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There are few parenting topics more controversial than how we choose to feed our babies. In an effort to help promote understanding and support, we asked moms to share their stories. Here there are.

If you would like to share yours, click here.




"I always wanted to breastfeed my baby ever since I got pregnant. I was formula fed and I had nothing against it but it just seemed like the obvious choice. When my boy was born I tried and it was so painful. He wouldn't latch correctly so I would scream in pain every single time. Also the nurses at the hospital put a lot of pressure on me which made it worse. When I got home my milk didn't come in. He was losing weight. I prepared this lactation smoothie and I was pumping. My milk finally came in and the pain slowly subsided so I continued my journey. At 3 months he was diagnosed with reflux. He had poor weight gain and was arching his back and then spitting up at every feeding. He needed to regain some weight! My stress about supply was also to the roof. So despite of the judgement of some I decided to supplement with formula and pump so I can control how much he ate. For 2 months I was pumping and giving 1 bottle of formula. It was working very well he was back on his growth curve. Then I got gastro and lost my supply for a few days. I knew that to get it back I had to put him back on the boob. I did and it worked. My supply is back and now he breastfeeds beautifully. I still supplement from time to time when I feel like he didn't take enough and it also helps me destress about supply. The mixed feeding is working for me and I'll continue as long it works."


"I always knew that I would want to breastfeed my children. Breastfeeding was an easy decision due to all the benefits. My daughter is 19 months old and she still nurses at least twice per day. I have had comments from some family members about how long she will continue to nurse and generally I just answer that we will stop when she wants to. I feel sometimes that some people think I should stop nursing her but I don't let these comments affect our nursing relationship. I have no regrets about the way I have decided to feed my daughter. Nursing offers her much more than milk, it's a time to connect, and comforts her when she is upset and sick." - Anonymous


"I chose to formula feed, with my first I got a bad tear while giving birth and was on blood thinners therefor the recovery was very very very long and painful. In addition my daughter was crying all the time because she was hungry I caved and gave her the formula however I had to pass many obstables. I was critized by the nursing staff when I asked for formula. They told me not to give her a bottle but use a spoon that was twice the size of her mouth. With my second, I got an intervention that if I used formula I was poisoning my child and they compared it to drugs. In the end she had jaundice and was loosing weight very fast. My husband had to threaten to either give us the formula or he was going to go out and buy it. If I had to do it all over again I would bring everything from home and throw my feet on the ground. The hospitals, CLSCS and even Doulas need to be more informed on bottle feeding. The minute you say formula feeding they say here you go. I asked what kind of formula and I was told by nurses doesn't matter there all the same. I asked for hot water to warm the bottle, I was told you don't need to. I asked what's the difference between nipples nobody knew. I was told that if I gave more then 2 oz I was overfeeding my child. I understand Breast is best, however for those that are unable to or chose not to they should be able to support them as well. On a side note I did all of my feedings, my husband did not so I still got up every 3 hours like a breast feeding mother. I still bonded with my daughters." - Angela M.


"I chose to breastfeed on demand. I am very happy with my decision and truly love being able to provide for my babies with my breastmilk. I do not like pumping and I find with my second son I never have time or energy to pump so it has restricted anyone helping us or watching the kids. I have definitely felt judged breastfeeding in public and had a lady in Fairview once come up to me while I was feeding my first son who was only a few weeks old while eating lunch with my mom in the food court. The lady started yelling at me and said her husband was watching... I was shocked and ended up telling her to mind her own business and if her husband finds my feeding my infant off putting she clearly has bigger problems than my life choices. She was then asked to leave by security. On a different side I was grocery shopping with my second son when he was only a few weeks and was breastfeeding him while shopping pushing the cart with my free hand. I had a few people stop and tell me how amazing I was, it felt really good to be praised by strangers." - Maeghan A.


"I started breastfeeding and my milk never came in... I had to supplement with formula almost immediately... I had to breastfeed, followed by 15-20 minutes of pumping immediately after, and take domperidone. I even fed my baby with a syringe. I tried taping a feeding tube to my nipples to simulate breastfeeding. It was an endless cycle. By 3 months, my baby was almost fed exclusively formula except for 3 oz of breastmilk here and there. I kept up the whole process up for 6 months. I felt like a complete failure. I didn't want to attend some of the CLSC mom and tot groups or la leche league groups because I felt I would be judged. As a result, I was very housebound and isolated. Looking back, I would have switched to formula right away. The whole process was anxiety provoking and exhausting!" - Anonymous


"I chose the breastfeed exclusively from day one. I've always been a little turned off at the thought of feeding humans (even adults) milk from another mammal. This was one of the main reasons for my decision to breastfeed. As I learned more about the benefits of breastfeeding I have become a huge advocate for it! At the same though, I try to remain understanding of others' decision not to breastfeed (which is difficult for me, the thought of drinking another mammal's milk intended for their young kind of grosses me out). But in the end as long as your baby is alive and well that's all that REALLY matters I think. :) Being judged for breastfeeding I think depends on what stage you're at. It seems acceptable and almost always encouraged to breastfeed your child in the early stages of infancy, but then comes a time when others start to judge you for breastfeeding "too long." I am often asked how long I plan to breastfeed for and when I answer, "as long as she (my daughter) wants" I get strange looks. Although I stand by my answer and refuse to let anyone influence me otherwise I still have to fight these akward feelings of guilt or shame. This frustrates me even more and actually leaves me more determined to continue doing what I'm doing. I don't think I would do anything differently if I had a do-over. I told myself from the beginning that breastfeeding was my only option. It's free. It's a normal, natural way to feed your baby and promotes a bonding experience. Had I given myself the option of formula feeding I would have given up within the first 3 weeks. Breastfeeding is freaking hard! So telling myself I had another option would have made it way too easy to give up. If I could go back in time I'd tell myself not to be so self-conscious about breastfeeding. Do more research. The more knowledge you have from the beginning normalizes breastfeeding and thus would probably have made me feel less self-conscious about it. :)" - Anonymous


"With my first I delivered in Montreal and was beyond stressed and basically told by nurses that if I did not breastfeed he would have disabilities if I did not breastfeed. I was even yelled at in the hospital by one terrible nurse. I cried and cried. I lasted 4 months and then switched to formula. I wasn't making enough milk I was an emotional disaster. With my second I had her in British Columbia (Langley) with a midwife and it was a come tell different experience. I was calm and embraced the entire experience much more. Now that being said I had a terrible time trying to wean my daughter off my boob! She was a week shy of turning two when I finally got her off. I know according to the WHO I did fabulous, but that is a lot of stress and commitment on someone. Both times I felt judged. With my son, when he was still so tiny and I'd pull out a bottle I got death stares and comments. With my daughter as a toddler walking over and pulling at my shirt for "boobie" I got the same. Either way I got stares and comments. If I had a third I would try to combine the way I fed my first two. Some formula and some breast. Try and give the baby the best of both world with a lot less stress on myself. If I could go back in time I would tell myself, to relax, do what you can and you are an amazing mom. Don't listen to anyone and do what feels right to YOU!" - Lorrie S.


"I chose to formula feed cause that's how I was fed as a baby. When I mentioned this to my husband he was ok with it until my sister-in-law and mother-in-law found out and pressured me to breastfeed telling me that my baby won't be as smart as breastfed babies and won't get the nutrients she needs. I felt that if I breastfed she would be more malnourished as I'm a picky eater myself. My 9 month old has shocked her pediatrician on many occasions as she's doing things that a 1 year old or even older is doing. I would not change my decision and the next baby will be formula fed as well. I have no regrets." - Anonymous


"I knew I wanted to breastfeed from the beginning. I am not a "lactivist" or breastfeeding fundie, but it is what I wanted to do, and I tried my very best to make it happen. I honestly can't recall what influenced my decision beyond the fact that it just seemed like the most obvious choice to me. I knew that my mother had breastfed my siblings and me. She only breastfed us for 3 weeks, but spoke lovingly about her time nursing her twins (my sister and me). My mother and I don't have a great relationship, and there was a lot of abuse in our family, but I like to think that during these times, when she was sitting in a dark room with her twin nurslings, that there was nothing but love flowing from her body into ours. I suppose cost and convenience were also factors that influenced me since breastfeeding is free and you don't need to bring bottles with you anywhere, but I think wanting to have that deep emotional bond with my baby through nursing influenced me. I don't want to imply that formula fed babies don't enjoy a similar bond and I hope not to offend women who chose to formula feed or women who couldn't breastfeed. I was almost one of those women. It took weeks to get my son to latch and he was formula fed for his first week. At the end of the day, a baby needs to be fed in whatever way best suits everyone. I am so thankful that formula nourished my baby in the hospital and at home when I couldn't nourish him myself. Formula gave us the kick start we so desperately needed. Did I ever feel judged or criticized? Yes, I felt judged when people around me saw our struggles and made comments like "Well, he probably doesn't like your milk, and you're starving him". We struggled with nursing issues for quite a few months, but I am persistent and toughed it out. I had an abundance of help and support, though, from my community, my husband, lactation consultants, doctors, nurses, the CLSC, etc. As my son got older, I was judged and criticized constantly about extended nursing. At nearly 19 months, we are still nursing and I get comments all the time about how I should probably stop or how it's gross now that he can ask for it (more milky!). If I had a do-over, I would have gotten more help earlier. I would have demanded to see a lactation specialist in the hospital. Apparently, LaSalle has one, but nobody ever told me and not a single nurse fetched him or her for me when I was crying in the hospital with a starving newborn who couldn't latch due to an undiagnosed (at the time) severe upper lip tie and tongue tie. I would also have asked more questions. The nurses saw "Breastfed" on our chart, and so when we buzzed them every 2 hours for formula so we could feed our starving child, they gave us half the recommended amount assuming that I would nurse him afterwards to compensate for the missing milliliters of milk that he so desperately needed. He ended up losing nearly 2lbs in the hospital and they let us take him home. When the CLSC nurse saw him at our home visit, she immediately told us to send all visitors away and to focus on feeding our son. She was horrified when she found out how little formula we were feeding him. We told her that the hospital told us to feed him that amount. Turns out it was half as much as he was supposed to be eating. Oops. I was still trying to establish a milk supply and fed him whatever I could pump, which was very little. Next time, I will know better. I will not starve my infant unknowingly and I will ask questions and make demands. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself not to break down and sob every day like I did for 3 weeks until my baby finally latched. I would tell myself that yes, it WILL happen. He WILL latch. I would tell myself to trust myself and to trust my body and to trust my baby. I would tell myself to get all the help I needed and to always say YES to any help offered. I would tell myself that I was doing a great job and that it's ok to struggle and it's ok to want this as much as I wanted it. I would tell myself to speak up earlier. To not be so down on myself. We did it! We DID it! He's almost 19 months old and every night, he desperately demands more milky and it's there. Every morning, he wraps his giant toddler body around me and snuggles into the nursing pillow to drink with his eyes closed and one hand running through my hair. We did it. And we will continue to do it until he asks no more." - Jen D.



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