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Aug 02

Breast is Best but Formula isn’t the Devil

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It just so happens that my Facebook news feed is flooded with all of this nonsense about formula samples right at the time my schedule tells me that we are due for a Motherhood and/or Multiple Sclerosis post. Fate? Perhaps!

My girlfriend recently commented on a status and that trickled it into my feed and I wish it wouldn’t have. Here is the title- Just Ridiculous: Giving New Mothers Formula Is Like Giving Trying-to-Quit-Smokers Cigarettes. I can honestly tell you that I cried while I was reading this because it just isn’t fair! I have Multiple Sclerosis just like the Sister in the article does so our sacrifice to bring such a blessing into this world is far greater than a healthy Mom’s is. She was paralyzed and I was damn near close to a wheelchair/walker.

It has been 1 year since I delivered and I am still recovering from my massive relapse. I couldn’t walk it got so bad but the pressure from society to breastfeed is just outrageous. I toughed it out for 4 months through steroid treatments, Copaxone and so many pump and dumps that I can’t believe I tried for so long. No one will ever make the same sacrifices for you like your Mother will.

The damage from my relapse is here to stay. I still have a hard time balancing, I can’t walk long distances, I get so fatigued that my muscles give out and I go from not having to poop to pooping my pants in 5 seconds. So I do not need anymore of this ridiculous arguing over breastfeeding or formula feeding! It is just like the cracked out argument of a SAHM and a Working Mom. The grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side guys!

I even did a review of this awesome pumping bra and their Facebook updates are a constant reminder of how I couldn’t do it. I hate it!  I do understand why they advocate so hard but I just wish things could be more balanced across the board. People should focus on a positive way to encourage Moms to breastfeed instead of just saying, “Breast is best.” Formula is not the Devil and our babies aren’t going to end up with 13 toes because we didn’t breastfeed.

Breastfeeding is so much work but it is so rewarding so please don’t take your ability to do it for granted. I already know that when I have my next baby I will not be breastfeeding longer than a month- if I am that lucky. It breaks my heart…

If you find this post and you feel like leaving some hurtful comment or feel the need to judge a Mother who formula feeds their baby- MOVE ALONG!

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About the author

Mallery

My name is Mallery and I am a recovering workaholic. I curse like a sailor. I'm a mix of obsessive and awkward. I talk about bowel habits more than I should and I enjoy wine, gaming, and tattoos.

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  1. Heather Morgan Shott

    Mallery: Thank you so much for your honest (and heartbreaking) response to my post. I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with MS. I pray that in the very near future there will be a cure.

    [Reply]

    Mallery Reply:

    I hope so too! Thank you for your article showing the other side to things.

    [Reply]

  2. Adelina Priddis

    You are amazing for trying so hard!!!! In my husbands words “Next they’ll try regulating breast size and how much an infant can drink of breast milk to avoid becoming obese”. It’s just all so ridiculous! Don’t ;et anyone tell you you’ve failed your child. You have given them life and fought hard for the best, but sometimes we have to take second best and know it’s just as good and healthy. It’s for sure not harmful in any way!
    Adelina Priddis recently posted..Back to School or Back to Testing … Think About It!My Profile

    [Reply]

    Mallery Reply:

    Your Husband is funny but sadly right!

    [Reply]

  3. Nicole Elliott

    Thanks for this reminder! I’ve always been a ginormous (something verging on snotty simply because of the poor efforts and bad attitudes of many of my friends) Breast is Best person. But I *totally* understand when anyone simply cannot breastfeed despite their best efforts (like you!) Having tried your best you should totally hold your head high and be proud that you brought such a wonderful, beautiful life into this world. Also thanks for the honest reminder that none of us should judge another mom since we might not have the whole story!!!
    Nicole Elliott recently posted..10 Years Of….My Profile

    [Reply]

    Mallery Reply:

    I am a breast is best person too and it pains me to see people not do it. I think we all need reminders occasionally because we are all slightly judgmental when it comes to things that we are passionate about. Don’t get me started on smoking and drinking and driving unless you want to see crazy! :)

    [Reply]

  4. Jessica Ballard

    Sorry to hear your struggle. I planned and tried SO hard with all 3 kids to BF and something happened each time, food allergies, severe jaundice, extreme weight loss, pressure from dr and my having PPD, and down to getting what we thought was Poison ivy and then not sure what kind of rash across both breasts, causing me to go on steroids and stop – We tried so hard. I am grateful for every bit I was able to do and wish I could have done it more and it come easier for me and my kids, but FF now does not mean I failed. I should not have to explain more to anyone else. Good article, Thanks for speaking out! I believe everyone that can should give it a shot, but we shouldn’t beat anyone up over it.

    [Reply]

    Mallery Reply:

    I am so sorry to hear about your difficulties with all 3 of your children. I really think people forget that these things can happen.

    [Reply]

  5. Sara @ Mom Endeavors

    Ugh, Mallery! I started crying as soon as I read that ecard. It’s SO SO true!! No matter how “at peace” with it I get –or try to get, the heartbreaking reminder is always there. I have breast hypoplasia, which basically means I don’t have enough glands/tissue to produce enough milk. As someone who had planned on & desperately wanted to exclusively breastfeed, the discovery was devastating. Here’s my story: http://www.momendeavors.com/2011/03/when-breastfeeding-doesnt-work-part-1.html

    So, needless to say, like you, I’m SO tired of and turned off by some of the so-called “advocates” and the platform of “breast is best”. I’m so ALL for breastfeeding, but this over-zealous (almost propoganda) type approach that so many are taking is not only a complete turn-off, but down-right hurtful to people who want to breastfeed and can’t!
    Sara @ Mom Endeavors recently posted..Paper Airplane Canvas Collage {Maternity Leave Guest Post}My Profile

    [Reply]

    Mallery Reply:

    I agree that the reminder is like opening up an old wound. I think it brings a negative view to breastfeeding advocates because they don’t seem very compassionate to me. Thank you for sharing your story and I am off to read it!

    [Reply]

  6. eschelle

    THANK YOU!!! I could barely breastfeed either of my kids and I tried sooo sooo hard. THANK YOU!
    eschelle recently posted..Think About it Thursday [p3]My Profile

    [Reply]

    Mallery Reply:

    You are welcome! It is hard and all we can do is try.

    [Reply]

  7. Jillian

    Thanks for writing this Mallery. I have not been through anything as awful as you have and your strength continues to amaze me! My baby had severe reflux and I was advised by a children’s physician (who is pro breastfeeding) to stop breastfeeding and to put her on a special formula to help combat her reflux so it just goes to show that everyone has their own reasons and who is anybody else to judge them.
    Jillian recently posted..Heading to BlogHer ’12 – Look Out NYC! #BlogHer12My Profile

    [Reply]

    Mallery Reply:

    Oh boy! I am so thankful Michael wasn’t a reflux baby. :(

    [Reply]

  8. Kerry Cairns

    This is such a wonderful stand for ALL moms! I swear if moms could just be more supportive in general, this would be a much better place! Being a mom is definitely the HARDEST but most rewarding thing I’ve ever done…but sometimes you just need support! I’m definitely all for breastfeeding and feel like SO many young moms these days are not truly informed, but I also do not feel that so many people should be pressured. WE all have to do what is right for our own families. I’ve written about this time and time again! Maybe one day we can all ban together to make a BIG stand! :)

    Ps…Keep on keeping on! You’re a great mom! :D
    Kerry Cairns recently posted..Travel with Ease: Packing Cubes by eBags Review and GiveawayMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Mallery Reply:

    I agree that there needs to be more education and less judgement. I think that would make it more appealing to those who don’t really want to do it.

    [Reply]

  9. Christine@TheCupcakeBandits

    Bravo! I’ve been seeing these things over Facebook too! It hurt so much I took a break from Facebook for 3 days. I was very sick after both my pregnancies which didn’t allow me to breastfeed. Oh what I would have given! I was made to feel like a failure. Both my girls have Autism. I was told that’s the reason (it’s B.S. but still). People are cruel. You madam are the best kind of mom. Never let anyone make you feel otherwise!
    Christine@TheCupcakeBandits recently posted..Homemade Peach Fruit Leather For Back To School #SmartSnacksMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Mallery Reply:

    Oh my goodness! I can’t believe someone would say that to you. :(

    [Reply]

  10. JulieK

    oh my gosh – i loved this honesty … you’re so right. I’m totally into breastfeeding my babies, BUT I know how hard it was for ME (2 months of awfulness, 2 months of I-can-live-with-this-pain until finally it worked out), and I do not think if a mom decides to use formula it’s cause for cricitism.
    I have a friend with MS who just had her first baby 4 months ago, and I know some of what she has had to go through to GET pregnant and then trying to recover from THREE YEARS of being off her meds. It would be ridiculous to tell her she needs to breastfeed, or that she is somehow “failling” if she doesn’t.
    The battle between the two sides just needs to stop!!!
    JulieK recently posted..Cloth Diaper Friday :: Thirsties Newborn AIO Diaper ~ GiveawayMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Mallery Reply:

    Oh my, 3 years is a very long time to be without meds! I have goosebumps right now as I think about what she is going through. She is in my thoughts. :(

    [Reply]

  11. Summer Davis

    When you have another baby, I’ll induce lactation and pump for you, then send it to MI in fancy coolers. :) Everyone has a story, and everyone’s story is different. People have good reasons for choosing the things that they choose and who are we to judge? I hate it when women choke one another out with their “good intentions”. It makes me sick.
    Summer Davis recently posted..Paleo Meal Planning – K.I.S.S.My Profile

    [Reply]

    Mallery Reply:

    There is a story behind everything! It’s sort of like the people who have a baby and realize a loud, laughing child is better than a screaming child in public. I will take giggles over hushing them any day of the week!

    [Reply]

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