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Old 08-05-2008, 12:05 PM   #1
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FF moms face adversity?

I only BF my first for 5 weeks before switching to exclusive formula, and now I BF my second with no end in sight. I have lived it both ways, so this post is not coming from someone who hasn't seen it from the other side.

Do FF moms really face the same kind of struggles that BF moms face? When I FF my son, I never even gave a fleeting thought to whether or not it was ok to feed him wherever I was. I never worried about people looking askance at me. I never had to deal with negative comments or ridicule from my own family. It was more work (mixing and washing bottles) and it was more expensive (formula is freaking $$!) but I never felt belittled for my choice.

Fast forward to now, and I know I'm making the right choice because it's way easier, way cheaper and my DD's very favorite thing in the world to do, but BF is NOT accepted around here. Any time I feed her I get those looks like "what the hell does she think she's doing". I've heard people stammering to explain what I'm doing to their kids. My own family is as unsupportive as it gets. My own husband is vocal about his desire for me to wean the older DD gets and has made it clear that he does NOT want me to NIP under any circumstances. It's really just getting worse and worse and I can see a huge fight between us and maybe other members of the family in my future. It's not fun. It's a lot of crap that I never had to worry about when I FF.

So when I hear FFers say that they feel persecuted or condemned, I just struggle to envision what they're saying. Does anyone have a different perspective on this for me?


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Old 08-05-2008, 12:16 PM   #2
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Re: FF moms face adversity?

I also FF DD#1 and am BFing DD#2. I never felt persecuted for FFing DD#1 except for one time and she was 9 or 10 months old at that point, so it was a moot point. I don't really feel the flack for BFing (my mom has made a comment or two, but has since learned I am doing the best for her and doesn't question it...although I know I will get comments after she turns 1). I don't know if I just don't notice it when we are out and about? Take that back, went out to lunch and had to nurse E and the waitress didn't know where to look or what to do with herself. That's about all I have ever noticed though. I think I just don't really pay attention to it though

That was no help, was it? lol
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:40 PM   #3
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Re: FF moms face adversity?

I've only ever bfed my dd, but no I don't get it at all--my personal opinion is that, no, moms that ff their babies don't get the challenges and adversity that moms that are bfing get (unless it is from moms that are bfing). Its much more accepted in society for a mom to pull out a bottle (or a pacifier) if a baby is crying, than a boob, and that makes me so sad!
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:49 PM   #4
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Re: FF moms face adversity?

I hear so many FFing moms say how hard they get it from BFing moms BUT my experience is the opposite. I have NEVER ff'd my children and you wouldn't believe the horrid things I've had said to me. Here are some of the comments I've gotten

My MIL said "you can't breastfeed a girl! she'll turn out a lesbian!" (how ignorant and judgmental!)

2 weeks ago I was sitting in my car feeding DD and this woman passes by to return her buggy said "OH MY GOD! what is she doing to that poor baby! some women are so perverted"

I have had numerous comments from people about "don't you think you should cover her up?" "eww you're still doing that?" and even "Theres NO way I could EVER do that, my t*ts are for my husband and my husband only!"

I also have a lot of formula moms that tell me theres no way I can know how much I'm feeding my baby and that formula is just as good.

Unfortunately people like to point fingers but there are rude mamas everywhere!
Mama to 4 girls ages 8,6,4 and 20 mths.

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Old 08-05-2008, 02:17 PM   #5
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Re: FF moms face adversity?

I've given my twins a little formula when they were younger. Plus, even though its not formula, with two babies its much easier IMO to give expressed BM when I'm out. Someone else can feed one while I feed the other rather than taking the time to feed 2 in a row (no tandem nursing when I'm out for me). So, I've never gotten any looks or anyone uncomfortable when I pull out a bottle. However, I have gotten lots of looks when I pull out the boob. Well, I use a cover because I'm not good at being modest, but you know what I mean. I don't get many comments, just stares. My inlaws think it's odd and will definitally think it's odd the longer I do it. My MIL asks me everytime she talks to me if I'm still BF'ing. Of course, my babies are still only 7.5 months old. Why would I suddenly stop? Maybe if you start formula from day 1, you would get looks or maybe from BF'ing mom's, but with my babies being older, I never get looks when pulling out a bottle. But, I do feel funny doing it. Like I want everyone to know, "Hey, it's BM and I worked very hard to make and pump it." BF'ing is a daily struggle for me. I have constant unexplained nipple pain and I struggle to keep my supply, always have for whatever reason. Also, my babies would not latch for 7wks. I had to try to nurse, then give bottles, then pump every 2 hours for 7 wks! I was very hard and I'm extremely proud that I am still nursing my babies.

People who are not comfortable with BF'ing will look down on those who do and people who feel very strongly in BF'ing will look down on those who chose not to. (Hopefully, they will realize not everyone forumla feeds by choice.) I honestly think that no matter what decisions you make regarding parententing, whether it's feeding, sleeping, decipline, whatever, there will always be those that will judge and in one way or another, we all feel it.
Heather SAHM to 6 who are 7 and under, including 2 sets of twins and our last little miracle, a surviving identical twin, born Oct 2012!

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Old 08-05-2008, 02:30 PM   #6
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Re: FF moms face adversity?

hmph! I doubt it!
Although those of us who BF may look at a baby getting formula and feel a little sorry for what the baby and mommy is missing!
I pumped for my 1st baby, but she had a feeding tube placed at one week of age and wouldn't take ANYTHING by mouth, so I never got to even try to BF her. Since I was caring for her at home by myself all day while dh was at work, I just couldn't keep up with the pumping and tube feeding around the clock and I gave in and started using formula. Looking back, I really wish I had had the support of LLL, or maybe even set up a pumping schedule so I could have continued to give her BM. Most of her GI problems started when she started taking formula. BTW: I still frequently tube feed her in public, Talk about getting stared at and rude comments!
Anyhoo, with my 2nd dd who is healthy, I have gladly bf her, and plan to follow child-led weaning, thanks to the support of my LLL friends!
Now it's my family who I am educating. I have 5 neices who will all be having children of their own in the near future, and I have been diligently spreading the word about the benefits of bfing. Of course, then I have my BIL telling me- in front of my neices- that he thinks that women who bf after a year must have some sort of ****** or perversion! How rude and ignorant of him! I told him that I just want to be sure the girls know and see that there is another way of doing things, since no one else in our family bf. I found I got less friction from him after I told him that his kids all turned out perfect, you couldn't ask for better, and that I am in no way saying "his way" of parenting was substandard to mine. I just hope I am a good role model to the kids. I think some of it is sinking in: Two of my neices recently told me that they plan to "give bf a try" when they have babies That's a lot better than "No way am I doing that!"
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:08 PM   #7
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Re: FF moms face adversity?

Originally Posted by tracyb928 View Post
I've only ever bfed my dd, but no I don't get it at all--my personal opinion is that, no, moms that ff their babies don't get the challenges and adversity that moms that are bfing get (unless it is from moms that are bfing). Its much more accepted in society for a mom to pull out a bottle (or a pacifier) if a baby is crying, than a boob, and that makes me so sad!
I agree to this, but I did FF my twins and now I'm breastfeeding DS.
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:34 PM   #8
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Re: FF moms face adversity?

Most of the slack I have ever gotten for FF has been from BF moms or moms that BF their kids(the looks feeling sorry for the baby is exactly what I am talking about). So I see this both ways. I made people very uncomfortable when I was BFing, got many a dirty look from moms while I was FFing.... so I think it is a wash.
Ashlee, loving wife to Gary since 11/06/04, Proud mommy to Rylee (8/15/05) and Gavin (6/8/07)
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:44 PM   #9
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Re: FF moms face adversity?

first of all, please do not feel sorry for my son or me because you think we missed out on something. the choice to FF was right for us and i don't regret it.

second of all, yes we do. see these threads for some answers:

ETA: sorry if my first post sounded a little harsh...i edited it. i'm working on no sleep here.
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Old 08-05-2008, 04:29 PM   #10
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Re: FF moms face adversity?

I pumped for my first daughter for 11 months, with a freezer full that lasted another 3. I suppose everyone assumed I was giving her formula. On a few rare occasions a BFing mom would feel the need to "talk" to me and I'd just tell her It's breast milk and that would normally shut her up. Now with DD#2 I breastfeed exclusively and get all sorts of nasty comments snide remarks and dirty looks. I don't care they can talk till they are blue in the face. It doesn't phase me in the least. I don't even use a cover anymore because she just pulls it off anyway. My family is pretty supportive and are proud of me for breast feeding for as long as I have. To each there own. You gotta do whats right for you and your child. whether you BF or FF, do it with pride. how you feed your baby isn't what's important, its the love and time you give to your child that matters. Theres no right way or wrong way to do anything as long as its done with love and understanding.
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