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An Open Letter to Formula Feeders

23/07/2015 17:23 BST | Updated 23/07/2016 10:59 BST

Dear Formula Feeder,

I was going to write "mum who formula feeds" but then I realised that might not be the case, you might be dad, or grandma, or grandad, or a foster carer, or a brother, a sister. You could be any one of a number of people who loves and cares for your baby so to restrict it just to mums felt wrong. And to add "primary carer" well that sounded wrong as well, too clinical and official, and well, just not right.

So to all of you who are formula feeders, here is my letter to you.

Recently I've been seeing more and more around the breastfeeding vs. formula feeding debate.  Whether that's because I'm involved in more breastfeeding groups or that it is gearing up to Worldwide Breastfeeding Week I'm not sure.

But it's making me a little sad. Where did the divide come from? Why do both sides sit on opposite sides of the fence and get passive-aggressive at each other? And sometimes not even passive-aggressive, sometimes just mean.

Do we not all have the same aim? To love and feed our babies? To care for them and do what's best for them? For us? For our families?

People are different, it's a fact of life, what works for me might not work for you. What works for you might not work for me. Doesn't mean either of us have it wrong it just means we are different.

And wouldn't the world be a boring place if we were all the same?

The most important thing is that a baby is loved and fed. And not only that but those doing the loving and feeding gets the support they need and want to be the best they can be.

So Formula Feeders:

You decided you wanted to formula feed from birth because you were ready to get your body back? Great. Good for you and while you're at it get your other half involved in the night feeds because they no longer have the excuse that they aren't lactating.

I support you.

You formula fed from birth because you had problems with latch and lip tie? Please don't beat yourself up, you tried, it just didn't work out for you. It doesn't mean anything. Embrace bottle feeding and know that you are doing the best for your baby.

I support you.

You formula fed after having a horrific, traumatic birth and just physically couldn't face breastfeeding? Take time out and regain your strength for you and your baby. Formula isn't poison and your baby needs you to be strong.

I support you

You formula feed because you don't have the ability to breastfeed, maybe you are a grandparent, a foster carer, a single dad, you adopted? Whatever the reason you are doing your best.

I support you

You formula feed because after breastfeeding for a set period you are ready to give up? I've been there. I was you.

I support you

You formula feed because your breastfeeding journey abruptly stopped because of a life changing event, maybe you're headed back to work and can't, or don't want, to pump because let's face it time spent pumping could be time spent cuddling your baby and I know what I'd rather do.

I support you

You exclusively formula feed because that was yourchoice and what works best for your family.

I support you

Whatever your reason and whatever you do....

I support you

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Image from Pixabay - amended by Blogger

Let us not berate one another but embrace our differences, if you want to think me crazy for succumbing to #ginormous nipples, demand feeding and leaky boobs by all means do.  But please don't call me out on my choices, as alongside everyone else I am just doing my best in my own way.  Just because I am being #PositiveAboutBF it doesn't mean I am being negative about bottle feeding, I'm not raining on your parade - I am celebrating my own.  Just as you should.

This post first appeared here.

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