With breastfeeding not an option, this same sex couple chooses formula
Robert & David had a baby with the help of a surrogate. Even with all their planning, they were surprised by the issues surrounding formula feeding— especially the pressures women face when choosing formula vs breastfeeding— something they as a same sex couple did not encounter. For them, formula feeding was an obvious choice— one that made it possible for them to fully share the feeding workload. We asked Jacqueline Winkelmann, MD, FAAP and Bobbie Medical Advisor. to help us understand why even with all of our planning, it sometimes comes down to learning on the fly.
Dr Jacq: ALL new parents face the reality of underestimating the amount of work and sacrifice parenting entails. And the misconceptions surrounding feeding are no different. Even without the challenges of trying to establish breastfeeding, for Robert and David, as a gay couple, becoming parents was still an eye-opening experience. “Just giving the kid a bottle” might be easier said than done.
As a parent, set the expectation that parenting in general will be a string of “live and learn” experiences and give yourself a break if you make a mistake or things don’t happen as easily as you expected.
I have a whole new level of respect for parents in general. Before I was a parent, I was like, yeah, just give the kid a bottle, what’s the problem?Robert
Dr Jacq: Learning on the fly is what it’s all about! And asking for help will make the learning process much more manageable: Robert and David had a night nurse to help out and that’s great! Lean on family, friends, and others to help you out especially during those first few months while you settle into parenthood.
Neither of us is breastfeeding, obviously, and the benefit we’ve had of being a gay couple is being able to share the workload.David
Dr Jacq: Robert and David acknowledge the fact that they were lucky to have none of the stigma associated with formula feeding. It’s important for all of us as a society to understand and acknowledge this stigma and support ALL parents in their feeding choices.
It opened my eyes to a lot of stuff I wasn’t aware of before, like the stress that a lot of moms have with the stigmas if you’re giving your baby formula.Robert
Dr Jacq: We understand the benefits of breastmilk and breastfeeding, but why do we judge mothers for using formula so much more harshly than we would, say, a male gay couple? It’s time for all of us to set new standards of what is “best” when it comes to infant feeding. Moms should be treated with the same respect and admiration as these amazing gay dads!
To support you through your feeding journey (and to drown out the sound of the pump), we’re bringing parents a first of its kind guided meditation with our partners at Mindful Mamas. If Robert and David’s story resonates with you, we suggest listening to ‘Joy And Gratitude In The Journey’. Open the app below: Click Guided > Feeding Baby > Joy And Gratitude In The Journey. This content is brought to you free by the team at Bobbie through November 30th, 2021.