This blog post was originally published on Aug 27, 2013

Breastfeeding. Breast is best. Liquid gold.


There’s a lot of talk about the benefits of breastfeeding and effects of formula, with mothers on both sides voicing strong opinions and sharing poignant stories about how they’ve fallen victim to society’s growing pressures.

Breastfeeding moms are feeling increasingly marginalized, shy, or even shamed when feeding in public, and told that their milk is either not enough to satiate a baby so they should 'supplement it with formula', or worse, not good enough.

Formula feeding moms who tried to breastfeed and faced an array of challenges often talk about judging themselves first, then feeling judged by those around them. Others talk about falling to increasing pressure about breastfeeding being 'old-fashioned' or even a hassle, so they went straight to formula. Except, having to run out to purchase bottles, refills, formula, and special cleansers, not to mention time spent preparing and then disinfecting bottles does not save mothers time, costs a lot of money, and only frustrates a baby when waiting to be fed.

The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least the first 6 months of a baby’s life, and networks like La Leche League supports mothers in almost every community around the world.

The reality is that, apart from determination, many mothers often feel that a support system is often one of the most assisting factors in her decision to breastfeed, starting with her partner. Community forums congratulate each other on reaching bronze, silver, platinum, and diamond landmarks.

The question is, when did our disconnect happen? When did we accept the image of animals feeding their newborns and view it as a beautiful bonding moment, but scold and discourage mothers for choosing the natural way to feed? When did it become normal to shame mothers for feeding in public?

So with 18 in Mind, make the choice early on, get informed, find a lactation consultant in case your run into obstacles, create a support network, and make the decision that works best for you and your infant – whether it’s breastfeeding or formula. Don’t let others pressure you either way when it is such a personal decision.

Happy parenting,


*This does not apply to the 2% of moms who cannot breastfeed. They need our support, not our judgment.

N.B.: 18 in Mind is a blog about the day your kids turn 18 and the parenting years in between.