Baby

Here’s the Secret About Breastfeeding: Your Baby Will Be Fine Even If You Don’t Do It

by Meredith Gordon

Photograph by Twenty20

Ugh, it’s the great breastfeeding debate again.

It’s back, rearing its ugly, judgmental head. Honestly, aren’t we past caring whether or not other people nurse their babies or not? Aren’t we all so busy trying to raise our own kids without losing our minds? Who actually has the time to have an opinion on other people’s boobs? Well, the internet does, I guess. And the latest victim of such inappropriate online nosiness appeared to be pregnant "Southern Charm" star Cameran Eubanks. Luckily, Eubanks is no shrinking violet.

After receiving an avalanche of direct messages on social media asking her whether or not she was going to nurse her impending baby girl, Eubanks had enough. The pregnant star posted an amazing video message on Instagram, admitting that while she planned to nurse her child, she still resented the question.

She goes on to say, “If it doesn’t work, I will then pump. And if the pumping doesn’t work, then I will happily stick a bottle of formula in my baby’s mouth and she will turn out fine. If the formula doesn’t work, then I will go to Chik-Fil-A and get a No. 3 value-size, put that in a blender and spoon-feed her. And I’m fairly certain she’s going to like that ‘cause it’s the only thing she’s been eating for the past nine months anyway.”

Amen!

Like Eubanks, I can’t help but wonder why anyone cares. I got asked the same question with each of my two pregnancies and not only have I never felt comfortable having a discussion about my breasts, I also couldn't help bit wonder if those asking really felt they had a right to an opinion on the right way to feed my child.

Here's the thing: There is no "right" way. I can tell you firsthand that your baby will be just fine whether you breastfeed or not.

So, let’s lay off asking each other how we’re going to feed our babies and instead remind each other that those babies will be just fine, no matter what.

I know that’s not what the breastfeeding army wants new moms to think but it really doesn't matter—to the baby, that is. My two kids are perfect proof. My first never had formula or even a bottle. That was a long year for me, that left me totally drained and relieved when I weaned him. My second child, on the other hand, only had bottles and never had breast milk. Nursing simply wasn’t something I could take on the second time around and formula seemed to suit both of us.

I was sure I was a bad mom for not nursing my little one. I feared all the formula bad press and felt like I was letting her—and an entire generation of women—down. I had heard breastfed babies get sick less often and connect with their mothers easier and quicker. But as it turns out, my formula-fed child gets sick less often than her breast milk-fed brother. And since my husband often accuses me of being obsessed with the little one, I’m pretty sure we haven’t had a hard time connecting.

The point is, when it comes to breastfeeding, new moms have a right to choose what works best for themselves, their baby, their schedule and their basic desire. They shouldn’t have to endure needless and endless questions from anyone who has an opinion on how they’re going to feed that baby.

Being a new mom is stressful enough with a whole host of unknowns coming along with that baby. So, let’s lay off asking each other how we’re going to feed our babies and instead remind each other that those babies will be just fine, no matter what.

Trust me, it’s us who have a hard time with the decision—not them.

Explore More: advice, breastfeeding, baby feeding
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