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How do you respond?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I guess we're not supposed to talk about specific threads, so I won't, but you guys probably know what brought this on.

How do you respond to people who make derogatory comments about formula and anyone who uses it? How do you get through to people who don't understand that it really is a medical necessity for some women? Or people who laugh off your feelings and tell you they're tired of hearing your sob stories about how you couldn't breastfeed?

More importantly, how do you resist the urge to strangle them? :
post #2 of 20
I just want to say "I feel for you". I don't know how you should respond but I'll think about it . . . pauline
post #3 of 20

xoxo


Edited by lotusbeans - 3/16/14 at 10:41am
post #4 of 20
I think sometimes people get so wrapped up in how good bfing is that they forget that not everyone wants to/can do it. Formula is not as good as breast milk, but so what? If it was sooo terrible, people would all be bfing. Babies need to grow, and whatever is going to make them do that is what they should have. Just remind people that just because they were able to/decided to bf, doesn't mean that it works for everyone.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by twinvillageiowa
I think sometimes people get so wrapped up in how good bfing is that they forget that not everyone wants to/can do it. Formula is not as good as breast milk, but so what? If it was sooo terrible, people would all be bfing. Babies need to grow, and whatever is going to make them do that is what they should have. Just remind people that just because they were able to/decided to bf, doesn't mean that it works for everyone.
I never forget that some people don't want to. It's part of the reason why some women are so quick to judge pookel - they automatically assume that she's not breastfeeding just because she doesn't feel like it or didn't feel like putting enough effort into it. (The other part of the reason is just thoughtlessness.) If everyone who was physically and emotionally able to breastfeed did breastfeed, then when a mother was forced to formula feed due to circumstances she couldn't control, no one would assume that she was doing it just because she didn't care about the benefits of breastfeeding.

Pookel, I'm sorry you often feel judged. I imagine it must be very, very difficult, because first you have to deal with the feelings of loss, then instead of getting support from others, you get the additional burden of being judged. That just sucks. Unfortunately, I think there is no hope of getting through to an adult who can't understand that sometimes breastfeeding really is not possible. It's evidence of a touch of immaturity, don't you think? I've found that immature, ignorant people are impossible to educate, so I don't bother. (I'm not in your position, but I just mean in general.) As far as resisting the urge to lash out, well, I don't know. I have to deal with that urge pretty frequently because DH's family is mainstream, uneducated and judgmental about everyone who isn't like them. I just breathe deeply, state my case in two sentences or less, then change the subject. Either that or walk away - whichever works better right at that moment.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by pookel
How do you respond to people who make derogatory comments about formula and anyone who uses it? How do you get through to people who don't understand that it really is a medical necessity for some women? Or people who laugh off your feelings and tell you they're tired of hearing your sob stories about how you couldn't breastfeed?
Really, is it anyone else's business unless YOU choose to make it so? I don't feel the need to explain every choice I make in raising my daughter and I very much resent it when people think that our lives are their business. I ff'ed my daughter and whether it was my first choice or my second choice, I don't think I need to justify it to anyone but her.

Pookel, I've read your posts elsewhere and I am very saddened by your grieving over this issue. Obviously the issue is near and dear to your heart. Anyone who says they're tired of hearing your "sob stories" is acting like a chump. Just consider the source.
post #7 of 20
I had to stop breast feeding my eight month old because I got pregnant. I heard lots of complaints.....after a while I decided not to respond because they weren't listening anyways.
post #8 of 20
so i formula fed my daughter. i am in the 4%(or whatever low number it is) of women that CANT produce (or produce enough) breastmilk to sustain their childs life. i had a breast reduction.
i KNOW i couldnt give my child breast milk. i KNOW that breast is best. i GREIVE about the loss of our breastfeeding relationship.

but i do not feel that the women who make comments about formula feeders are talking about me.

i beleive that they are talking about the women who choose to formula feed, without even trying to breastfeed, or that switch to formula after a day because "their milk didnt come in", the women who think breastfeeding is gross and icky, the women that would rather give their child fourth best from the start as a choice (and not a necesity to keep the child alive), the women that beleive their breasts are only for sexual purposes and wont be brought down to animal level by feeding their young the way nature intended. (all things i have heard mothers say to excuse their formula feeding choice)

women who CANNOT breastfeed, like myself, like you, like many other MDC mamas are not included in that group.
our babies are alive today because of formula, because it fed our children when we couldnt.
Formula isnt poison. it hasnt killed our children. breast IS best. but we did what we had to do given the resources we have/had available to us to keep our children not only surviving but thriving.


so when women make commens about formula feeders, i dont lump myself in with the group of women they are talking about.

i know you have a hard time with your own personal feelings about your infant feeding needs(not choices, but NEEDS)
please mama, try not to beat yourself up over it anymore. you did what you could to keep your child alive. feel confident that you are a good mother to your baby/s.

sometimes we let our own grief and pain blind us from seeing the bigger picture.

i think the bigger picture in this instance is that no one IS talking about you or your situation, but the CHOICE made my so many formula feeding moms, that can(or could be able to) physically produce milk, but instead make the CHOICE to give their child fourth best. (WHO states first best is breastfeeding, second best is mothers milk in a bottle, third is donated milk from another mother, and fourth being formula)

no one can MAKE you feel anything. we all have our own feelings that we can chose to make valid or dismiss as reactionary.
post #9 of 20
Mama you're not alone. For all of us who were in no-win situations, who had no choice, we know that we did what was necessary. I'm STILL not "over" losing my breastfeeding relationship with my firstborn. Even though I had no choice but to give him formula because I was pregnant and lost my milk completely, I still blame myself. If I had been in better circumstances I might have been able to seek help. I didn't even know milk banks were an option at the time! But that isn't the way things went down. I don't feel a need to "explain" myself or even respond anymore. I did what I had to do, and I need to focus my energies on healing from the past, not wasting them on people who don't give a damn and think I'm evil for not doing things the way they would have.
post #10 of 20
I've been in your shoes, Pookel, and I've gone from being angry and defensive and yeah, wanting to strangle them, to just feeling sorry for anyone who feels it so necessary to build up their sense of self-esteem by tearing others down. You'll get there, too. But it can be a long road.
post #11 of 20
Im sorry you are feeling judged. It can be rough here sometimes. I have already been judged here for EPing. Someone wrote that EPers put their baby in a playpen in another room and let them cry while mom pumps. NOT TRUE!!! Its not MY choice to EP, but its the best that I can do. (long story) Some women CAN NOT produce milk, or must take meds incompatable with bfing, or may not even have breasts. Some babies can not latch. Some have anomalies. Im sorry you are feeling judged. I know it sucks. Just remember that not everone here is judging you. Some of us really do understand that breastmilk is not always possible.
post #12 of 20

...


Edited by lotusbeans - 3/16/14 at 10:33am
post #13 of 20

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Edited by lotusbeans - 3/16/14 at 10:33am
post #14 of 20
Exclusively pumping breast milk for baby.
post #15 of 20
I just roll my eyes and get on with my life. When someone DELIGHTS in belitting others (or their choices), I might speak up. But for the most part I try to ignore all the assery. I fully believe that it's no one else's business and no one should have to make excuses or try to come up with "valid enough" reasons.

I do question the motives of such in-your-face nastiness. If you want to win someone over or educate them, you don't do it with name calling and dirty looks. However, if you need a little ego boost and that's one thing you can safely lord over someone else...well, that sounds like more your problem than mine.

I have gotten a few snide comments, some rather direct. When I was a very very new mom with a tiny sick baby, it really hurt. At first I'd try to defend my situation but that really pissed me off. Why should I have to? The only time I've ever really spoken back to anyone who was giving me attitude (why yes, strange lady, you're comments about this "disgusting formula" I'm feeding my daughter and my "lazy parenting" are going to make me change my mind RIGHT THIS MINUTE!) I said something like, "If your life is so crappy you have to build yourself up by making nasty comments to an obviously stressed out mom then I'm so glad I could be here for you today. You really need a boost. You've made me feel like crap. You've added to my already overwhelming feelings of inadequacy and I feel oh so inferior to you. You can go home smug and happy. Congratulations!" It is REALLY hard for me to control my mouth sometimes.
post #16 of 20
These kind of comments make me really sad - and I am an exclusive BF. But I did struggle. I don't think the negative comments really accomplish anything at all in terms of encouraging people to breastfeed. A positive/supportive environment for BF would go a lot farther than bashing someone who uses formula. The bashing also assumes that a mother "didn't try hard enough" or "doesn't care about giving her baby the best..." etc. The comments on this board occasionally comparing the use of formula is child abuse make me seethe.

So - formula using mommies, you are not alone in these feelings. (They are much like my feelings about the comments towards moms, such as myself, who had a c-section.)
post #17 of 20
I think a simple answer to the original question when someone is cruel is to say,

'Well, you know, it takes all kinds.' or
'Not everything is as it seems.' or
'Be careful not to judge before you've heard all arguments.'

Something simple but clear.
post #18 of 20
If you see any threads that you think might be out of line please report them.
post #19 of 20
Pookel... I haven't used formula but have quite a few friends who have. For one reason or another, they didn't have the support/knowledge/encouragement/information they needed to continue breastfeeding. One was on an Army base 75 miles from the nearest town!! Another had so much criticism from her hubby plus PPD, and yet another had NO support from her mother who was also physically abusing her at the time. There are many reasons why a mom can't get it to work out at the time... and I know there are moms who honestly can't make enough.

I have seen quite a bit of judging going on here at MDC in general... judging not only about formula but about a lot of other things too. The formula thing seems to be quite volatile... and I'm sorry you got caught in it... it would piss me off too.
post #20 of 20
I haven't really worked it out either. I live in an area where BFing beyond about 3 months is unusual, so much so that when my DS went on a nursing strike (which I think I now have to admit was an abrupt weaning) at 9 months my doctor didn't understand why I would worry and why I would still be BFing anyway. So first I dealt with "why are you BFing?" comments and stares in public and now I've faced some pretty harsh anti-formula comments.

I wouldn't wish it on anyone really, but a part of me wishes those who believe you can *always* BF and choosing another option,especially formula, is somehow evil could experience being put in that position, where you cannot BF for whatever reason. I'm sure they'd all change their tune very quickly.

The purpose of formula is to feed a baby when Bfing isn't working, for whatever reason, or to supplement BFing. It's not like you're choosing to give whisky to your baby or something.

I still don't kow what to say, but in my mind I place them in the ignorant category right next to those who believe BFing is somehow awful, and giggle at thinking of those 2 groups together in one place.
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