When it comes to motherhood, the internet can be a friend or foe. It can provide moms with information at their fingertips, but it also opens up the floodgates to opinions and judgments – especially when it comes to how to feed their babies. 

For moms today, there’s been a big movement that says natural is best and to return to breastfeeding. Research shows that breastfeeding is steadily on the rise. More than 80% of babies in the U.S. breastfeeding at six months. 

Despite its increased popularity and the pressure moms might feel to breastfeed, Dallas lifestyle UGC creator Donnya Negera, advocates that a fed baby is a happy baby. 

“As mothers, we are intruded by way too many opinions, especially on the topic of [how we feed our babies],” she explained. “As long as a baby has loving parents to take care of his or her health, nutrition-wise, it is no one’s business.”

Every mom and their baby’s journey is unique. The decision to breastfeed or use formula might be based on comfort level, lifestyle, and medical history. While one woman might solely breastfeed, another might use a combination of breastfeeding and formula feeding. While yet another mom might only use formula. For women who cannot or choose not to breastfeed, formula can be a healthy and safe alternative, especially with organic baby formula options on the market. 

Negera explained that there are many reasons why a woman might decide not to breastfeed. A mom simply might not want to, or there might be little or no flow of milk.  A mom might also experience irritation and discomfort like painful, sore, or cracked nipples while breastfeeding, which can lead to inflammation of the breast or mastitis

Another reason might be that a baby has difficulty latching or nurses may have exposed a baby to formula first. This could make breastfeeding harder in the long run. 

“My mother told me that both my brother and I did not latch at all,” Negera explained. “My brother would always push out her breast, and because I was in the hospital for a while due to being premature, I was exposed to formula first.”

Despite wanting to breastfeed, Negera struggled to breastfeed by her third month postpartum. 

“I went dry,” she said.  “It was devastating because I planned to go strong for the whole year!” 

This happened with all three of Negera’s children. She described desperately needing to supplement with formula to make sure her children were fed and full. 

“I ended my breastfeeding journey around nine months for both of my children,” she added. “Now that I am nearing nine months with my third, it just might end soon as well.”

Negera feels no shame about using both formula and breastfeeding because, as she said, “these babies can eat!” 

She explained that her children were never satisfied with breastmilk alone.

“It sometimes hurt to know my milk alone wasn’t helping because it made me feel inadequate,” she said.

For moms who are figuring out how best to feed their babies, Negera hopes to remove the stigma that Black women don’t breastfeed their children. 

“I remember hearing this growing up, and I was confused because I always saw Black women breastfeeding around me,” she said.

Negera also wants moms to know that there is no shame in using whatever method works best. She is proud to have fed and quickly raised, as she described,  “three thick and chunky babies!”