It's understandable that people hold some pretty strong opinions whenever it comes to the subject of child rearing. From diapers, to toys, to vaccinations, to tackling certain developmental milestones at specific times, to spanking vs non-spanking, there are plenty of people sharing their thoughts and "best practices" on raising kids on the internet. Another debate that's often engaged in online is the breast fed vs. formula fed one, and Chrissy Teigen published a series of tweets about it.
The model/TV personality/celebrity chef went on social media to share a message with her 13.5+ million followers: "normalize formula."
She began her list of tweets by stating, "ok I'm gonna say something and you all are definitely gonna make it a thing but here goes: normalize formula."
She followed up by carefully stating that it's a "wonderful thing" to "normalize breastfeeding" however she felt "way more shame" for having to use formula to supplement her breast milk supply when she wasn't producing as much "from depression and whatnot."
Chrissy continued, "people have trouble breastfeeding and all you hear as a new, anxious mom is how breast is best."
She wanted to stress to moms who are formula feeding their babies that their children are going to be "BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT, AND OKAY" as a result of filling their bottles up with breast-milk substitutes.
She also delved into how she "drove [herself] mad" to pump, only to get an ounce of milk for all her effort.
ok I'm gonna say something and you all are definitely gonna make it a thing but here goes: normalize formula.— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) November 29, 2020
normalize breastfeeding is such a huge, wonderful thing. but I absolutely felt way more shame having to use formula because of lack of milk from depression and whatnot.— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) November 29, 2020
She went on to decry the "stress" of attempting to pump enough milk for her baby even when she is physically unable to do so because she, like so many women, has been conditioned to think that feeding their baby anything other than their own breast milk is somehow deleterious to the development of their child.
people have surrogates, people have trouble breastfeeding and all you hear as a new, anxious mom is how breast is best.— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) November 29, 2020
"normalize breastfeeding" is great. "normalize formula" is great, too! so yeah. that's all! normalize formula! your baby is gonna be BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT, AND OKAY.— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) November 29, 2020
However, as Chrissy points out, making sure that their baby is fed is what's most important, and needlessly stressing oneself out if they can't produce milk for their baby, or opting to go the formula route for whatever reason isn't necessarily going to impede, hinder, or hurt the development of their baby.
I remember pumping my ASS OFF, highest mode, so often, because I didn't trust milk was going into their mouthes if I breastfed. it drove me mad to the point I could only get an ounce. an ounce!— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) November 29, 2020
the stress of it, combined with the guilt that you cannot do nature's most natural thing for your own baby is too much. I dunno why this is my crusade now. I just remember the sadness I felt and want you to know you are doing it right if your baby is fed, mama.— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) November 29, 2020
The Mayo Clinic does state that breast feeding does have significant benefits over formula feeding for babies, however, and that while it's recommended for the first six months of a baby's life they're exclusively breast fed, there are cases where combining and switching off between the two methods of feeding can be successfully accomplished.
As an OB nurse, I can tell you, fed is best. Want to breastfeed? Awesome! Want to formula feed? Awesome! A little of both? Awesome! As long as you're not feeding your baby Mt. Dew, you are winning.— Erin Wevers (@hecticbuthappy) November 29, 2020
The biggest advantage of breast feeding as per the Mayo Clinic are the immunity-boosting properties of breast milk that aren't found in synthetic formulas and that breast milk is easier for most babies to digest. That being said, there are special cases where babies require specialized formulas to better suit their particular dietary needs, and the medical center states that "when prepared as directed, infant formula supports healthy babies who have typical dietary needs."
Formula IS the norm.— Elizabeth Grattan (@egrattan) November 29, 2020
Every person’s autonomy means no one needs to nurse if they don’t want to (or can’t).
But we need actual laws to protect nursing parents in society & even those are disregarded.
Suggesting we need to normalize this billion dollar industry is... wild.
(cont) found myself in a "shaming" mode. I hate to admit. But it is more of a response to women who I feel don't REALLY try..or see breastfeeding as "wierd" and only try it because they are pressured.— monica Chacon (@Mon0770Monica) November 29, 2020
They also tend to categorize their breasts as "sexual" only and therefore...
As Chrissy predicted, her post was met with a litany of different responses. Some people reacted by stating "formula IS the norm" and that the billion dollar industry is working to dissuade mothers from attempting breast feeding.
It already is normalized . For normal people. You’re extremely out of touch if you think formula feeding isn’t normalized. Maybe not in Hollywood. But in the rest of America it’s a necessity and completely normal— lele (@lele11200663) November 29, 2020
Breastfeeding should be everyone's first option.— White AF 🐻 (@_WhiteAF_) November 29, 2020
But no one should judge others who use formula
Some folks stated that breast feeding should be everyone's first option, but that those who use formula should not be judged. Others said that no matter what a mother does, they can't win and they are always going to be criticized based on new medical and health trends of the time period.
Mothers can’t win. I was in the no breastfeeding and no sleeping with babies generation. Whatever it is we do it wrong. :)— Astrolabe (@kotsiebader) November 30, 2020
People who are obsessed with breast milk are from another world. They will never understand that not all women can produce or produce enough. Not everyone is the same.— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) November 29, 2020
My kids were formula babies and they are just fine.
Others just replied that people "minding their own business" should be normalized, which seems like a platform a ton of people immediately wanted to get behind.
Seriously. I was viciously attacked for telling someone it was perfectly fine if they chose to circumsize their son. A whole group of lunatics came for me. It was awful. I hate how so many people struggle and are judged for something that is noones business but their own.— T.R (@OfficiallyTab) November 29, 2020