You know, I didn’t want to write this. I tried not to write this. I tried to ignore Mel’s first post on breastfeeding, as inflammatory as it was. And I tried to ignore her second post. And today, after the third one, I gave up trying.
Because you know why? The whole breastfeeding vs formula debate? Yeah, it’s a lie. There is no debate. The whole fucking world “knows” that breastfeeding is better than formula feeding. But MOST WOMEN IGNORE IT.
You know what women whining about how “guilty” people make them feel for feeding formula sound like? It is the same whining that fertile people make about having to deal with birth control. Or maybe more closely, how when feminists start talking, someone invariably pops up with “but what about the men?” Because FORMULA FEEDERS ARE THE MAJORITY IN THE UNITED STATES. So you know what? I don’t care how “guilty” you feel. I don’t really give a shit about how you don’t like breastfeeding campaigns or that people say mean things when you complain about breastfeeding mothers who are strident in their positions.
In 2003, about 70 percent of women in the United States were breastfeeding their babies when they left the hospital (4). About 36 percent of women were still breastfeeding their babies at 6 months of age (4). These are the highest numbers ever recorded in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that in 2004, due to mounting evidence that breastfeeding offers significant lifetime benefits to children, 74% of American women who gave birth breastfed their infants for at least some period of time. This almost reaches the government’s target of 75%. Unfortunately, most women did not continue breastfeeding beyond the first month. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that women exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first six months, and then recommend that they continue breastfeeding at least through the first year as other foods are introduced. Among infants born in 2004, the rate of exclusive breastfeeding through the first three months after birth was 31%, shy of the government’s goal of 60%, and through six months was 11%, below the government target of 25%.
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 56 (2007): 760-63.
Guess what? YOU ARE A PART OF THE MAJORITY. YOU DON’T GET TO COMPLAN ABOUT HOW “PERSECUTED” YOU FEEL. BECAUSE WHEN 80-90% OF THE COUNTRY FEEDS FORMULA, YOU ARE JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.
And my personal take on the matter? If you looked at your circumstances, whatever they are, and decided after fully examining your situation that formula feeding was right for you — THEN YOU WOULDN’T FEEL GUILTY. If you really believed that formula feeding was the right decision, you would defend it to the hilt. If you wanted to breastfeed and couldn’t, and felt sad about it or mad about it (and I can see this a LOT in women who learned after the fact that they could have actually breastfed) then I completely understand. But GUILT. My ass. If you feel guilty, then you made a decision that you can’t defend. You were wrong and you fucking know it.
And what pisses me off even more? Women who choose to formula feed, have no problem with it, but still act all like “I didn’t have enough milk” or “He wasn’t gaining weight” or or or. Whatever excuse they think will justify their actions. Guilt, bad enough. Play acting guilt when you don’t even feel it because you think other people expect you to feel guilty? That’s fucking bullshit.