Why do Mothers/parents choose to formula feed?

I know this is going to offend a lot of people, but I am honestly just trying to understand why birth Mother/parents willingly choose formula over breastfeeding. I know many women and babies cannot breastfeed, and that is not what I am talking about here. I mean women who make milk when their babies are born, and choose to buy artificial milk and stick a plastic nipple in their baby’s mouth, instead of bringing baby to the breast to drink the special-made super duper healthy immune-boosting milk that our bodies make for our babies. Please enlighten me–it just seems so unbelievable that SO many people make this choice. AGAIN, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE WHO CANNOT BREASTFEED, I AM TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE WHO CAN BUT CHOOSE NOT TO.


25 thoughts on “Why do Mothers/parents choose to formula feed?”

  1. Some women are worried about how it will affect their breasts. They are being selfish. You seem like you are a Breast feeding Nazi. I have breast fed my son for 6 months, and I accept what other parents have chosen.

  2. I have asked this question, and have been told that some women are simply not comfortable with feeding a baby at their breast. Some consider the breast a sexual object, and can’t switch their thinking. Others feel it’s a little too close to nature for them. Some don’t know any other way – all the babies they ever saw fed from bottles.

  3. I have no idea. I think it is or was socially acceptable. I mean you don’t get the weird looks when you bottle feed in public like the one you get breastfeeding. For me I breastfed both my kids and it made me feel good knowing my kids were getting the best food as possible

  4. we all make choices and not one of us has the right to really Question them…..

  5. I breastfeed my daughter for 3 monbths, but when I went back to work it was tough. I was a single parent and I’m in the military, I work between 12 to 18 hours a day and I wasn’t always able to eat properly to give my daughter the best nutrients. Honestly, I wonder if I would have continued if my daughter wouldn’t have all the food allergies and illnesses that she suffers from, even though her doctor assured me that everything was hereditary and it may have not been prevented anyway. But really, you should lighten up on other mothers, because everyone can’t sit home and breastfeed or have the time to pump milk as you do.

  6. I know what you mean…I am 100% for breastfeeding. But I think there is more than one answer. Some women are shy and think that they will have to show there breast….god forbid. Some women smoke and don’t want any chemicals getting to their baby. Some women want the father’s to be involved more and bottle feeding allows some more bonding time for them. Some women drink or do drugs and the reason is obvious in this case. Some women simply don’t understand the benifits. I figure as long as no one had bothered me about nursing in public or nursing till my soon was 2…..then I have no right judging thir choices either. Bottle feeding may not be the absolute best for us…but it is for some women. And you just have to respect their decision. It is still perfectly healthy for babies to drink, and they are reformulating it all the time to make it better and better for babies. Don’t worry about it….it’s not that big of a deal…….

  7. I am nursing two babies, 21 months and 6 months, and MANY people do not understand why I continue to nurse my older one, so it does go both ways =)

    As stated, some women just don’t understand or appreciate that breasts are MEANT for suckling babies. Many women are influenced by their parents or siblings, just like with intervened childbirth.

    If you go back to the 1940s-1950, women were NOT ALLOWED to nurse their babies if they delivered at a hospital. There is a whole generation where women who went to the hospital were knocked out during labor, the child extracted by use of forceps, and the woman and child “quarantined” from each other for seven days. The belief was that “science” was better than Nature, and there was no reason for women to nurse.

    That thinking pervaded some people through generations, even though now it is proven otherwise it simply isn’t considered appropriate for women’s breasts to be exposed for nursing.

    Add to that the stress of having to return to work, and that kind of bonding becomes a burden, one that some of us don’t understand but have to accept.

  8. i had my daughter 4 months ago. i was told by all the doctors that i could breastfeed. but, i started chemotherapy about 3 weeks after she was born, and didnt feel comfortable letting her breastfeed, and me having all those chemicals in my body. they said it wouldnt hurt her, but really, how can they be so sure…….

  9. maybe the reason for these is that they may find hard to feed their baby or they may ashamed when they go outside

  10. Less than 1% of all women cannot breastfeed. The rest are given bad advice or choose not to. I have never understood the choice not to. It is the lesser food and yet so many choose it. I really don’t get it either. The only reasons I have ever heard are that they don’t want to feel “tied down” (then why have a baby?), they want to drink etc (good reason), or they don’t wan their breasts to sag (like that’s not going to happen anyway). I’ve never heard a good reason outside of the 1% who can’t because of the removal of a breast, a communicable disease, or taking medications to control a non-communicable disease that would have side-effects for the baby. The number of women who “don’t make enough milk” is less than 30 women worldwide per generation, yet I’ve heard at least that many say that on Y!Answers. I honestly think the reason is inadequate education. Starting back in high school Biology and right on through pregnancy education in hospitals and clinics.

  11. i choose not to cause i feel it is gross i tied with my first and it was very weird and uncomfortable i could nt do ne thing..with my second i did not want to cause i have a toddler and i did not want him to b around that..and y would it matter we all make are decisons for are selfs not to please the public. i personally find it gross but THAT IS MY OPINION AND I AM TITLED TO IT..

  12. I don’t know if this qualifies under your definition of “cannot breastfeed,” but I suffered from postpartum depression after my second child was born – we’d lost our first at 17 days and I think I freaked out a bit when I brought the second one home. I was terrified of everything, and hormones were raging (as they do in everyone postpartum) – I was at a point where mentally, I didn’t want anything to do with this little one, and trying to breastfeed, although I had ample milk supply, was physically and mentally taxing. After 11 days of doing it, I broke down and realized that something had to give – since I didn’t want to hurt her or myself, I had to let it go. I made the choice to get more sleep and have my husband help out more, LITERALLY for the safety of my child and my sanity.

    When my third was born, I was again a little hormonal, but MUCH better – however, I now had a toddler running around and no prior “successful” breastfeeding experience, so I gave up after 9 days.

    While I do regret not breastfeeding my children, I also see that they are happy, healthy, intelligent, and NONE THE WORSE FOR WEAR!!! I agree 100% that breastfeeding is best – but oh my GOD already – can we please just give up the debate? “Tit Nazi’s” (as my husband refers to them) are not going to change the minds of formula feeders, and vice versa. Good moms are good moms because they love their kids, spend time with them, nurture them in any way possible. There are HORRIBLE mothers out there who breastfeed and still neglect or otherwise harm their kids. It’s not the end-all of being a good mom.

  13. At first i choose not to while i was pregnant because i was not comfortable with the idea but the more i learned about it the more i wanted to do it…i was getting very excited about breastfeeding but then was unable to do so….it really made me feel upset and people still make me feel bad…i tried for about a month but then was advised by my Doctor to stop trying….

  14. Many of us grow up in an environment that looks upon it as unnatural and gross. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, but there aren’t many resources in rural and poor areas. I think with lots of support and lots of education, breastfeeding can once again become the norm.

    If a “boob nazi” (as people like to call us) can change even one woman’s perspective on feeding her child, then I say it’s worth it.

  15. Why? Because it’s their choice…and really it doesn’t matter what their own personal reasons are…and who are you to judge anyway??? Why do some parents home school, why do some parents spank, why do some mothers have the TV babysit their kids??? It’s all about how they want to parent and raise their child…You wouldn’t want somebody telling you how to raise your kid now would you??? Good for you that you breast feed, buy worry about you and your kid, not how your neighbor or stranger is feeding hers.

  16. We live in society where breast are looked at as purely sexual. That makes many women uncomfortable with it and often pregnant women have concerns about it “feeling sexual”. In many areas bottle feed is what is the cultural norm. When I decided to breastfeed, my family was shocked and told me “why don’t you just bottle feed”. When I was still breastfeeding my son at 9 months, I even go nasty comments from the nurses at the doctors office. ” Isn’t it time to wean him” Or ” You could just put him on the bottle”.
    Bottle feeding is also more convent.My son wouldn’t take a bottle. So daddy or anyone else was unable to feed him. I went several months without being able to leave his side.
    Their will always be women who chose to bottle fed for their their own reasons. However, if breastfeeding became more culturally acceptable and their was more support available, more women would choose to do so.

  17. Did you know that home grown organic fruit and vegetables are supposed to be healthier than any other food yet millions of people buy their food from a supermarket as i am sure you do. why do they do this? Because its more convenient and really you can still be healthy with food purchased from a store. your a fuck wit that needs a good head slap

  18. Because it is OUR bodies and some of us don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding. And when did milk from cows and goats become artificial? When did the juice from soy plants become artificial…Artificial means manmade. Soy milk and rice milk come from NATURAL plants that grown on this planet and are not man made. I suggest you read up on what is nature made and what is artificial…you obviously are a bit undereducated in that department.

  19. I breast fed my baby until I went back to work at 6 weeks after delivery and due to my job, I cannot pump at work. I did pump while at home in between nursing to give my little one as much breastmilk as I could before switching to formula… Some women just are not comfortable having a baby attached to their breast and especially in public. I would never breastfeed my son while I was out. I took a bottle with me because I am not comfortable with the situation. Sure breastmilk is the best, but formula does no harm to an infant. Get over it that not all people want to breastfeed, at least they are feeding and taking care of their little ones.

  20. You def do not sound like a “boob nazi” I think that those who have answered in angry tones defending their right to make their own decision just feel guilty that they were not woman enough to do what is right for their child. I have been trying to understand this same thing – and often I will hear things like “I tried for like a week and it was hard so I just stopped. Me stressing over it isn’t good for the baby.” This excuse makes NO SENSE at all. And for those of you who think that anything other than breast milk is a natural thing to feed your child think again. No other milk/formula on earth is made exclusively for your baby! How ridiculous would it be if someone decided to use human milk to feed a baby cow? That cow wouldn’t stand a chance because it doesn’t have the ingredients needed to sustain life and thrive.

  21. #1 People have been led to believe (by a massive marketing assault) that “formula” is just as good or just as nutritious as breast milk. (which is a lie)

    #2 People are lazy, and they rather have daddy do the night shift.

    #3 A stupid superficial society has convinced us that our breasts are for our husbands and boyfriends and not out babies.

    Those are the only possible reasons (besides “health” reasons) that I can think of that people wouldn’t breastfeed…

    I don’t even feed my dog “formulated food” …I would never think of feeding my baby some crap that comes out of a lab.

    Any “milk” that can sit on the shelf at target for months at a time…is not the “milk” that will EVER go into my baby.

    I make homemade dogfood, and I run a household, and I work 40+ hours a week, and I make my baby food and I breastfeed….and I’m just a regular person…I’m no supermom…If I can manage…anyone can.

    I don’t understand the women that don’t even try and just choose to go straight to formula. I thought the point was to protect our children…and keep the toxic chemicals and crap intake to a minimum while we could…opting to make it their primary source of food just makes no sense to me.

    To each her own…but I just don’t get it.

    ***Firefighter – We may have all been created differently as you say…however…we were all given mammary glands…seeing as how …we are mammals.

    And I’m sorry so many people are confused about this…but THATS WHAT BREASTS ARE FOR.

    And hubby can help just as much with a bottle of expressed breastmilk as he can with a bottle of formula.

    I can’t think of a single reason that formula would ever be considered a suitable replacement.

    If you do any research as far as the chemicals found in formula and additionally, the nutrients NOT found in it…it just doesn’t compare.

    It doesn’t make you a bad mother, and I’m not “knocking you”
    But…as I stated in my first post….

    To each her own but I still don’t get it.

  22. I find it pretty offensive that people think that women who chose formula over breastmilk are selfish, or that we are lazy…that is closed-minded thinking. First of all, I didn’t make this baby by myself, and I’m sure as heck not going to raise it by myself, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I need my husband to help me, whether it’s night feedings, or when I need to get out of the house for an hour to go walk and center myself. I always thought I would breastfeed my child, and after I got pregnant for some reason my mind changed and I was no longer comfortable with the idea. There’s no way I would be successful doing something I don’t want to do or feel comfortable doing, and if I’m uncomfortable, my baby will be too.

    If you choose to breastfeed, more power to you, and the same if you choose formula like I did. We are all mothers, and there’s no reason to knock each other down for the things we do or don’t do. We were all created differently for a purpose, if we were all the same this world would be mighty boring!

  23. I don’t know why any woman who is able to, chooses not to breastfeed. I have to just imagine they don’t know about all the benefits, or don’t care. Maybe their support system is non-existent, or they’re embarrassed. Maybe they are sucked into the “breasts are for sex, and men, ONLY” mind frame. Whatever it is, it’s sad.

  24. I have a friend who has a 10 week old and she can produce milk but she chose to use formula. This child is number 5 and for her it was a practical choice. If she is at the store, park, dinner, mall etc… and the baby gets hungry she doesn’t have to go find a place to hide and nurse. She doesn’t have to drag the other 4 into the mall bathroom and make them sit there for 15-30 min while she nurses. She makes a bottle and feeds the baby. She is very happy with her choice. She is also married to a doctor and is aware of all the benefits of both methods of feeding.

    There are plenty of moms who pump and put that “super duper healthy immune-boosting milk” in those bottles and stick plastic nipples in their child’s mouth and there is nothing wrong with that either. Both are healthy ways of nurturing our children and her children are just as healthy as the next and should not be looked down upon because you chose a different method of feeding your child. Ridiculing them is the true ignorance in this situation not their method of feeding.

  25. I have breastfed my daughter for 17 months (so far) and am a big fan of bf and have never even given her one bottle of formula. However I also try to understand the reasons formula feeders choose that route. The main reasons I can think of are:
    1) medical reasons (drugs medical conditions etc), though your question excludes this and I believe this is only a small minority of women
    2) breastfeeding can be a bit sore and uncomfortable for the first two weeks or so. It takes commitment to stick with it through the initial discomfort to reap the other rewards of bfing.
    3) if you breastfeed you can’t drink (much) alcohol or caffeine which many women want to do
    4) MOST IMPORTANT REAL REASON: someone else besides Mom can do it like Dad, hired carers and other family members. If Mom wants to or needs to be away from baby (work, social life etc) then breastfeeders need to pump which is inconvenient and sometimes baby refuses bottle after getting used to breast (fear of this may lead some to introduce bottle very early) and sometimes pumping doesn’t work or is much more difficult than direct bfing, or sometimes pumping-and-bottle-feeding leads to baby getting used to bottle, leads to formula-bottle-feeding
    5) Misinformation and misconceptions – about all the benefits of bfing and all the disadvantages of bottle feeding (which I am not listing here)
    6) Lack of support during first weeks to “learn” bfing, lack of social support, lack of precedent (people like to do what their friends and family did), shyness about bfing in public

    The following reasons I don’t believe are separate real reasons, they belong under the “misinformation” heading above:
    1) “can’t produce enough milk” – I don’t think this is a real reason – in some African countries 98% of women breastfeed and those 98% all produce milk and the other 2% don’t bf because of HIV. When women quote this reason I think it is because either they have a thing about “measuring” the amount of milk their baby gets or they didn’t get support in initial time so they thought the reason their baby was upset etc was that “I wasn’t producing enough milk for him” even though it was probably something else upsetting him that formula would not have solved anyway, or they tried pumping and it didn’t work and they thought the baby isn’t getting milk if I can’t pump it (not true).
    2) Mom sleeping and someone else getting up at night – if bfing the Dad can get up, bring baby and put on breast of sleeping Mom without Mom even waking up, although maybe many formula feeders don’t know this.
    3) Dad being excluded from bonding by bf – there are plenty of other (better) Dad-appropriate ways he can bond with baby than bottle feeding – it is not the feeding which causes the bonding, it is the closeness and holding, comforting, bathing, talking and singing etc which Dad can do without a bottle in his hand.

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