A mum’s open letter to a stranger who shamed her for buying baby formula in a US supermarket has struck a chord with mothers all over the world.
Annie Ferguson Muscato penned the powerful piece on her Facebook page after a woman told her that “breast was best” when she was buying the formula in Target. Hurt by the experience, in her post Annie explained not only why no one should EVER judge another mum, but why we should all strive to support each other.
In the piece, she spoke candidly about the difficulties trying to breastfeed her baby that led her to try formula instead.
“I know that my baby began screaming after she ate,” she wrote. “Writhing in pain. Inconsolable. I know over the last month and a half I have exclusively pumped and tried slow flow bottles of breast milk, I have tried different positions, I have seen another lactation consultant. I know I have held my child, my baby, while she screamed for hours – one day for eight hours straight.”
But when Annie tried hypoallergenic dairy protein free formula she found that her baby began to thrive.
“The screaming lessened,” she wrote. “And my baby started smiling. She started interacting. She started sleeping.”
And sadly, Annie thought she had failed her baby.
“And I cried,” she added. “Because I thought breast was best. I thought my body failed her. I thought she wouldn't be as healthy on formula.”
Annie thankfully realised that FED is best: “What I know that you don't is that breast ISN'T always best,” she wrote to the stranger. “I know happy, healthy baby is best. I know FED is best. What I'm sure we both know is that parenting is hard. Really hard. That sometimes what we plan for and what we want just doesn't work out, but we are all here trying to do what's best for our babies. “
And the lovely thing about Annie’s post is that she wasn’t enraged, or abusive; she very sweetly and kindly explained herself, with the sole goal to change people’s misconceptions about formula feeding,so they can think twice before making hurtful, judgemental comments.
So, so powerful. Well done Annie, we’re behind ya.