Breastfeeding Mothers VS Formula Feeding Mothers: Why Are We At War?

Breastfeeding Mothers VS Formula Feeding Mothers: Why Are We At War?

 Breastfeeding Mothers VS Formula feeding mothers? The war is real.

Yes, moms are more and more on a war footing:
-those who are breastfeeding feel discriminated and often ridiculed, targeted by all those who consider breastfeeding inopportune, “not so great” and weird, especially once the child reaches 6 months age.
-those who give artificial milk feel equally attacked by those who constantly tell them how important and amazing breast milk is.

As a breastfeeding mother myself, for some time now I have been wondering why mothers who have not nursed their babies feel offended when they hear or read about breastfeeding.

I am aware that this post of mine will unleash a tussle of no small amount but I truly want to understand what happens in the mothers who experience such negative feelings.
Following a couple of recent posts of mine,these last few weeks I received messages and comments (especially on social media) of mothers defending their choice to formula feed ( even if their choice was NOT attacked by me in the first place).
As if just by writing about breastfeeding my intent ( and those of others that do the same), was to blame those who could not breastfeed.
Far from me!
So I ask myself: What happens to mothers who have not nursed their babies? Why do you feel so guilty? Why do you always feel like your feeding choices are called in question? Why are you offended? And why are you so angry against nursing mothers? Against us.
My intent is not, I repeat, to offend or hurt the mothers who have not nursed.
Whether you believe it or not, I despise judgement in any shape or form, I believe in support rather than war.
What is this battle really about?
Should we not be the first supporters of ourselves? Should we not be empowering each other instead of tearing each other apart?
And I wonder: why if I, or any one else writes that artificial milk is deficient compared to the maternal one ( FACT), we are being crucified by those who accuse us of offending and insulting formula feeding mothers?
Basically, as soon as anyone talks about breastfeeding, here comes the army of those who wrongly translate every word you say into a threat, an offence towards those who did not breastfeed.


There are mothers who choose not to breastfeed and they do it with awareness. If you did not breastfeed and it was your choice, why do you hold it against me?

I believe in spreading correct information on breastfeeding, in encouraging the creation of a breastfeeding culture and in making it easier for mothers and families to breastfeed.
How does that affect those that make different choices? What does it take away from them? What exactly?

If a mother breastfeeds her child, she is not lucky or a genius or a myth. It is simply a mother who had the correct information or a mother who had a strong motivation and wanted to breastfeed. It is, perhaps, a mother who has been supported and helped by well-trained breastfeeding consultants or midwives.
Because, while it is true that breastfeeding is a natural thing, nowadays there is so much external interference (artificial milks, pacifiers, baby bottles and multinationals that try to speculate) that yes, sometimes succeeding in breastfeeding is almost an act of heroism .
I know mothers who have failed to breastfeed and feel guilty. They feel at fault for failing. And I get that. I was almost one. I had a glimpse of what if feels like.
Mothers that at the time of delivery may have felt alone and abandoned by everyone. Not surprisingly, one of the reasons why most mothers do not breastfeed is precisely the lack of support and help from healthcare facilities.
Considering this, I can empathise with the way these mothers react, I can also understand it.
But what about all the others? Those who chose not to breastfeed, or who chose to stop breastfeeding?
Why do these mothers feel threatened by articles or speeches about breastfeeding?
There are mothers who choose not to breastfeed and they do it with awareness. If you did not breastfeed it was your choice, why do you hold it against me? What troubles you when I talk about breastfeeding?
Is it pressure? – we have them too!

Mothers who do not breastfeed say they are tired of being subjected to external pressure by those who consider them to be inexperienced or unnatural mothers or selfish. Do we want to talk about the pressure I suffer from nursing my children?

-If you nurse on the street you’re a shameless woman who shows her boobs to everyone.
-If you nurse to natural term you are a fanatic or a weirdo.
-If you are nursing you’re old-fashioned and you do not understand anything. You are a mother who wants to raise a “dependent” child.
-If you breastfeed beyond the year of life, your child could have serious problems.
-If you refuse to wean your child according to the paediatrician’s instructions, you are crazy.

In short, it does not seem to me that the life of breastfeeding mothers are full of people who compliment you and tell you good.
On the contrary: If you bottle-feed in public no one feels offended by your gesture. Nobody takes you away from the post office and the Minister does not have to make a law specifically for you.
For us, yes, because we are not free! If you feed your baby with a bottle, you’re a cutting-edge mother. Your child will not be a mama boy but will have a good chance of being a “normal” child. My son no! If you bottle-feed you might get a chance to do some shopping, hairdressing, jogging. Not me. I’m chained with my son in tow! I go to the hairdresser with him attached to the breast. But then I get criticised: “If you do not learn to take your space you will become a slave to him!”

So dear mothers who have not nursed, try to understand, it is not a war between us. It is not a war against you. We need solidarity between mothers, not people who are offended and blame each other. Let’s help each other. We are always and always will be mothers. Only in this way  we can live in a world free of prejudice!


We can all make mistakes because it is normal to have uncertainties and fragility, especially when it comes to raising another human being.

Us breastfeeding mothers often talk about the “magic” of breastfeeding, and the “magic” bond that it creates.
But I also believe, no, actually I know for a fact, that bottle feeding mothers have their magic too, same as strong and powerful. And I would never dream of stating the contrary.
After the birth of my first child, due to injury I was prescribed strong medication when he was only a few weeks old. I had to stop breastfeeding for 10 days. I was devastated. But the bond and the magic I had found during the first days when he first latched on to my breast weren’t lost. I was the exact same mom, holding my baby. I couldn’t be any less.

Matter of fact is, both of us are often on the defensive because there is always someone who judges us. Add to this a whole range of feelings of guilt and insecurities deriving from the new role of mom and crazy hormones (which are not certainly to be underestimated) that force you to deal with yourself, with your priorities, your frailties.
Being continually challenged and criticised generates arrogance and frustration, which many, unable to go out and alone at home with their child, vent in arguments and long sterile discussions on social networks and various moms forums.
The simple truth is, we all want only the best for our children and we can all make mistakes because it is normal to have uncertainties and fragility, especially when it comes to raising another human being that we love immeasurably.
We need to be understood and supported, whatever the choice we make, not being criticised. We need to be accepted, embraced and cuddled, something that often our companions and husbands and all those close to us forget to do, perhaps too busy with every day’s struggles. We need to feel appreciated, important and not isolated and alone.

We also need more solidarity and understanding among us mothers. Why? Because the perfect mother does not exist.
Perhaps, the time has come to suspend the judgement, towards ourselves and towards others. The time to listen, really listen before voicing our thoughts and opinions not only to others, but first of all to ourselves.

Whatever your choice, your circumstance, your situation. Whatever it is that leads to your feeding choice, you are a mother just like me. You are not perfect, I am not perfect. But we give 100% to our children, we are raising little humans, that is not joke, not for me neither for you. We demand respect and appreciation from others for that.

But how about we respect and appreciate each other first, just a little bit more?


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12 Replies to “Breastfeeding Mothers VS Formula Feeding Mothers: Why Are We At War?”

  1. You write….“And I wonder why if I, or any one else writes that artificial milk is deficient compared to the maternal one (FACT), we are being crucified by those who accuse us of offending and insulting formula feeding mothers?” You also write that breastfeeding “ simply a mother who had the correct information…”

    You are seriously writing an article, claiming that formula feeding is “deficient” and breastfeeding is “correct” while simultaneously unable to understand why formula using parents feel attacked?

    I am all for either method, as long as babies get fed. Feed your baby however, whenever, and wherever you like. I’m all for it, as long as the baby is getting satisfactory nutrition. Neither side should shame the other. There shouldn’t even be sides. But if you don’t see that your comments are actually flaming this polarity, you are out of touch with yourself.

    1. I came here to say exactly this.
      I was right with her about it being no ones business and the judgement needing to stop then she contradicted herself in the next breathe, spew her opinions as facts.
      Pretty sad considering she apparently feels judged. This could have been an awesome article but it’s just another poorly disguised boob brigade rant, literally on actual facts with a heaped helping of guilt trip, shaming and condescending BS.

  2. Thanks for your comment and feedback. I can see your point. Allow me to explain mine. I don’t claim Formula is wrong . I do believe however that breastmilk is not equal to formula. This is reality, denying that doesn’t do anyone any favour. Perhaps the term I used “deficient” is perceived as an attack, but that truly wasn’t my intention. Do I believe that breast is best? That breastfeeding is always best? No. Absolutely not. I believe that what a mother chooses according to her medical, personal circumstances is what is best. But she needs to be able to make an informed decision also. I wrote this after I was personally attacked by a formula feeding mom, for my choice to breastfeed in spite of an injury sustained (due to medical negligence) during birth. Because according to this person I was trying to be a hero. I wasn’t. I simply wanted to breastfeed. And here I am trying to understand why, for those mums who made the conscious decision to go with formula,( these are the moms I address in the article) there is this need of putting us down so much. This article is a year old, I got my answers since then. I see there are bf mothers who also shame ff ones, it is undoubtedly a two way thing. You tell a big truth: there shouldn’t even be sides. FF mother, BF mothers, labels, labels! My consolation is that our children will not have to bare this. They will not have to wear these labels we mothers are given. Also, to be fair, the article shared on socials, is not the original, the headline has been changed to be unnecessary provocative. Although I see how some points I make, could have been phrased in a better way. That’s why I thank you again for your feedback.

  3. There’s a mixture of feelings coming from the anti Breastfeeding group, guilt denial and inadequacy. They think those who support Breastfeeding automatically mean they aren’t good enough because they don’t / didn’t Breastfeed. Absolutely no logic comes into it whatsoever

  4. The act or the method of feeding babies is not what is or has ever been in question or should even be debated; however breast milk, created by humans for humans is superior to formula in it’s benefits. They may be able to mimic the nutrition, but breast milk is live it contains antibodies, and genetic material, and actually transmits information between the mother and baby. Formula can’t do any of that. Formula cannot change to meet the needs of your baby’s health and wellness. It just can’t. That is the truth that some people just can’t seem to get, or just don’t want to. Nobody is saying formula isn’t amazing, we are just sharing in the splendor of how wonderful the benefits of breast milk are.

  5. I’ve been wondering all these things myself. I’m part of a community for mothers online, and recently wrote a post on how my child self-weaned at almost 2 years. I shared that I had mixed feelings, as we had very positive breastfeeding journey and I’m sad it’s over, but it’s also bittersweet because I have my body back and we can now move on to bigger and better things. I shared that the beginning was rough… really rough… and I thought I wouldn’t be able to continue, but after seeking help from multiple lactation consultants and attending a breastfeeding class, was able to persevere. I shared that I was proud of both my daughter and I for overcoming the obstacles we were faced with and turning what was once a miserable, painful, sleepless and tearful experience into something so positive and special.
    You wouldn’t believe the number of formula-feeding moms who hijacked my post and turned it into a breastmilk vs formula debate because they were offended and felt personally attacked by my story. One woman even told me that “if breastfeeding was such hell in the beginning like you described, you could have stopped there instead of trying to be Supermom. It’s that attitude right there that proves you’re one of *those* moms who is holier than thou and that attitude is highly offensive!” I responded to her and explained that I most definitely do not think of myself as “holier than thou” and that breastfeeding was simply really important to me. So much so that at that time I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel until I tried everything and exhausted all options. She responded back and said “I had to quit when my baby was 5 days, are you saying I didn’t try hard enough???” And I was like WHAT?! NO I am NOT saying that! I don’t even know you! I don’t know your story or what you experienced! I was talking about MY life. I was talking about ME, and MY feelings about MY body and MY baby! I was honestly so confused why so many women took offense to my life. Especially since I didn’t even mention formula. Not once. I said absolutely nothing about thinking I’m better than others (I DON’T). I said absolutely nothing about mothers who formula feed. I said absolutely nothing about formula in general nor did I say anything along the lines of “breast is best”. Again, I was talking about MY journey feeding MY child.
    Look, mom shaming is a real thing and I’m 100% against it. I’m very much against judging of any kind, and as someone who HAS been mom shamed myself (yes regarding breastfeeding, but also other things), I know how awful it feels. Nobody deserves that. Mom shaming is awful. But it’s also awful to put words in others’ mouths and get offended based on what you “think” they may feel about a topic or “think” they are implying.
    We are all doing what is best for our children and guess what? We all do things differently. We all have different experiences. So what in the world is the point of getting offended by someone just because they are walking a different path than you are?
    I have come to the conclusion that these women have issues of their own that they are projecting onto others. They feel insecure and guilty about their own choices and abilities, and are jealous of and angry with anyone who dares to “succeed” in things they wish they had 🤷🏼‍♀️

    1. Hi Anna, thank you for reading and most of all for sharing your story. Every word you said I agree with, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I had similar experiences, with my first born I was victim of medical negligence and had serious complication, which resulted in pain, struggles, being on and off the hospital for 2 months and slow recovery. Yet, I wanted to breastfeed, and so I did, exclusively and from day one. It was far from easy due to the pain. A mom told me I was trying to be a superhero. And that is where this post comes from. You are absolutely right, as harsh as it sounds, people that make comments like that have unresolved issues. It didn’t work for them then it must not work for anybody else and anyone who dares celebrate their achievements is trying to shame them. I would love to read your post if that’s OK. Do you have a page?

      1. Stefania – It’s actually an app and you have to pay for the “Social” part. And, I actually deleted my post because it turned into something I didn’t want. Just a bunch of negativity and ugliness. It’s really too bad.

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