Feeling good about how we feed our babies

But things don’t always feel so good

Parents, especially mothers, can end up feeling like they are being judged or even judging themselves.

This isn’t just a problem for one group of parents. It is common for parents to feel like this, however they feed their babies.

And, of course, mothers don’t divide into separate groups. The same woman might feed her first child formula and her second child breastmilk. And many parents end up mixed feeding (combining breastfeeding and formula).

Gabriela struggled with shame about breastfeeding outside the home:

“I found it really difficult to leave the house. I just felt really uncomfortable feeding in public. It felt like everyone was looking at me. Some people seem to be able to feed discretely, but I just wasn’t much good at that.”

Aaliyah wanted to breastfeed, but things did not go as planned: 

“I felt that I had to explain myself to everyone why I was bottle feeding…I cried a lot, especially when I saw other mothers’ breastfeeding. I felt such a failure. My birth was traumatic and then I couldn’t breastfeed…I just kept feeling that I could not give birth “properly” and then couldn’t even feed my own baby. I felt depressed.”

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*Names have been changed and stock photos used to protect anonymity. Some stories have been edited.

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