There are great reasons not to judge women for what food source they choose for their new babies, be it breastmilk or formula. We are wired to want what's absolutely best for our children and often times outsiders don't have any insight into the decision-making process. Even when close family and friends do have insight, judgment still can fly in the face of new moms, which is the last thing they want to hear. Keep reading for some great reasons not to judge women and to instead be happy that children are being fed and cared for!
1. It's Personal
One of the top reasons not to judge women for how they feed their babies is that it's a personal choice. Whether it is breastmilk or formula, a mother didn't come to her choice lightly and probably weighed all the options before making her decision. It's best to show support in what she decides, knowing her baby is being well fed and loved!
2. Mothers Want What's Best
Ultimately, mothers want what's best for their children from the moment they find out they're expecting. Assuming anyone else knows what is best for her and her baby is simply undermining a mom's innate ability to protect and care for her child (unless there is a problem with maternal care, of course). A baby that is well fed, clothed, happy and loved is all that matters!
3. A Baby May Have Special Dietary Needs
Sometimes a new baby has dietary needs that outsiders are unaware of. A mother may not be producing enough breast milk and so she has to supplement with formula, or perhaps a baby is on the small side and needs extra calories. Formula alone may be the best option for many reasons as well. The point is, there are potential dietary needs of newborns that we should all consider before just assuming based on our own opinions!
4. Breastfeeding Can Be Challenging
Most of the criticism I've seen comes from breastfeeding proponents. From all angles, breastfeeding is better than formula feeding when it's possible. However, breastfeeding can be really challenging! Some babies don't latch correctly, leaving the mother even more exhausted and extremely sore. Some mothers struggle with low milk supply and try every method possible to increase it. A mom who's chosen to formula feed may have shed many tears over that choice, so she needs to be supported and loved despite differing opinions!
5. Both Food Sources Are Nutritionally Dense
While breast milk is natural and contains many immune-protective properties that set a child up for a healthy life, both breastmilk and formula are nutritionally dense. Formula has come a long way and still has a ways to go. However, the options available are pretty amazing, which is reassuring for a new mom!
6. Public Feeding is Necessary
I have often seen people who are disgusted or offended by a mother who breastfeeds in public. If a mom chooses to breastfeed exclusively, which is an amazing choice, then she will on occasion need to feed her baby in public. Most people who are offended by the sight of a breastfeeding mom don't realize that she is probably just as uncomfortable. Most women try to cover up, even though it's much more difficult to feed that way. And feeding in a stinky bathroom just isn't that appealing. So, we all need to recognize that babies need to eat when they are hungry and sometimes it's from a pre-made bottle and sometimes it's from a breast!
7. Consider a Mother's Vocation
What a mom does as a career is usually pretty crucial in how she chooses to feed her baby. A lot of working women are more at ease with formula feeding so they don't have to use a breast pump at work. Those things are a serious pain! And a mom who works from home or who exclusively works as a stay at home mom may have an easier time with breastfeeding (or not, it just depends). So, it's important to recognize a women's career and how feeding her baby plays into that!
It seems like there are strong, and often times intrusive, opinions these days on just about any topic! It's good to have opinions, but just as important to respect others' choices as well. What other reasons for not judging a new mommy can you add to this list?