To my friend who chooses to feed her baby formula

You’re having another baby!  We are all so excited.  You are a brilliant mother, this baby chose you well.

Last time you fed your baby formula.  This time you want to do that again.  You know that I have fed my boys some milk from the breast and some formula from the bottle.  And you know that I campaign every day for better support for women who want to breastfeed.  But you also help me to support lots of mums, of all backgrounds and approaches, and you do so with heart.

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I am so glad you are not worried about what I will think of your feeding choice.  You should never be worried about that.  Firstly because you’re my friend and I respect you, but more importantly because it is none of my business.  I am not having a baby.  My baby rearing days are over.  What you do with your children has got nothing to do with me, I am not the one raising them.

But I have to say I admire you.  You have never shied away from information.  Not only do you look at all of the evidence-based info you can get your hands on about your own feeding choice, but you know your stuff when it comes to breastfeeding too.  You know the risks.  You know the benefits.  You have read and you have understood and you have considered.  And you have made your choice.  And you have stood up and said “this is my choice, not that it’s any of your business, but this is my choice because it is best for my family.”  You have not attacked anyone else.  You have not questioned their experience or rubbished their information or inserted your views into their story.  You have simply written your own story, that you are happy with.

If every mother had the ability and confidence to research, understand, consider and decide, about all aspects of parenting.  If we all had the ability to do that about all the important aspects of our lives, then the world would be a better place.

And by being the way that you are, you provide a welcome to all mothers.  You don’t make anyone feel excluded, or unwelcome, or unnatural or ashamed.  You know their struggles and they know yours and you understand we have to work as a team.

May you be supported.  May you be respected.  And may your baby bring you joy.

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Helen Calvert
September 2016

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