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Am I the only mother on the planet who CHOSE bottle-feeding?

(344 Posts)
CottageChicken Sun 26-Apr-09 05:27:21

I read extensively, did lots of soul-searching, and decided breastfeeding just wasn't something that was the right path for me and DC. Consulted DP who wanted a very active role in the feeding and supported 100%, we did 50/50 on all feeds from Day 1. Most people have been great about it, but of course there are the Breastfeeding Nazis and just general disapproval stares.

Did anyone else actively choose not to breastfeed? I don't regret my choice at all but it would be nice to hear from others.

By the way - mine are very happy, rarely ill, well-adjusted babies before you ask how many ear infections they've had, as more than 1 random person on the street has done hmm.

SouthernLights Sun 26-Apr-09 05:34:26

CottageChicken - I'm a BFer I'm afraid but just wanted to say good on you for educating yourself and making a choice, which is what it's all about IMHO. Congratulations on your healthy babies!

NorkyButNice Sun 26-Apr-09 06:24:50

(general musings)

Why is the term 'breastfeeding Nazis' used and unchallenged sometimes on MN? It's pretty offensive to the 90% of supportive nonjudgmental bf-ers out there.

OP - this aside, no you're not the only one. On the whole though, MN hosts very few women who will openly admit to not even attempting to BF, unless they had medical or psychological reasons not to. I FF after a short time btw.

Good luck with your choices.

CottageChicken Sun 26-Apr-09 06:33:11

Norky I knew that would come up. And to be fair, I did say 'there are the Breastfeeding Nazis' and not 'everyone is a breastfeeding nazi' because there ARE breastfeeding nazis, just like there are real nappy nazis, boarding school nazis, BLW nazis, etc. etc. etc.

You'll notice I didn't generalise everyone, and also said 'most people have been great about it', so I'm wondering what that post achieved hmm

Shells Sun 26-Apr-09 06:55:49

I think you'll find that statistically you're probably in the majority. It just won't feel like that on Mumsnet.

But most mothers don't breastfeed, certainly not after the first few weeks, and a lot not at all.

Thats why there's such a huge public education programme to try and improve the statistics.

belgo Sun 26-Apr-09 07:04:33

TBH I don't particularly care how you feed your baby, as long as you are happy about it.

But I find it very hard to see past the term 'Breastfeeding Nazi'. That is unacceptable.

manicmama Sun 26-Apr-09 07:07:03

I breastfed my three for about one month and then chose to move to bottle feed. Breastfeeding just didn't suit me and I needed to be able to share the feeding with my DH.

If all you and your children are happy and healthy then you should be proud

paranoidmother Sun 26-Apr-09 07:07:52

I chose to Bottle feed with my ds after having no support from HV or MW or MW's in Hospital with my DD. I found that going in and knowing what was going to happen instead of wondering and asking and asking and asking for help like the previous birth was far better for me to.

My kids are normally very healthy, apart from a spate of colds over the past month hmm on which the whole Nursery came down with illness.

NorkyButNice Sun 26-Apr-09 07:11:49

You're wondering what my post achieved?

You asked to hear from other women who FF, I told you that I did after a short while.

I offered you my best wishes with your personal choices.

I made the observation that while you aren't the only person in your situation, you aren't likely to find many others on MN who admit to not trying to BF.

If you view all this as worthless info (and support) then sorry!

piscesmoon Sun 26-Apr-09 07:20:42

I don't think that 'Breastfeeding Nazis' is a very good term. You decided that you didn't want to do it, but it doesn't mean that people should stop being encouraged to do what is best for the baby.

RaspberryBlower Sun 26-Apr-09 07:20:55

I have a friend in rl who actively made this choice.

As far as the 'nazi' thing goes, it seems like everyone who feels strong about something gets called a 'nazi'.

I use disposable nappies, but if someone says to me 'I use real nappies and I think everyone else should for the sake of the environment', I don't think they're a nazi. I tend to admire them for having the courage of their convictions.

purepurple Sun 26-Apr-09 07:48:34

I did not BF either of my babies, a choice that I made myself after thinking long and hard, fully supported by family and DH and the midwives.
DH took a very active hands on role in feeding both of them. Both my DC are fit and well, and have no health problems and neither of them have ever had an ear infection.
I don't regret not BF and feel it is down to personal choice and resent the fact that certain women will look down their noses and think "poor you".
I also used disposable nappies
shoot me now grin

sarah293 Sun 26-Apr-09 07:52:24

Message withdrawn

piscesmoon Sun 26-Apr-09 08:01:10

I don't think that tutting is encouraging! I am glad that mine are older-I don't think people were so judgemental when mine were young-or maybe it went over my head.

CottageChicken Sun 26-Apr-09 08:02:11

Riven that is exactly the type of woman I mean. Thank you for putting it better than I could.

Norky The rest of your post was useful, thanks.

CottageChicken Sun 26-Apr-09 08:03:01

And, FWIW, there is a huge difference between feeling strongly about something and blatantly imposing your view on others/expecting them to follow it/looking down upon them and judging them should they choose not to. That is what I meant by 'Nazi' in any capacity.

belgo Sun 26-Apr-09 08:22:22

Nazism not particularly nice or helpful to use this word associated with breastfeeding.

I opened this thread interested in hearing the reasoning behind someone's choice of feeding method for thier baby, did not expect it to be a rant on 'breastfeeding nazis'.

greatwhiteshark Sun 26-Apr-09 08:29:00

Please don't anyone use the word nazi to describe anyone. I don't imagine many breastfeeders who happen to be rude are also thinking it would be a good idea to exterminate anyone! It's very, very offensive.

Having said that, good on you for making an informed choice. I would say that nearly all of the trained breastfeeding counsellors and supporters (NCT, BfN, ABM, LLL) feel more strongly that women are all given all the factual, unbiased information they need to make a truly informed decision about feeding their babies, and then get the support they need to do that. The trouble is that so many mothers around the world have their view of breastfeeding skewed by the misleading claims and irresponsible and unethical advertising made by formula manufacturers. Breastfeeding supporters are just trying to re-dress the balance and it often comes across as being very militant. Well done for getting the info you needed to make a choice, and making it.

Rude bfers are just that, rude people, who happen to be bfers.

lockets Sun 26-Apr-09 08:29:05

Message withdrawn

TheHedgeWitchIsNAK Sun 26-Apr-09 08:29:45

Message withdrawn

tatt Sun 26-Apr-09 08:31:10

One of my nieces bottlefed from the start, encouraged by SIL. I was pretty unhappy about that because of a family history of asthma. The child is asthmatic but maybe they would have been asthmatic anyway.

There is a fine line between encouragement and undue pressure and too many people on mumsnet are on the wrong side of that. Ultimately the person who takes the decision has to live with the consequences.

Strange how it is not acceptable to criticise abortion on mumsnet but fine to be vehement about breastfeeding.

coochicoo Sun 26-Apr-09 08:41:29

Do people really tut and give disapproving glances everywhere you go? really? I'm a bfer and I've never tutted when I've seen someone giving their baby a bottle. I never would. Why would anyone else care about how someone they don't know feeds their children?

Equally I use disposable nappies and often feed from jars when out and about. I've never noticed anyone passing judgement on this either. Maybe because I don't care what others think so I'm not looking out for reactions? Or maybe because nobody's ever judged me.

I'm not calling you a liar, really I'm not, but I find it difficult to believe that you have women tutting at you everywhere you go, simply for giving your baby a bottle. Unless you're giving them a bottle of coke!

And to answer your question, no, you're not the only mother on the planet who chose to bottlefeed. I have several friends who chose to give a bottle straight away. As a pp said, informed choice is what it's all about.

Maria2007 Sun 26-Apr-09 08:50:02

Good for you CottageChicken for informing yourself of your choices, learning all the pros and cons, making up your mind, and feeding your babies in a way that feels right to you. I'm sure most mumsnetters would be very encouraging of you, and would respect your choices. To be honest, I haven't yet come across a mumsnetter who judged / criticized someone who chose to ff from the start (or maybe I have, but it's been on very rare occasions tbh, and others would immediately tell her off).

However. I do have a BIG problem with the term 'breastfeeding nazis'. I also have a problem with the last bit of your OP, where you almost expect other mothers to ask you about ear infections. To me it seems like your post is deliberately provocative. Surely you could imagine that people who feel strongly about bf, and who have struggled to bf, would be offended by the term breastfeeding nazi? Believing in something strongly & working towards a goal- as I'm sure you feel for your own choices & your goals- is not the same as being a nazi. To be honest, there are very few things in this world that are the same as being a nazi, and I personally am offended when this term is used so liberally. I do agree completely that there are rude & competitive mothers- some of them breastfeeders, some of them bottlefeeders- who feel they need to justify & validate their choices by belittling others. But when you yourself suggest (before anyone has criticized you) that there will be others who ask you about ear infections, are you not being deliberately offensive to those who believe- rightly or wrongly- that bf is a good, healthy choice for their babies? Are you not belittling their breastfeeding by suggesting formula is exactly the same, health wise?

Formula is a perfectly good alternative to bf. It's healthy for babies, for the most part. I myself have done exclusive breastfeeding for a few months. Then mixed feeding after that. Then solely formula feeding after 8 months. However, on a population level breast milk is shown to be the preferable choice for infant feeding. There are other pros to formula feeding, I do accept that (e.g. partners being more actively involved). I also accept that on so many other food choices / health issues, different people make different choices. Some eat organic food. Some are vegetarians. Some eat raw food. Some eat their 5 fruit & veg a day without exception. You wouldn't go round calling vegetarians 'vegetarian nazis' would you?

Anyway. Again, as I said, I do respect your choices & I think they're perfectly justifiable ones (and in any case, no mother needs to justify herself to anyone, IMO). But please try to be a bit more careful because the terms you've used & the tone of your OP is quite provocative to all those who made choices different to yours.

Maria2007 Sun 26-Apr-09 08:53:04

And by the way, Coochicoo asked you a good question (and I'd honestly be interested in your response). Have breastfeeding mothers tut-tutted so many times when they've seen you with a bottle?! Or is it possible that you have this idea in your head that there are far more breastfeeding 'nazi' mothers (as you call them) than there actually are? Like Coochicoo, I've bottle fed in public, I've fed my baby jar food, I've used disposable nappies. I've also breastfed in public. All these things many times. No one has ever ever tut-tutted.

Where are all these breastfeeding nazis?! To be honest, I think they're more an imaginary enemy than lots of people seem to think is there than a real group of people. (Not to deny of course that many women feel very strongly about bf, but that's another story).

coochicoo Sun 26-Apr-09 08:54:17

Well written post Maria2007. I agree smile

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