Every new mom hopes breastfeeding will be easy and automatic. But what if it isn’t?
We live in a society that talks openly about the best strollers, car seats, daycares etc. but because women are ‘supposed’ to be exclusively breastfeeding, formula remains a taboo subject.
Bobbie Baby, a newly launched baby formula company, is on a mission to ‘Shake the Stigma’ by giving a voice to the silent majority of parents that use formula. The San Francisco-based startup has been lighting up Instagram with real and raw feeding stories to celebrate National Breastfeeding Month.
“To any moms that struggled or didn’t achieve your goal, we know this can feel like a celebration that’s not meant for you. We disagree! If you breastfed for 2 wks, pumped for six months, or made it to 1 yr with or without formula – Congratulations! Breastfeeding is not an all-or-nothing process. Any amount has benefits for you and your baby. #EveryOzCounts”
Today’s parents are not passive recipients of information. Aware of the benefits, more women are entering motherhood committed to learning how to establish and build their breast milk supply. Intent on giving our babies the best, own own ability to thrive as new moms often hangs on whether we can successfully provide enough liquid gold — all while navigating what is an intense identity shift. Bobbie wants to support any new moms facing similar feeding struggles and remind them that they’re not alone.
“Although there’s a push to say babies should be exclusively breastfed for 6 months — we are a long way from hitting it. The danger of setting such unrealistic goals has adverse reactions on parents. What we’ve come to learn is, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing and in the push to hit ‘exclusive’ we sometimes forget to celebrate (or even acknowledge) that a little is great too,” says Professor Courtney Jung, author of ‘Lactivism’ and a behavioral psychologist at the University of Toronto.
83% of moms will use formula at some point during their baby’s first year, 70% of whom use it as a supplement alongside breast milk.
64% of mothers with children under 2-years feel judged for using formula.
This mom shaming takes its toll on the mental well-being of these moms. In fact, for ensuring their child is fed properly, nearly half (48%) of mothers felt guilty the first time they gave their first-born formula.
“The cultural perception that you’re either using just formula or just breast milk isn’t a reality for the majority — more of us are doing both. A new conversation is essential if we are to stop being polarised into militant ‘breast vs formula’ camps. Silence and shame can make parents feel unempowered, and out of kilter messaging prevents parents from accessing basic advice about formula,” says mom-of-two Laura Modi, Bobbie’s CEO and Co-Founder.
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Feeding is unpredictable, joyful, hard, and everything in between. Share your experience.
Bobbie features raw and honest accounts of feeding experiences from parents and does not contain testimonials.