Dear New Moms: It's Okay to Bottlefeed

AP Photo/Eric Gay

Kelly Osbourne is a professional celebrity person. I’m not sure how else to describe her. As the daughter of Sharon and Ozzie Osbourne, she’s had her own turn in the spotlight as a fashionista, talk-show host, podcaster and general “it” girl.

Professional celebrity person.

That’s neither here nor there, except to say that when something happens in Osbourne’s life, everyone knows about it. Recently, the former reality tv star revealed she is pregnant with her first child. Osbourne, who has struggled with substance abuse and chronic depression, has been quite open about her journey to sobriety, and her mental health struggles. She has said that a combination of properly administered medications and therapy helped her tremendously. As such, Osbourne says she has no plans to breastfeed her new infant, saying it is important for her health to continue with her regiment. Not wanting to put either her baby or her health at risk, she told Red Table Talk she plans to bottle feed.

Pregnant Kelly Osbourne has yet to welcome her baby, but she’s already being mom-shamed for her decision not to breastfeed

“I have chosen to stay on my medication instead of breastfeeding and the judgment that I have received from my friends and also extended family [is wild],” the “Osbournes” alum said on Wednesday’s “Red Table Talk” episode.

While the former reality star has frequently been told that she is “gonna miss out on that bonding period,” she shakes off the comments.

“I’m like, ‘Don’t you think I know that?’” Osbourne, 37, said. “What kind of mother am I gonna be if I start going backwards, if I start being self-destructive?”

Most mothers can tell you that the breastfeeding brigade can often be akin to the “woke warrior” set. They can be aggressive and insistent on your failure as a mother if you don’t choose to nurse your babies. At a time when you’re already nervous about everything, big and small, it can be a crushing rebuke from peers, and a huge discouragement. I know plenty of women who advocate for and nurture good nursing practices. It’s a thing, and I appreciate that. They believe it helps the community when women can nourish their children as healthily as possible.

Breast is best!

However, there is a whole other subsection of mothers who I like to call the “breastfeeding nazis,” and they come out of the woodwork at every juncture to lecture and judge mothers who don’t nurse their infants. I know that is what Osbourne is dealing with because I dealt with the same thing.

I know this isn’t a typical post for RedState, but this story moved me. I felt like maybe some new moms need to hear this. If you know of a young mom who is struggling with this issue, please pass along my advice.

Moms, if you can’t breastfeed for some reason, don’t. There is no need to feel guilty about it. I was barely producing any milk for my first child, but didn’t realize it until a routine visit to the pediatrician. He was losing weight, and that wasn’t normal. We quickly figured out he was starving, so I went on a regiment of medications and pumping schedules to try to increase my output. It was brutal, and through it all I had a hungry baby. It felt like years, but the whole ordeal only lasted a few weeks. Eventually, I shared with my pediatrician my pain and frustration. She asked why I didn’t just switch to formula. I told her that every time I had brought it up with other women I was being chastised for condemning my child to poor health and nipple confusion (look it up). I felt like the bottle would be admitting failure.

She looked at me and said, “Two hundred years ago your baby would have just died of starvation. Now, we are blessed enough to live in a society in which mothers have options for feeding their babies. That is a gift. Take it.”

So I did, and with my next one I didn’t even bother with the stress. I raised two bottle-fed kids and everyone is alive, and in fact they have bizarrely strong immune systems. I bonded just as much by simply holding my children and being their mother. You’re doing something wrong if nursing is the only way that happens. Osbourne was right to brush off that silly comment.

You’re not failing if you choose the bottle. Your priority must be your child’s health and also, like Osbourne, your own. It is your choice, your family, your body. There is so much else that you will have to feel guilty about as your children grow up…parenthood is loaded with guilt, most of it unearned. Don’t let this issue set the tone for your parenting journey. This fix is an easy one.

You’re the mom. You know best.



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