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10 Things Never to Say to a Formula-Feeding Mom
June 23, 2014 at 3:00 PM

10 Things Never to Say to a Formula-Feeding Mom

by Jeanne Sager 

baby formula bottleI formula fed my daughter. It's taken a long time for me to be able to say that without wanting to cry. I always qualify it -- I did try breastfeeding, and for myriad reasons, it did not work for our family. Still, my daughter was primarilybottle fed as an infant.

And for nearly a year, I would steel myself before taking my daughter's bottle out in public, putting up a wall to protect myself from the rude comments that seem to be part and parcel of using formula in this day and age.

But no wall was ever big enough. They still hurt.

They hurt then, and to be honest, they still smart a bit now, with a healthy 8-year-old running around my house.

I knew I couldn't be the only one still walking around with a wealth of pain over the judgment lodged at moms for using formula. So I decided to ask other moms to share some of the worst things said to them about formula feeding, the comments they've never really been able to get past.

More from The StirMom Writes Poem to Bring Breastfeeders & Formula Feeders Together

These are the comments that hurt moms. These are the things you should NEVER say to a mom who is formula feeding:

1. Breastfeeding is a better bonding experience with baby. Define "better."

2. They will never be healthy if you don't breastfeed. Never?

3. Why aren't you breastfeeding? ... Well, she SHOULD be fine, just keep an eye on her. What? Are you actually threatening that something is going to happen to her baby?

10 things not to say to a mom using formula4. Don't you know the chemicals in formula can be bad for your baby?No, I haven't been stressed out about that at all, thanks for reminding me so I can let it start eating at me again.

5. Wow, you know you're just taking the easy way out, right?Easy is in the eye of the beholder, my dear.

6. Why didn't you even try breastfeeding? Who says she didn't?

7. Don't you love your child? So now we're measuring strength of love based on the food we give our kids?

8. Breastfed children are smarter than formula fed kids. Just saying.So say some studies. But others say that's a load of hooey. The science is really still out on that one. Just saying.

9. I breastfed because I want what's BEST for my baby. Oh, honey, we all want what's best for our babies. It's called being a mom. You don't get a medal for that.

10. Formula is for selfish moms. I don't think I even need to comment on this one ...

Breastfeeding moms, have you ever said any of these? Formula moms, what are the comments you wish people would STOP saying?


Image via Bradley Gordon/Flickr


  • evilangel198431
    June 23, 2014 at 3:11 PM
    The only mothers I'm against are the ones not feeding their babies :) there should never be controversy over the way mothers feed their babies as long as they are happy and healthy...... and I'm one who chooses to breastfeed. No judgement here unless you are starving your baby
  • lovemytwo88
    June 23, 2014 at 3:16 PM
    I think this article is ridiculous lol
  • summerbear
    June 23, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    I have bottle fed and breast feed. I prefer to breastfeed, but when it is not medically possible I have bottled it. And just because it is in a bottle doesn't always mean it is formula they are drinking. I have pumped tons!

    I have never once gotten a remark about bottle feeding my kids. Nor I have received any remarks about breastfeeding... I guess I live in a place where people know to keep comments to themselves. I would not be able to restrain myself if someone came up to me and made a comment about the choices I am making for my children.

  • HazelBug
    June 23, 2014 at 3:35 PM
    The majority of mothers I have met formula fed. And to be honest, the amount of excuses that came from them was kind of irritating. Especially when I wasn't asking about the why's. You can't tell me one day that you chose it and the next day that you physically could not. I think it belittles those who truly gave it their all and still could not. I don't think the majority of women have dysfunctional breasts. But I do think there are many obstacles that can get in the way.

    I honestly felt like some women were trying to talk me into giving up so I could join the "failure to breastfeed" train. I am not a failure. If it didn't work it would have been because it physically could not work. And if I chose it I would man up and say I chose this.

    Women are their own worst critics. If you feel guilty about your choices or about your body not functioning correctly then you need to calm down. I respect informed decisions. I respect someone who can't physically do something. I don't respect the back and fourth of I chose this, but really I didn't work, but my family thought it was gross so I stopped but my breasts really just stopped....

    Make informed decisions based on your own circumstances and offer no apologies. Be confident in what you have decided or in what was decided for you. Don't feel guilty.
  • bmthverana
    June 23, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    As long as the kid is eating, I could care less if its breast milk or formula.

  • bethieboo88
    June 23, 2014 at 4:22 PM
    No and I never will. You never know someone's story.
  • kathyleeno
    June 23, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    as long as the mother and the baby are healthy and happy, that's the most important thing

  • abifasc
    by abifasc
    June 23, 2014 at 4:41 PM
    I'm in the "physically absolutely can't breastfeed" camp. I'm thankful for formula.
  • Larsbug
    by Larsbug
    June 23, 2014 at 4:58 PM

     Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've heard all of these SO MANY TIMES like I'm a bad mother because I couldn't breastfeed....BUT noody bothered to ask why I couldn't, just WHY on earth would I use formula over breast milk, even if it does come from someone else (no thanks).

  • MRL84
    by MRL84
    June 23, 2014 at 7:56 PM
    Outside of this website, I've never heard anyone say any of these things.


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