Anyone who has struggled with feeding issues will understand that there is a stigma associated with formula feeding, an insinuation that you are less than, or providing your child with an inferior product.

The statistics in Table 1 below show that less than 20% of parents are exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months, and yet there is such a stigma faced by those who choose to formula feed their babies. 

Where this nonsense is coming from and why it even culturally exists defies logic, so let’s remove the shame and guilt and acknowledge that all parents ultimately want is the best for their children regardless of feeding choice.

Table 1: Percentage of babies exclusively breast fed by age and country of birth


United States

United Kingdom






1 Month




2 Months



Not available

3 Months





CDC 2018 Data

NHS 2018-2019 Study

2010 National Infant Feeding Study


Common reasons for not breastfeeding exclusively

It's important to note that choosing not to breastfeed is a personal decision that can be influenced by various factors. Here are ten common reasons why people may choose not to breastfeed:

  1. Medical Reasons: Certain medical conditions or medications taken by the mother may make breastfeeding unsafe or impractical.
  2. Insufficient Milk Supply: Some mothers may struggle with low milk supply, making it difficult to exclusively breastfeed their baby.
  3. Personal Health Issues: The mother may have physical or mental health concerns that make breastfeeding challenging or incompatible with her well-being.
  4. Previous Breastfeeding Difficulties: Past experiences with breastfeeding, such as pain, discomfort, or unsuccessful attempts, may lead some mothers to choose not to breastfeed again.
  5. Lifestyle Factors: Some mothers may have personal or professional commitments that make breastfeeding impractical or inconvenient for their lifestyle.
  6. Adoption: Mothers who adopt infants may choose not to breastfeed due to the absence of pregnancy and lactation.
  7. Desire for Shared Feeding Responsibilities: Some parents prefer to share the feeding responsibilities with their partner or other caregivers, allowing for a more flexible and inclusive approach to infant feeding.
  8. Inadequate Support: Insufficient support from healthcare providers, lack of access to breastfeeding resources, or limited community support can contribute to the decision not to breastfeed.
  9. Personal Choice: Some mothers may simply prefer not to breastfeed and instead opt for alternative feeding methods that they feel more comfortable with.
  10. Traumatic Birth Experience: A difficult or traumatic birth experience can impact a mother's emotional well-being and may influence her decision not to breastfeed.

It's important to recognize that every family's circumstances and choices regarding infant feeding can vary. While breastfeeding is widely recommended due to its numerous benefits, it may not always be feasible or the best option for every parent or baby.


Formula shaming can have negative emotional and psychological impacts on parents, adding unnecessary stress and guilt. It's crucial to foster a supportive and understanding environment where parents are respected for the choices they make regarding infant feeding.

Promoting understanding, empathy, and respect for different feeding choices will foster a supportive environment that prioritizes the well-being of both parents and babies, while avoiding the negative effects associated with formula shaming.

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