In the world of parenting there are a million choices we have to make. How will we diaper and clothe our children? Are we going to baby wear or push them in stroller? Are we going to follow traditional feeding choices when introducing solids or follow baby-led weaning? Perhaps the most critical decision we must make as parents is how are we going to feed our babies!

We are all taught as mothers and fathers from early in pregnancy that breast is best and is the superior choice for our babies. But with professionals recommending that mothers nurse their infants to the age of 2 and beyond, but what happens when breast is best is taken too far?

Have you ever found yourself as a breastfeeding mom judging another mom for feeding her baby formula? Or perhaps you have felt judged for nursing your baby in public by another mother feeding her infant a bottle. This kind of judgmental behavior is becoming more and more evident as our world expands through social networking and media with mothers being attacked for posting breast feeding photos online, choosing to be vocal about their nursing toddlers or choosing to formula feed for various reasons whether it be medical or personal.

The shame associated with this kind of judgment can be very damaging to a family because no one really knows the reasons why a parent chooses to breast or formula feed. In the cyber-world, the amount of bullying that happens by some bloggers and individuals is appalling. Aren’t we all just doing the very best we can?

As I sit here nursing my almost two year old I have encountered this often, being told to cover up or go to the washroom to feed her. Although this rarely happens with bottle-feeding, those mothers also encounter stares and judgmental comments from the general public. It seems everyone has an opinion on how to raise your child and if you aren’t doing it their way it’s the wrong way. News flash! You are doing it the right way because if it’s working for you and your child it is the right way!

As young parents we have enough to deal with let without constant criticism for how we choose to feed our children. Yes breast is best, but formula is just fine too! Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed, either choice should be accepted because hey, at least they are getting fed and we are all doing the very best we can for our children!

 

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Heather Beattie

 

 

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