A woman’s body is amazing. They can actually nourish their babies using their bodies! However, not all women are able, or choose, to breastfeed. The reasons are vast and wide, with each individual mom making a decision that either she makes on her own, or one in which she may have little, if any, choice in the matter.
Breast versus bottle has long been a debate. Which one is best? Most of us would agree: a fed baby is best! Whether that baby is fed through the breast or the bottle should really be irrelevant. Unfortunately, it is not. There are proponents and opponents on each side of this issue, with some mamas expressing some very strong opinions.
It is always nice to hear individual stories. When we stop to read the stories from moms from every walk of life and beyond, it almost paints a face to this issue. We are all moms, and our choices on how to best feed our babies are really up to us, as individuals. Read on for 20 voices from women who chose not to breastfeed, and remember to always keep an open mind! You may relate to more than a few of these stories, no matter which side of the fence you are on.
20 Every Minute Was A Struggle
For some moms, the desire to breastfeed is there, but things just simply do not go according to plan for a variety of reasons. A new mama by the name of Natalie shares that breastfeeding seemed like something that was a necessity -- something that was not an option.
She struggled through producing enough milk, all the while her baby struggled with getting enough nutrition. She even felt like her entire life revolved around breastfeeding. Despite her best efforts and the pleas from her own mother and female family members, she decided breastfeeding was not in the cards for her and that was perfectly okay.
19 Cancer Survivor
This mom had no choice. Anna could not breastfeed, even if she had wanted to, but that didn’t stop the haters. First of all, this new mom has wanted a baby for a very long time. Then she got the devastating news that she had breast cancer, which killed her very own mother. She fought it and won, but not without consequences. She had to wait before even trying to have a baby.
Now that Anna's baby is here, she does not often share why she doesn’t breastfeed. To her, that is personal, but if she needs to, she shares her story, because no mother should ever be judged on why she formula feeds her infant.
18 Just Didn't Want To
Amy was a mom who knew what she wanted from the moment she got pregnant. She wanted a baby, but she did not want to breastfeed. Her reason? She doesn’t even have a reason! She just simply did not want to do it. It was her own choice through her own belief system.
Her own feelings of how she wanted to feed and nourish her newborn baby. And in her mind, she is the only one allowed to judge. And guess what, she does not judge herself in the slightest. She has a happy, healthy beautiful baby. Isn’t that all that really matters?
17 Anxiety Got The Best Of Me
A new mom by the name of Carolyn knew she had high anxiety. Her pregnancy was plagued with worries- both immediate and future, and all probably quite unnecessary. She felt anxious thinking about breastfeeding. Mostly due to not knowing quite what to expect. She tried. She failed. Her anxiety really got the best of her.
She could not calm herself down enough to feed her baby through her body. She admits to feeling ashamed of herself because of her anxiety but acknowledges that she felt that it was not really in her control in the end. It is important to note: her baby is doing just fine, and so is she!
16 The Exhaustion Was Overwhelming
Breastfeeding can be an exhausting experience for so many new moms. New mama Dana was no different. She was tired... all the time. She claims she felt like all she did was walk aimlessly around waiting to feed her baby. She breastfed initially, but those midnight and early morning hours were too much for her.
She decided to switch to formula feeding when her husband volunteered to help so she could sleep. She made the choice to not feel guilty about it either. They kept a feeding schedule, and the utterly exhausted mom finally got some much need and very overdue rest.
15 Bounced Back Easier Without It
This new mom named Jill stated just this- that not breastfeeding (that is right, NOT) bounced her back in both mind and spirit. Jill wants other mamas to know that “shutting down the milk factory” does not mean you are a bad mom. It is a choice that each individual mother has to make, and if it doesn’t work for you, then it is okay to forgo it.
It is not the end of the world to not breastfeed your baby, and in the end, you might actually end up a better mother because you made that personal choice to NOT breastfeed.
14 She Was Starving
Sometimes, your body goes against your wishes. It can be devastating, as it was for a mom from New York. Carla tried and tried to breastfeed but was just not producing enough for her baby to grow and gain weight. She would feed what seemed like endlessly and her baby was never satisfied. She knew something was wrong, and the doctor said formula may be the only option left. She did not want this. It was not part of her plan.
But, her baby came first. Looking back, she is proud of herself for not feeling too guilty, because her baby is as happy and healthy as can be.
13 I Didn't Feel Like Myself
One mom from Maine just could not handle it. She found herself having a bit of an out-of-body experience when it came to breastfeeding. She also noticed that she was essentially turning into a walking zombie. It was breastfeeding all the time, and at one moment, she said no more. It was much too taxing on this new mom to breastfeed, both in a physical sense, but also emotionally.
And she knew that was not how it should be. Once she stopped, she felt like herself again, and finally was there, both physically and emotionally for her bundle of joy.
12 Wasn't Mature Enough, Yet
Nope, this mom who chose not to breastfeed was not young. She was just very immature. She had her baby but was not mentally prepared for the process of breastfeeding. In fact, it never even crossed her mind that she would even try to do that. To her to was a bit gross, and something that she had no desire to do, not even her motherly instincts kicked in.
Looking back, she acknowledges she was highly immature, and nowadays, may have done it differently. Or, actually, not. Because her baby is happy and healthy, and she healed, and they are a loving little family- sans breastfeeding.
11 Dad Wanted To Be More Involved
We love when new fathers really want to play an active role in their newborn baby’s lives! It is always so nice to witness, a loving dad cradling his newborn baby, and feeding him or her. For this mom, she was overjoyed that her husband wanted to feed her baby. If only he could breastfeed, she would say! She had no desire to pump, and saw no harm in formula feeding.
To her, the bonding moments between her baby and her baby’s father far exceeded whatever other benefits would otherwise occur. And her husband was on board with it from the get-go.
10 PPD Got In The Way
Postpartum depression is all too real. It is something that some women get help with, while others suffer in silence. For one mom who wished to remain anonymous, it was her postpartum depression that made her decide to not breastfeed. She did not get help at first either, she admits.
She tearfully will say that the person she was due to postpartum depression (not her, she claims), wanted nothing to do with her newborn baby, including feeding her. It is something that many of us may not think about when it comes to those new moms who suddenly become severely depressed after having a baby.
9 An 'Inverted' Problem
A new mom from Delaware was very excited to breastfeed her newborn daughter, and eagerly welcomed the help of the lactation consultant, and just about any nurse or hospital staff that was willing to help in the hours and days following her daughter’s birth. But this new mom soon discovered breastfeeding, although not necessarily impossible, would be a big challenge. Her nipples were inverted, making it very difficult, even sometimes impossible, for her baby to latch.
She constantly felt like she was not giving her baby adequate nutrition, and it was stress for her, which only translates to her supply and her baby. She decided to forgo breastfeeding.
8 It Didn't Seem Natural
A mom from Florida chose to not even try breastfeeding, despite the thinking that “breast is best”. She didn’t want to. She did not like the idea of feeding her baby in that manner, despite the fact that so many women supposedly do it and what not.
Her family tried pushing her, and she refused. Breastfeeding to her, was simply, not her. She did not feel guilty about it, either. If it didn’t come naturally to her, then perhaps it really was not meant to be. This new mom says she was meant to be a mother, not necessarily a breastfeeding mother.
7 The Pain Was Too Much
When new mom Jenna first tried breastfeeding her baby girl, she turned to the nurse and said, but I thought babies weren’t born with teeth?! The nurse laughed and told her, your baby has no teeth! Jenna was in pain. But she fought through it- at first. No matter how much cream or medicine she applied, the pain persisted.
She started to wonder if her so-called sweet baby was doing it on purpose! She made the choice to not continue. The most important part was, she healed, the pain ceased, and her baby got fed. Seems all good to us!
6 She Wouldn’t Latch
For the lucky moms who breastfeed with ease, so many of us envy you! For many new moms, it can be quite the challenge to get their little one to latch in order to receive that all-important breast milk. Some moms go through all kinds of trials in order to achieve the goal of breastfeeding.
Well, Mia from New Jersey decided she was miserable enough. Her little boy would not latch, so she said goodbye to breastfeeding. To her, it was not worth it. It was not at all what she wanted to remember for her baby’s newborn days.
5 Pumping Took Too Much Time
Her whole day was dedicated to the pump, this is exactly how new mom Heather describes her breastfeeding experience. She had a plan to breastfeed her baby, but, unfortunately, he was not having it. So, she decided to pump so that she could still give him breast milk. That seems all fine and dandy, but this mom claims she was spending more time with the breast pump than with her own baby!
That was not how she envisioned motherhood at all. She made the choice to say so long to that breast pump so she could be the mom she always wanted to be, one that spends time with their baby!
4 I Found Freedom In Formula Feeding
A mom named Margie wishes to shout from the hills that breastfeeding and good mom do not go hand in hand. For so many moms, we think that if we do not breastfeed, we are doing a disservice to our infants.
That is not the case! Margie tried to breastfeed, but it just was not comfortable for her or her baby. It wasn’t working, even though they tried. And you know what? She refuses to feel bad about formula feeding instead. It was her choice, and absolutely no one was going to make her feel guilty about that. No one.
3 I Was Too Afraid
An anonymous mother shared her very personal breastfeeding story. It was not that she did not want to breastfeed, she was simply way too scared. She was young and not prepared for a baby, much less for the process of feeding a newborn through her body! It was just way too much for her to handle. She does not openly share why she made that choice but also knows that she is not alone.
Breastfeeding can be quite the miracle, but it can be a very menacing miracle to some new moms. The decision to formula feed is sometimes made on the fact that these moms are just scared to breastfeed.
2 She Made The Choice For Me
For a new mom named Randi, her sweet newborn baby was calling the shots from day one! She isn’t even joking. Randi was lucky enough to give birth to a stubborn and strong-headed little boy who just was not going to breastfeed. She tried just about everything, thinking breastfeeding was the way to go, but nope, her little guy was having none of it.
She was done trying and feels no shame about it. If her baby wants to not breastfeed, then that is fine. To her, being fed was the most important part, and in that, they both succeeded!
1 A Personal Decision
A mom from South Carolina went against just about everyone’s wishes for her to breastfeed. Her own parents, her in-laws, even her own husband made her think that breastfeeding was the norm, that there was never a question involved. They said it so much to her, that she began to believe it herself, and tried it once her son was born. It made her miserable.
She was not happy. Happy mama, happy baby, right? She decided it was her choice, and found that once her baby was on formula, she was calm and much, much happier. She said it was the best decision for her little family.
References: Romper.com, Today.com, Washington Post, The Guardian, tonic.vice.com, Babycenter, and TheStir.