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How much hassle did you get for formula feeding? How did you deal with it?

(68 Posts)
LaurG Mon 05-Mar-18 12:23:05


I am having my first baby and I have made my decision to formula feed. I have very valid reasons for not breastfeeding. I don't feel like I should have to justify my reasons ( so I won't do it on here). All I will say is that I have weighed up the pros and cons and in my particular circumstance bottle feeding is what I want to do and feel comfortable with.

However, I am already getting a lot of grief from people. As I said I have my reasons and I don't feel like I should have to tell people I have just met why I have reached this decision. It is personal and I would never dream of asking a breastfeeding mother why she justified her choice. It actually really angers me. I respect all women regardless of how the feed their baby.

So my question is what is the best way to deal with this? I would kindly ask no judgement - as I said I have my reasons. They are personal and I really don't need to be told in any more detail how selfish I am, how I should at least try, how I am haring my baby etc.

Also where on earth do you get support for formula feeding?

OP’s posts: |
Xnic Mon 05-Mar-18 12:31:09

I’ve formula fed both my children from birth. I didn’t get any grief for it, I didn’t talk about it, I just did it. Unless someone asked me, which was rare, whether I was breastfeeding and I just said no. I don’t understand how you’re getting grief already, who are these people? Just don’t discuss this, at least while baby is not even born. And when LO is born, just be matter-of-fact, if and only if someone asks.

Xnic Mon 05-Mar-18 12:31:50

You can get lots of support from midwife/health visitor when baby is born

EssentialHummus Mon 05-Mar-18 12:35:02

You’re not harming your baby and “I have my reasons “ is good enough. All the best flowers

littlepooch Mon 05-Mar-18 12:41:08

I formula fed both mine. The only grief I got was from myself with my first as I beat myself up a lot about it.

My mum was a little bit "hmmm" about it to start but she soon agreed it was best when she saw how much better my daughter and myself were doing once we switched.

Perhaps I was lucky but I really don't think people particularly cared so I hope you have the same experience because I think it's none of anyone business and would be horrid to be judged xx

themightybanhammer Mon 05-Mar-18 12:47:24

Best way to deal with is is a polite version of fuck off, none of your business, if they still don't listen then don't be so polite when you repeat it

Both of my girls were formula fed from birth, and are perfectly fine and healthy, also means you can when knackered and in need of a rest hand the baby over for someone else to feed while you have a break

NoodlesLivesHere Mon 05-Mar-18 12:51:24

In terms of comments I would banally repeat the same sentence.

"I've done the research, I know what the facts and benefits are. The fact remains this is the best option for baby and me" Every time the conversation was steered back towards BF over FF in relation to my baby I'd repeat.

You just need to be mind numbingly boring about it until they leave you alone.

Above all you do not harm a baby by FF so please let those comments wash over you. If it was harmful it wouldn't be allowed.

My Health Visitor and Midwife wouldn't offer advice beyond "read the tin" because they didn't want to encourage FF confused but online you'll find plenty of people willing to answer questions even if you do need to filter the BF evangelists from time to time

whyIsARavenLikeAWritingDesk Mon 05-Mar-18 12:54:59

O formula fed my daughter. Didn't get grief per se but a few condescending looks. O and one woman telling me that this is what caused my daughters allergies!!!

gussyfinknottle Mon 05-Mar-18 13:01:25

I got loads of grief from so called medical professionals when a serious post natal health crisis (mine) meant I had to give up my struggle to bf. You would think I had suggested starting the baby on heroin.
I was hospitalised and put on intravenous antibiotics and morphine. But I was still supposed to bf my baby. Place was an understaffed dirty shithole.

IfYouDontImagineNothingHappens Mon 05-Mar-18 13:39:00

Also please don't make assumptions that people are judging you. I'm a long term breastfeeder and lots of friends seem to think they have to explain their formula feeding to me or think I'm judging them. I am so not, if they wanted support they could come to me too but they don't because the whole massive debate makes people assume I'm judging them. I've formula fed close relatives children and can happily make up bottles and/or wet nurse babies/toddlers.

We all get by as we can, it's hard work being a Mum and your body is your choice. At the end of the day life is too short for the Mum to be unhappy. Congratulations on your pregnancy thanks

sar302 Mon 05-Mar-18 13:41:27

There is unfortunately very little support available for bottle feeding - ie. when to feed, how much etc. We had to do our own research on line. There is nothing out there comparable to breastfeeding groups etc.

My little boy is 3 months old, and I've never had any grief for not breastfeeding, although I had what others may have decided was a good enough "reason", so maybe that's why. The most I've had is people assuming I'm breastfeeding and then being clearly surprised when I've got a bottle out.

You just need a stock reply and then don't carry on the conversation. If people ask me, I just reply "We tried, but it didn't work out for us. He hasn't complained yet."wink

MaryPoppinsStoleMyHandbag Mon 05-Mar-18 13:49:53

For the first 10 wks or so of DD’s life it seemed like everywhere I went people, mainly other mothers of newborns, were obsessed with how babies were fed. At baby massage, the weigh-in clinic, the sling library etc ‘do you breast feed?’ seemed to be one of the first questions asked.

In hindsight I wish I’d just replied ‘no’ or ‘she’s fed’ but I annoyingly always felt the need to justify why she wasn’t ‘no, I didn’t produce any breast milk blah blah blah’

Even my GP said to me that at least I didn’t need to feel guilty as it was out of my control. Clear implication that I should feel guilty otherwise?!

The reality is even if I had produced milk there is a 99.9% chance that I wouldn’t have breast fed anyway.

BertrandRussell Mon 05-Mar-18 13:52:26

Probably about as much as you would get if you breast fed.

Just say nothing. None of anyone’s business.

Luxembourgmama Mon 05-Mar-18 13:54:46

A fair bit and i just ignored it. It was a good way to filter people I met at Mums groups as to whether i'd want to be friends with them.

Luxembourgmama Mon 05-Mar-18 13:55:24

Actually i think i got more grief when i was pregnant for saying i was planning to do it. I just did it and didn't talk about it once she was born.

MinisWin Mon 05-Mar-18 14:00:38

I agree with Bertrand - you'll get (very few) people passing comment either way. For the most part though, no one actually gives a toss... For what it's worth, I think I probably got more grief for breastfeeding for almost 17 months than any of my friends got for formula feeding. The trick is not to actually CARE what anyone else thinks...

chuckiecheese Mon 05-Mar-18 14:02:35

There is no need to justify it and you already sound prepared for the possibility! That's half the'battle' (if there is one).

The FF/ BF discussion is the beginning of a lifetime of choices you will have.

When I fed my two children this way I allowed others to make me feel bad but now both my children are older this issue really seems like such a long time ago. 😉

Good luck over the coming months and years with your parenting journey 😀💐

MinisWin Mon 05-Mar-18 14:02:48

Sorry, just reread and saw that you're ALREADY getting grief, before baby's even born. In that case, I would be thinking about spending less time with these ridiculous people and/or calling them on their ridiculousness, and then changing the subject...

Midlandertoofarfromthesea Mon 05-Mar-18 14:18:48

Just be positive about it being best for you and baby, the most important thing is for you to be happy, and this will help everything else. Your well-being is the most important holistic element of this, and will have the biggest effect on the baby. I think when formula feeding, at the time, we mums can be a little sensitive that other people are thinking it’s second best. But actually, I don’t think anyone (well nearly anyone!) actually cared. It’s what’s best for. That said, I wasn’t at prepared for bottle feeding, and felt so lost in the first week (I had intended to breastfeed, but it all went a bit wrong!). But actually I loved the way it worked out. I phoned a couple of friends to ask for practical tips for bottle feeding. Personally, I’ve never felt comfortable with hygiene level of the the perfect prep machine (I’m probably being paranoid!). But my method was
1. I filled up a vacuum flask with boiling water a few times a day.
2. Had pots of measured out formula powder.
3. Use sterilised bottles and proper screw-on lids, fillwith boiling water, and then kept cool in the fridge.
4. So each time I made a feed (and I could take sets out of the house with me, and it was even set up next to my bed at night!), I tipped the powder into a sterilised bottle, put a little hot water from the vacuum flask to dissolve it, and made it up to the right level with the cooled water (this is usually a little more than the ml volume, as the powder takes up space, so 150ml would need to be filled up to about 180 if I remember right) - obviously test the resulting temperature of the milk first, but usually it was ready to drink! So really, really easy at night (less than a minute to prepare, and no need to get up!). All the best.

namechange43271 Mon 05-Mar-18 14:19:37

I planned to bf and told my midwife so. When DS came along I really struggled and decided to ff. None of the healthcare professionals cared by this point because as far as they were concerned, he was gaining weight, I was happy with my decision and to be honest, I don't think they have the resources to persuade you to do otherwise if that's what you've decided to do.

You don't deserved to be judged before the birth of your baby, but don't assume you'll be judged once your DC is here because my experience was completely the opposite.

UserSnoozer Mon 05-Mar-18 14:22:44

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

elvisisntdead Mon 05-Mar-18 14:24:09

I bottle feed and never got any hassle!! In fact in hospital when I was trying to bf and it wasnt really working all my docs/nurses/HVs were encouraging me as ‘fed baby is best’. Do what’s best for you. X

YerAuntFanny Mon 05-Mar-18 14:27:48


I told my midwife at my booking in appointment with DC1 that I didn't want information about BF as I was going to formula feed. It was never mentioned again by a healthcare provider and I don't recall any comments afterwards either.

MaryPoppinsStoleMyHandbag Mon 05-Mar-18 14:28:31


Oh here we go ... hmm

mommybear1 Mon 05-Mar-18 14:51:45

I always intentionally formula feed from day 1 but I didn't shout about it just said I was undecided. In any event baby came early and my milk did not come in at all. I have not really found "support" as such in the same way as BF but did a lot of research myself re best formula, bottle etc. My DH fully supported my decision and helped me in hospital when there was some pressure to BF but I have to say most pressure/persuasion came from midwife pre birth and friends/colleagues who all had views. I would simply smile nod my head and let them crack on. My worst comment from a midwife was how I was being selfish because by BF I would not get cancer and have longer with my baby confused- that hit home harder as I had lost my mom to cancer when I was younger. Asked for her evidence of this - errrrr was the response. In any event OP post baby at all health checks the professionals have all thought my baby was BF due to his weight gain/lack of wind/constant wees and poos (and colour of poo - you'll get used to all this poo chat when baby arrives wink!) and have all been surprised when I have told them baby is FF. Let others mind their own business OP - congratulations on the baby and good luck thankscake

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