balance of feeding them, the guilt that goes along with that, and then bringing the tiny humans home so they can kick your ass for the next 18 yrs. We don’t need to be given a hard time because we choose the feed them the way we choose to feed them. But please, I beg of you, don’t you dare think you’re better than me or try and make me feel like I’m the asshole for not breast-feeding my child. I promise you you are no better than I.

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