Ask Kat: Choosing Not to Breastfeed
As the mum of three small boys, an expert in baby products and a no-nonsense parent, resident blogger Kat Armstrong always seems to be called upon by friends, family and strangers to answer tough parenting questions. We thought it was high time she shared this knowledge with you, and her series Ask Kat was born. If you have questions for Kat, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re having our second baby this summer, and I’ve decided not to breast feed. With our first, it was months and months of low weight, stress, sadness and frustration until we switched to formula, and I was so very grateful to finally have the pressure off! I’m afraid to tell people this, because everyone wants to know everything and even strangers have asked me if I breast feed my kids! How do I tell people to back off?
Kudos to you for knowing what works best for your family! All of my kids had formula at some point, because they needed it (or I needed them to have it). There is absolutely NO SHAME in that. There is also no shame in knowing that you do not want to put yourself or your baby through months of stress and sadness.
I think that in situations like these, especially because they are so hard, you can go one of two routes. You can politely redirect the conversation and change the subject (which usually works like a charm) or you can be really cheeky.
“Are you planning on breast feeding baby number two?”
“You know, we really love our midwives and are very excited to be working with them again!”
“Will you breastfeed your baby?”
“I don’t breast feed, it goes against my belief in freedom of personal expression as brought about by my religion – that of the Flying Spaghetti Monster ™”
Obviously, that second one is a little far fetched, but you get the idea.
It’s hard being a parent, especially since EVERYONE seems to have something to say about it. The more you try and let it roll off your back, the easier it will be. Keep doing you, and keep being the awesome mom you are!