If you’ve ever breastfed, you know it’s not always a transformative, super-bonding experience. It can be painful at times and cause your self-esteem to take a dive if you’re not producing enough. Yet, some people continue to guilt mothers if they choose to use formula or even pump.
One mom on Reddit has a husband who is super annoyed that, after trying and deciding breastfeeding was not working for her, she stopped and switched to formula. The OP is annoyed that her husband keeps harping on how she is “harming” their baby by this “selfish” action — and she finally snapped.
“I F29 gave birth to my son few weeks ago. My husband’s been super involved throughout my pregnancy and is continuing his support. However, few months ago, we were discussing breastfeeding and he said breastfeeding should be our go to method to provide our son with all the nutrition he needs. Given my medical history, breastfeeding was possible but we couldn’t know for sure til I tried it. And it hurt like hell, absolute hell. Every time I tried to breastfeed I’d experience pain and discomfort. I tried following different ways to make it easier for me but I still got unpleasent feelings. I decided to switch to formula,” the OP writes.
“My husband thought I made a hasty decision by going with formula. He’s done a lot of research on the benefits of breastfeeding and said that not getting breastfed would affect our son’s health and impact his growth and set him up for health issues in the future. I explained my reasons but he kept bringing it up all the time.”
The OP explains that her husband kept bringing it up, and recently criticized her for not trying hard enough and “giving up” on the opportunity to bond with her child. She says that her annoyance grew and that “it seemed like he keeps forgetting why I chose formula but his response was that whatever discomfort I was experiencing, I was being selfish thinking about stuff short term and not realizing how lack of breastfeeding could affect our son in the future. Basically saying I chose my comfort over our son’s health.”
“I lost my temper and in the meanest way, told him that no matter how much he reads online about this subject, I’m the one going through this experience and the pain and discomfort. And said that he should respect my choice to use formula and stop acting like this decision was made out lack of care or consideration for our son. And if he’s worried formula is expensive then it is what it is because If I can’t be healthy then our son can’t either.”
They argued, and the OP accused him of guilt-tripping her. Now, she’s wondering if she should have given him the space to share his opinion.
Look, I think we all know that fed is best and that women should be able to make choices about how they nurture their babies. What do Redditors think the OP should do in this situation?
“FED is best. If breastmilk is so very important to him, there are medical interventions that he can undergo to stimulate his own lactation so that he can breastfeed. It would be selfish of him not to, really, seeing as this is painful and damaging to you and you’ve already used your body to grow and birth this baby,” noted rockabillyrosie.
“Fed and happy parents is actually best! A mother in pain every time she feeds her baby will seriously danger the bonding process (which by the way occurs when you care for a child, not how you feed it),” said Waste-Phase-2857.
“Bottle-feeding is great for allowing the baby to bond with both parents. A lot of parents feel left out if they can’t breastfeed. This is his opportunity to bond with his son, the start of a beautiful relationship. And take some of the workload off your back. If he’s so concerned about your baby bonding with his caregivers, he’s playing himself by not taking on more feeding,” explained a_peanut.
“NTA- He’s guilt-tripping you and as much as he has a right as a parent to be included in decisions of the baby he does not have a right to tell you what you should do with your body. No one does except you and You not breastfeeding because it causes you pain is a great reason but you know what else is a good reason? You simply don’t want to. Also if he can research that much on breastfeeding he should also be able to research that formula is not bad and is absolutely fine for development, especially since half the population has been brought up on it,” said anxiousbutlivinglife.
“NTA. He’s pushing something that puts the physical and emotional burden 100% on you, and bringing it up repeatedly IS pushing it. The milk thing is like a freakin cult. I was guilted into exclusively pumping since BFing wasn’t working. The only reason I don’t regret it, is later learning about multiple food allergies that might’ve made formula-figuring-out even harder. If he’s that concerned, he can go find somewhere to buy safe breastmilk (probably expensive AF btw, due to the effort involved.) I’d be shocked if he could tell the difference between formula and boob kids, in a kindergarten classroom. Fed is best, and the saner you remain, the more you can be there for your baby in other ways that probably matter a lot more,” said PangolinSignal3674.
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