The Benefits of Bottle Feeding: Fed is Best
Dear moms and dads who bottle feed your babies,
Are you tired of the looks and subtle comments when you’re making a bottle to FEED YOUR CHILD? Tired of article after article about breast is best? Me too! There has been so much pressure to breastfeed that I think some communities have forgotten the fed is best crowd. So let's celebrate the the bottle-fed babies and the benefits that come with them!
Our Babies Get Fed
There are many reasons why people choose to bottle feed. It could be for medical reasons for parent or baby. Maybe you didn't produce enough milk. Maybe there was enough milk but it just wasn't cutting it. Maybe you don't feel comfortable breastfeeding. Maybe you adopted. Whatever the reason, like me, you are grateful for the alternative: bottles and formula. Ultimately, as parents we will do whatever it takes to feed our babies, and luckily, this option isn’t that dramatic.
Stress Free Feeding
All three of my babies lost an abnormal amount of weight in the first few weeks of life. It was SO stressful for me that exclusively breastfeeding wasn’t getting the job done for my babies. It filled my head with all kinds of harsh thoughts, like that I was failing as a mom because my milk wasn't helping them grow. I struggled with anxiety over if they were getting enough. I was stressing out because I was feeding the baby ALL THE TIME. As soon as I switched to bottles, this anxiety subsided, because I knew how much they were getting; and they started gaining and growing.
Anyone Can Take Responsibility
I need to pee; here, feed the baby. It's getting close to dinner time and the vultures—I mean older children (mine are 10 and 12)—are circling. Guys, you want dinner? Hold the baby and feed him. Grandma came to say hi? Do you want to feed him? Grandma squeals with delight to be trusted with this task, while you go get a much needed shower. The added flexibility of bottle feeding helped me feel like I was able to care for all of my family, including myself.
Birth Parents Reclaim Their Bodies
For forty weeks your body was not your own. Every decision you made was put through the filter of there is a baby growing inside me. You stop eating things you love. Start eating things you hate. Give up alcohol. Get more sleep. Puke your guts up. Your body is taken over by this baby inside you. Once the baby is born, your body has to readjust to the new norm. This can be difficult, mentally, on new parents. For me, once I stopped lactating I started to feel like my old self more. The freedom of not having a baby attached to me 24/7 was exhilarating. Having breasts my husband could enjoy without leakage was an added bonus.
I am proud of how I fed my babies and the choices I have made to care for them. I think the time has come where we should celebrate all the ways we care for our babies. Let's stop passing judgement, and encourage parents to do what is best for them and their families.