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For Our Formula-Feeding Sistren

Courtesy of Micha Sittig
Image courtesy of Micha Sittig

In response to my post, Why I’m STILL Breastfeeding, a reader posted this excellent comment, and I thought I’d address it for all, in case it is useful for any other readers:

I would have given anything to breastfeed Kenrya, but the antagonism goes both ways: I get to articles like these or talk to people who see me as less of a mom because I’m feeding formula and I bristle too. I was NOT PHYSICALLY capable of breast feeding, as I’m sure is the case with many moms who have to resort to the formula in the end. I tried—God knows I tried—but it just wasn’t possible. I am all for encouraging breast feeding and agree that it’s great for my baby, but just because it’s the recommendation and it’s what we’re going back to now, doesn’t mean that we can’t support moms who—out of necessity or choice—have to formula feed and offer just as much support. There is NONE. There are no answers to my questions, there are no guidelines, there are no chapters in books about it. The rhetoric has swung in the complete opposite direction and I hope that one day it will be somewhere in the middle, so that we don’t agonize and get depressed when the milk is just not coming.  —Yuli

Here’s my response. I hope it’s helpful. If you have any resources to share, please post in the comments and help a sista out.

Hi, Yuli.
Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m so sorry that folks haven’t been supportive of your journey. I definitely recognize that there are some women who can’t do it, no matter how much they want to, and I hope you don’t suffer an iota of negativity for using formula (and hope I didn’t compound the matter with this post). 

I had no idea that the resources aren’t there for women in your position. You inspired me to do what I always do when want to find something: Google, lol. You’re sooo right, there really isn’t much out there. I found a couple of things; please let me know if any of the following resources are useful to you:

Bottlefeeding Without Guilt: A Reassuring Guide for Loving Parents

Infant Formula Feeding (USDA; see the references at the end for additional reading)

Pediatric Nutrition Handbook (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Also, my absolute favorite pregnancy and mommyhood book, From the Hips: A Comprehensive, Open-Minded, Uncensored, Totally Honest Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, and Becoming a Parent, has great, unbiased info on all practices, including formula feeding.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps. Let me know if I can do anything for you.


I’m Kenrya Rankin Naasel, a lifestyle + parenting expert who—after much prodding from her friends—decided to share her hippie-dippie Black chick mama life.