If there’s one parenting debate that just will not die, it’s breastfeeding vs. formula feeding. Try as we might, none of us are immune to the pressure or the judgment. Our doctors and nurses will ask us about it; lactation consultants will visit us in the hospital; and pamphlet after pamphlet about the benefits of breastfeeding will appear in our hospital rooms, mailboxes, and emails. So will formula coupons. But perhaps the greatest source of pressure (and judgment) on this issue comes from where we’d least expect it to: other moms. And as it turns out, celebs aren’t safe from the incessant questioning, either.
Cameran Eubanks, of the hit Bravo reality show Southern Charm, recently vented about this very issue to her fans on Instagram. Eubanks hasn’t even given birth yet to her first child, and yet the mom-to-be is already getting pressure from all sides. But in her no-nonsense post, Eubanks quickly shut down critics. And I honestly want to hug her for it.
“Y’all are ’bout to drive me to drink,” she begins. “If I get one more message asking me if I plan on breastfeeding my child, I’m going to delete my Instagram account forever.”
I mean, we get it: It’s 2017, and we’ve all heard many (many) times that breastfeeding is good for babies. As a mom who almost exclusively breastfed her three kids, I can tout the benefits until I’m blue in the face. It’s healthy for the baby! It’s free! It helps Mom lose baby weight! It promotes bonding! And hey, it’s easier than bringing formula everywhere you go and having to wash bottles!
I am also a mom who struggled to the point of bleeding nipples, hysterics, and depression with my first child. So yes, he got formula, too. I also have friends whose milk never came in. And friends whose babies were allergic to their milk. And friends who just chose not to breastfeed for their own personal reasons, none of which are my concern. And shockingly, their perfectly normal children are walking around Mother Earth being productive, kind, contributing members of society.
Huh. Who knew?
Eubanks’s irritated rant about this issue continues on — and it’s honestly pretty refreshing.
“First of all, it is none of your dang business how I plan to feed my child,” she says. “But to answer everyone’s question so they shut their yappers, yes, of course I plan on breastfeeding my child,” she writes in the post. “But if it doesn’t work, I will then pump. And if pumping doesn’t work, I will happily stick a bottle of formula in my baby’s mouth. And she will turn out just fine, just like I did. And thousands, probably millions of other children turned out just fine.”
But just when I thought I couldn’t love her more, she ends with this mic drop: “And if the formula doesn’t work, I will go to Chick-fil-A and get a #3 value sized, put that in a blender, and spoon feed her. And I’m fairly certain she’s going to like that because it’s the only thing she’s been eating for the past nine months anyway.”
To fans, it’s probably no surprise to hear Eubanks telling it like it is, with a healthy dose of humor on the side. She’s more or less the moral compass of Southern Charm, which revolves around the lives (and many dramas) of a group of wealthy friends living in Charleston, South Carolina. She’s certainly never shied away from voicing her opinion, and now that she’s about to become a mama herself, I’m thinking we’re going to see a whole lot more where that came from.
When asked what new mothers do need (you know, instead of all the nonstop judgment), Eubanks says that while she’s technically not a mother yet, she’s pretty sure everyone deserves some “unconditional support” as they’re just starting out on their parenting journey.
“I’m sure it is a very vulnerable time for most women, your life literally changes overnight,” she continues. “It is not a time for judgement. Unless a mother is harming her child, the way she chooses to parent her baby is her business and not society’s … and formula feeding is NOT harming a child.”
And to mothers who are facing judgment and criticism for their choices, Eubanks has this advice to impart: “Take it with a grain of salt. Your baby will be unlike any other baby out there and you are an individual. You do what works best for you and what ultimately makes you AND your baby the happiest. Listen to your instinct. It won’t fail you.”
Thank you for your honesty, Cameran. And thank you for putting the sanctimommies, who feel they have a say in how YOU raise YOUR baby, in their place. Sounds like you’re ready to take on the world with your new kiddo, and you’ll set an excellent example of how to not take other people’s crap.
Also, I’d love to meet up at Chick-Fil-A for lunch, some day. *Wink, wink.*