Handling formula feeding critics

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Handling formula feeding critics

Nobody has the right to tell you how you’re feeding your baby is wrong. But unfortunately, that’s not going to stop people from doing it. These days breastfeeding is very widely promoted and people who aren’t even parents know the benefits of breastfeeding. And this is wonderful, but unfortunately, there’s a negative fallout from this which is that formula and formula feeding has been a little bit villainized. I think the best thing you can do is realize you’re not going to change anybody’s mind and frankly, they’re not really worth your time. If they’re criticizing your parenting choices, there’s probably something going on with them, some insecurity or some need to criticize and why waste your time with it? So try to get out of the conversation as gracefully as you can. I would just say something like, “I know I’m doing the best thing for my child.” And then, the second part of this is you need to own that you are doing the best thing for your child and that means if you made an informed choice – meaning that you’ve done your research, you’ve made a choice that doesn’t come from being pressured by your mother-in-law or a nurse at the hospital or your husband, and you’ve made the decision that works for you and your child – that’s all that matters. And you need to own that and realize that you are doing the best thing for your baby and nobody else has the right to tell you what is best for you or your child.

Watch Suzanne Barston, CLC's video on Handling formula feeding critics...


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Suzanne Barston, CLC

Blogger & Author of Bottled Up

Suzanne Barston, CLC is the former Editor-in-Chief of Los Angeles Family Magazine, a Certified Lactation Counselor, and a freelance writer specializing in parenting, women’s interest, and science/health topics. She is the author of Bottled Up: How the Way We Feed Babies Has Come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn’t and blogs as her alter ego, the "Fearless Formula Feeder". "FFF", as it’s known to an international fan base representing over 40 countries, supports parents dealing with issues of guilt, fear, conflict and uncertainty regarding infant feeding difficulties and choices through critical assessments of research, pithy commentary, practical advice, and a weekly series allowing parents to share stories in a cathartic way. She is also the co-creator of the #ISupportYou movement. 

Barston was raised outside of Boston and earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University in 2000. After living and working in Chicago and London, she now resides in Los Angeles with her husband, the photographer Steven Barston, and their two obnoxiously cute children. She and her husband were featured on two award-winning online reality series for Pampers.com, A Parent is Born and Welcome to Parenthood, about their pregnancy and first years as parents. Suzanne's writing and her work with FFF and Bottled Up have been featured in the New York Times, the Huffington Post, SheKnows.com, Babble.com, Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine, Parenting, Babytalk, OhBaby!, Fit Pregnancy, The Observer, Yahoo Shine!, Australia's Good Weekend magazine, and on a variety of radio programs including KPCC's "Take Two", numerous NPR affiliates, "Parenting Unplugged", "Positive Parenting", "Mom Enough", "For Crying Out Loud", "Voice of Russia", and more. Suzanne was honored to be one of the keynote Voices of the Year in 2012 for the annual BlogHer conference.

She currently works both as a writer and as an Infant Feeding Counselor. 


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