Forget just Breastfeeding in public…what about bottle feeding in Public? Can any mom feed in public without getting stared at? Breastfeeding in public tends to be controversial. I have heard some mothers say things about how it’s not fair how a bottle fed baby can have dinner in public but why can’t a breastfed baby? Well, I’m hear to tell you that it doesn’t matter how you feed your baby…you will get looks either way!
I have two kids. My daughter Ashlyn who is now 3 and my 7 month old little man Marcus. Ashlyn was breastfed until she was One, the age recommended and encouraged to feeding your baby. My son Marcus… till 5 Months. I tried to breast Marcus longer, but between tending to my two year old, running a couple businesses, kids activities, play dates, friends, hubby time, and while Life in general…my Milk Supply tampered off and it was such a struggle to keep my Milk supply up by trying to fit pumping in that schedule somewhere. After having more than a couple crying melt downs about how frustrating it was and how I felt like I wasn’t being fair to Marcus if I stopped breast feeding…my husband looked at me one day and said…it’s okay. He doesn’t have to be breast fed for a year, it’s not worth the stress and there are plenty of babies out there that start on formula in life, or mothers that can’t produce from the beginning or that have experienced what I was going through. And those babies all survive and there are plenty of Formula fed babies that don’t have allergies, That get straight A’s in school, have social skills, and so on. It was the wake-up call and support I needed.
I remember with Ashlyn seeing the stares at the Mall when having to Breast Feed in public and feeling almost ashamed and embarrased…deciding to feed in a public bathroom because somehow that seemed more exceptable. So sure, feed my child it a public washroom full of germs…would you like to bring your dinner in here with us? I didn’t think so. It used to bother me and I used to think if I had a bottle would people think nothing of it and how unfair it was.
Well…now I do bottle feed Marcus and you would be surprised at the looks I get…even some comments…why aren’t you breast feeding? Seriously? I have come to the conclusion that you can’t win either way. At the end of the day I am feeding my child because I would rather feed him then starve him in public to avoid looks, and I am not going to be stuck at home all the time because I am afraid of the looks or comments.
So for all you mothers out there that are frustrated, embarrassed…here’s the reality…don’t be. You will be looked at and judged regardless, and if not when it come’s to feeding but something else when it comes to your parenting skills. As a mother in today’s society, when your 2 yr old has that horrible melt down and you are looking at them wondering where your sweet little one is, or if you run out of diapers and your baby is wearing tea towel with a pad in it ( My girlfriend did that…thought it was funny and brilliant at the same time!) There will always be someone to judge. Just remember that as Woman, as Mothers, it’s easy to judge other parents…but we must support each other breast fed or bottle fed. Remember that each mother has a reason, has a story and that there is no manual or guide to being a parent. We all just do the best we can.