It seems like every time I turn around, I’m offending someone. I try to word things in ways that aren’t offensive to formula feeding moms, but it’s difficult to get the point across without causing moms to go on the defensive.
I never judge a mom for formula feeding. I would never try to tell you that you’re a bad mother. Two of my best friends formula fed/feed their children and they know that I don’t see them as lesser persons for it. I think it’s different for them because they know me and we have a friendship. When it’s a stranger it’s much easier to misinterpret what they mean and get offended.
The simple fact is that in our society, breastfeeding is the underdog. In the United States, about 75% of moms try to breastfeed at all, but only about 44% of moms are breastfeeding at six months. Luckily these rates keep getting higher, but a big part of it is educating moms on why they should breastfeed and how to do it.
The biggest factor on whether or not you’ll breastfeed is education. More than income level. More than race. Education is the key to getting more moms to breastfeed. Since we can’t force every woman 18-35 to get a college degree, we have to try to educate them on this one subject. So that’s what I try to do: educate.
So please, don’t take what I’m saying as an attack on formula feeding moms. Please don’t assume that I hate all formula feeding moms. Please don’t assume I think I’m any better than you for breastfeeding. Just know I’m out here trying to inform people. I’m trying to give new and soon-to-be moms the information that will help them succeed. I’m trying to out the booby traps set up by hospitals, workplaces, and society. I’m trying to make breastfeeding be something that’s not socially taboo.
Know that lactivists are out there to help, not to judge.