Formula feeding moms all over the internet have said they’re tired of being shamed for not breastfeeding. And now, some are surprised to see that judgment in the aisle of Target. 

For years, a debate has brewed between moms who breastfeed and moms who formula feed. Kristy Kemp, creator of Breastfeeding Mama Talk, took the heated discussion to Facebook when she asked moms:

How do you guys feel about how Target is labeling their aisle for breastfeeding supplies?

Kemp showed a picture of a Target aisle with signage that reads “Natural Feeding.”

She wrote:

The interesting part is there are people right now arguing that we need to stop referring to breastfeeding as natural because it implies that formula is unnatural, which I mean is true. Formula is a man made alternative why can we not call it as it is?

Some moms who feed their babies formula from a bottle said the sign made them feel uncomfortable:

I remember the first time I bought formula, after discovering that my daughter was starving. I went to target. I hid the formula under other items in my cart. I felt so much guilt. Seeing this sign would have made it that much harder for me.

‘Natural’ is somehow become synonymous with “better” and that is how these mix ups happen. I feel at least. I feel there is already a lot of guilt associated with formula feeding so it’s hurtful to insinuate that it’s not “best”. That’s just my interpretation. 

As a mother of two, who bottle-fed her first and is now breastfeeding her second, I cannot speak for everyone… but from my personal experience I know that I felt a lot of guilt and embarrassment when I bottle fed and I was sure people would be judging me…

I am an avid breast feeding supporter. Between 2 kids I am going on 5 consecutive years of breastfeeding. I am not a butter. But this is unnecessary and hurtful to those who what to breastfeed but can’t. There is no reason this needs to say “natural.” It could breastfeeding or infant feeding. Labeling it natural is an unnecessary jab at those that chose or have to resort to formula.

However, other moms were fine with the sign:

What is wrong with the term natural feeding?? It isn’t a false statement! Formula doesn’t occur naturally, breast milk is 100% natural and organic! It would be offensive to label it “the only way to feed” or “the right way to feed.

Yes! I love this! It is natural! We were given breasts for a reason, and that reason is the natural reason to feed our children. Formula is artificial and unnatural, not only that but it’s not encouraged at all anymore! There are many things you can do if your child won’t latch, or if problems come up! I hate the excuse of latching difficulties, pump then. My daughter only will breastfeed at night now unfortunately, but I pump up to 30 oz a day for her because I know that breastfeeding and Mother’s milk is what’s best for my child and I will not give that up..no matter what!

Don’t care- they have to ‘label’ to speak to a range of demographics so I find it a generic term that is appropriate and not offensive. Lots of my friends who work at Target Corp come from all over and many breastfeed so I’m sure they are considering verbiage with care […]

I think there are more important issues that need to be talked about instead of which use of terminology is “politically correct. Breastfeeding is natural. Formula is an alternative. Not wrong, just another option.

Kristy Kemp later noted that some people thought that maybe Target believed the term “breastfeeding” was too controversial and only used “natural feeding” as a label to avoid saying “breast.” 

She asked moms: “What is your take on that?” 

As Parenting reports, while some moms who formula feed may do so for convenience, many others formula feed because they’re on medication, they can’t nurse, or they aren’t producing enough milk.

According to their “The Breast vs. Bottle Poll” breastfeeding mothers admitted they harshly judge formula feeding mothers. However, only a small percent of “formula-feeders” felt that “breastfeeders were self-righteous.”

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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