This Reddit thread reveals the things you should never say to a bottle-feeding parent. Say it with us: Fed. Is. Best.

By Zara Hanawalt
October 27, 2020
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Mom-shaming is real, and it comes in many forms. There's the standard-issue, straight-up mean kind (see: The comments of any celebrity mom's Instagram posts), but there's also the shaming that's thinly veiled as helpful advice or well-meaning encouragement. But guess what? The latter is still shaming, and it still stings.

Take, for example, the scrutiny so many bottle-feeding parents face. We've said over and over that fed is best. And while the benefits of breast milk are undeniable and incredible, the fact of the matter is this: When you're choosing how you feed your child, it isn't just about the actual substance or the vessel—each parent needs to figure out the best solution for their family, whether that's breastfeeding, formula-feeding, pumping or some combination. Yet somehow, bottle-feeding parents are still receiving unsolicited, unfair, and often unkind comments.

A recent Reddit thread reveals some common offenders and touches upon what a mother feels when she receives one of these comments.

The post originates from a mom who breastfed her first baby for over a year but had a second child who experienced GERD and constipation and lost weight on a diet of breast milk. The mother tried exclusively pumping but was unable to maintain her milk supply this way. The mom was heartbroken, but her child did really well with formula.

Unfortunately, that didn't stop the comments or questions, including: "Why don't you breastfeed your baby?", I know someone who struggled more and yet in the end managed" and "but breast milk is so much better!".

Fellow Reddit users are chiming to share their thoughts on this issue and share their own experiences. "I always hated the comments like 'I had a hard time too but I pushed through' which implies that I just didn't try hard enough or I gave up. Great for you but I literally do not make milk so there is nothing to 'push through'", one user writes.

It just goes to show: A mom may have experienced milk supply or latch issues, or her child may have had a medical issue that made bottle-feeding the best option...or, the mother may have simply chosen not to breastfeed. And that's perfectly acceptable, too.

There is a silver lining to this: The parents on this thread agree that bottle-feeding moms shouldn't have to deal with this, and they offer each other some much-needed support.

"I will never understand people who question how a mother feeds her baby," one user writes. "After food and sleep, having a happy, healthy mother is the most important thing to a baby. If that's breastfeeding, great. If not, also great. It sounds like you did the perfect thing for both your babies."

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