The Mommy Wars Gave Me Breastfeeding PTSD

But finally one night when my daughter was 7 months old and I was doing my nightly sob over my last pumping session of the evening, my husband demanded I stop. He had been so supportive up until that point, tried to encourage me the best he could with his useless nipples, but he knew it was a losing battle. And he loved me and our daughter enough to tell me. With the unspoken finally out in the open, I felt relief wash over me. I’d received the permission I didn’t even know I needed to throw in the towel. I had done the absolute best I could, but I was spiraling and it was time to stop. So I did. And you know what? My daughter survived. She adjusted to the formula and after some trial and error, we found a bottle she would happily take.

After the guilt began to subside, I reveled in our newfound freedom. Friends are getting together for a play date? Let’s go! Daughter wakes up for her night feeding? Here’s her bottle, daddy- go feed her! I slowly became more comfortable bottle-feeding my child in public, and even had the courage to mix a few formula bottles in front of other people. Because at the end of the day, fed is best. I was still caring for my daughter, whether her milk came from my body or not. And we were both happier and healthier for it.

Unfortunately, and for reasons I still don’t quite understand, I would repeat the breastfeeding failure shame cycle again when my son was born two years later. I’ll blame it on the hormones. But I would realize and adjust more quickly this time- only four months in the valley with him. Then straight to bottles and formula for him too in order to protect my own mental health, thereby protecting the rest of my family.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I love breastfeeding. I am so proud and envious of women who are able to devote so much of themselves- body, mind, and spirit- to the task. I celebrate them and all the women who came before them this World Breastfeeding Week. But for those of us who struggle- physically, emotionally, mentally, or all of the above- I just want us to be kind and gracious to ourselves and to other mothers in the trenches, no matter what those trenches are, because we all have them.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

So happy World Breastfeeding Week, breastfeeding mommas! I am so proud of you! And happy Fed Is Best Week (yes, I made that up), formula-feeding mommas! I am so proud of you, too!

Written by Amy Kryzak

Amy Kryzak
Amy Kryzak
Amy is a wife and stay-at-home mom to two vivacious kiddos, ages 6 and 4, in North Texas. She is passionate about her local community, local church, and good coffee (though she’ll drink bad coffee in a pinch). Once upon a time, Amy enjoyed being a writer and editor in the higher education arena. These days, she loves blogging about her big-little town, directing fellow mommas to fun and frugal family experiences, keeping her kids busy, and going on dates with her devastatingly handsome husband, Jeph. Join Amy on her frugal journey at

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