11 Things That Matter More Than Your Ability To Exclusively Breastfeed

By Jamie Kenney

Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF, as the kids like to say on their message boards) is pretty nifty. I was able to “EBF” my second child and took satisfaction in being able to sustain her entirely from my body, from her conception until we introduced solids when she was 6 months old. That said, there’s a lot about EBF that sort of disturbs me, specifically the way it’s been fetishized as the only loving way to feed your child. Look, if you can and want to that’s great, but there are so many things that matter more than breastfeeding exclusively.

My first child received regular formula supplements from the time he was 3 days old until he was just about 1 month old. Between the ages of 4 months and 10 months, he went back to his regular supplements, and from the time he was 10 months old to the time he turned 1 year old, he probably got as much formula as breast milk when my partner and I chose to combo feed him. Go ahead and ask me if I can attribute any of my child’s differences to the fact that one received formula and one didn’t. Now ask if I feel any more connected with one over the other. Ask if one is smarter. Ask if either had any trouble hitting their developmental milestones. Ask if one is healthier than the other.

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