Natural Health

Healthy living, herbal remedies and DIY natural beauty.

Add to My MSN

My Relationship With Non-Breastfeeding Mothers

8/18/2014 10:37:00 AM

Tags: breastfeeding, parenting, Lisa Marie Morgan, Oregon

In honor of world breastfeeding month, I have written a two-part series on my relationship with breastfeeding. Part one talks about my breastfeeding relationship with my kids. For Part Two, I will discuss my relationship with non-breastfeeding mothers. Here I want to honor the bottle-feeding mothers.

"While breastfeeding may not seem the right choice for every parent, it is the best choice for every baby." ~Amy Spangler

I absolutely believe that breastfeeding is the right choice for every baby and even, in contradiction to the quote above, the right choice for every mother. While intended as a reference, I have read Dr. Jack Newman’s The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers from cover to cover and agree with Dr. Newman that with enough patience and support, there is a solution to every breastfeeding challenge.

However, I also understand that in a society where mother’s are given bottles at baby showers, breast pumps have made it to the needs list and formula comes in as many flavors as does ice cream, that breastfeeding isn’t always going to be the final choice for every mother and baby.

Do I feel more awkward seeing a bottle in a baby’s mouth than getting a glimpse of an undisclosed breast? Yes, I do. Do I wish my breastfeeding-challenged mommas could utilize the wisdom of the perfect lactation consultant for hours, days and weeks in the comfort of their own homes? Yes, I do. Do I want to boast a 100 percent breastfeeding statistic for my birth clients? Yes, I do.

ella feeding escher

Do I think a momma who has chosen not to breastfeed just didn’t try hard enough. No, I do not. Do I make her feel less than and guilt her for her choice? No, I do not. Do I decide her love and passion for her child aren’t as full for not breastfeeding? No, I do not.

I have seen mommas caress their blooming bellies as they look forward to meeting their new babies. I have seen mommas sweat, groan and celebrate as they birth their babies. I have seen mommas balance like a tight-rope walker as they try to understand their new role as parents and figure out how to take care of the new life in their hands. I know they want the best for their babies and whether bottle feeding or breastfeeding, are working through sleep deprived days and healing bodies to feed and nurture their children.

While I still believe breast is best, that doesn’t mean bottle is bad and I champion my mothers on both sides of the coin. You spent 9 months of your life growing an entire human being, hours birthing and have committed the rest of your life to raising a respectable citizen of this world.Each day that you awaken in the morning, be that 3 a.m., 5 a.m. and/or 9 a.m., and have enough mental clarity to crawl into the appropriate bed when the sun goes down, is a success.

So take pride that you, momma, in one form or another, fed your baby yesterday are likely feeding your baby right now and will do it again tomorrow.

Photo courtesy of Katelyn Goslin and Amanda Buffington.

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


8/25/2014 7:56:57 PM
I have to say that it certainly doesn't sound like the author champions "mothers on both sides of the coin" if she says earlier in the article that she believes breastfeeding is the right choice for every mother. You can't have it both ways. You either support a mom's choice or you don't. It also sounds as if she chalks up reasons for formula feeding as being "easier" which is insulting on many levels. Let's recall that some women cannot breastfeed for whatever reason but not least of which can be the physical or emotional triggers of breastfeeding due to past sexual or physical abuse. I'd expect a more thoughtful, balanced, informed piece in a publication like Mother Earth News.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.