Stop the guilt trip! Breast is not always best when living with inflammatory arthritis




Your baby looks so healthy! You must be breastfeeding. You are such a good mom. Congratulations! My smile dropped. Am I a bad mom because I am formula-feeding my baby? Why are women so hard on one another? Especially when it comes to pregnancy, breastfeeding, and parenting. This post will navigate the barriers, challenges, and opportunities related to formula-feeding when living with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases.

 

My biochemistry professor's voice still haunts me; she used to say that no matter the size of a woman's breast, we are biologically built to produce milk to feed our little ones. Her passion ignited in me an interest to participate in La Leche League and the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative in Colombia to promote and support breastfeeding in health care facilities, and I swore to breastfeed my babies when the time came. 


According to the World Health Organization: "Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants, and exclusive breastfeeding for six months is the optimal way o feeding infants. After that, infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond".


As a dietitian, I understand the many advantages of breastfeeding for both the baby and the mom, to name a few:


- it's environmentally friendly

- it's inexpensive (free)

- it&