A Florida mother is fighting back against unsolicited advice by writing an open letter to another woman who admonished her for buying baby formula instead of breastfeeding, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Annie Ferguson Muscato was shopping at Target on Saturday when a woman intervened by telling her, "breast is best."
It's not that Muscato disagreed, so much as it was breastfeeding, in fact, was not good for her baby.
Muscato explained on Facebook that her infant daughter had trouble digesting breast milk and the results of trying to breastfeed her were excruciating.
"I know 'breast is best' just like you do," she wrote. "But, let me tell you what else I know. I know that my baby began screaming after she ate. Writhing in pain. Inconsolable."
She added, "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."
The couple visited doctors and Muscato tried cutting different things out of her diet. But in the end the only thing her baby could eat was hypoallergenic formula.
"And then finally, we tried the hypoallergenic dairy protein free formula you saw me buying today," she wrote. "And the screaming lessened. And my baby started smiling. She started interacting. She started sleeping. And I cried. Because I thought breast was best. I thought my body failed her. I thought she wouldn't be as healthy on formula."
She then pointed out that parenting is a difficult task and each individual child's needs vary, and cautioned against making assumptions.
"So, dear stranger, next time you see someone buying formula, try to remember that mamas should support each other," she wrote. "Think about everything you might not know. Remind yourself that 'fed is best' and smile because it means someone loves their baby enough to do what's best for them."