breastfeeding vs. formula feeding
Let’s talk about breast-feeding for a minute. Excited? Wait, Wait don’t leave. Hear me out.
Before I got pregnant I believed two things to be true:
- I would breastfeed Trey for at least 6 months-1 year
- I thought the whole judgement to breast feed vs. formula feed I heard about from other mothers was a little over dramatic.
Let’s just say those were two big assumptions that made a big old ASS OUT OF ME! Trey was not into the boob. He just could not figure out what to do, bless his heart. I ended up having to pump in the hospital so he could eat. I met with a lactation consultant several times and Trey and I both cried a lot of tears of over trying to get him to latch. I’m really not sure who cried more: me or him? So I settled into the routine of exclusively pumping and giving Trey bottles.
THAT WAS TORTURE. I hated it more than anything I have ever had to do in my life. I felt like I was missing out on bonding time with Trey, it hurt, it was time consuming and it required a lot of cleaning of parts, bottles, nipples, etc. and did I mention time consuming? I cried a lot and started resenting the fact that Trey had to eat!
Keith started talking about switching to formula and my first knee jerk reaction was NO! I felt like people would judge me and I also felt guilty. I felt guilty because I had a HUGE milk supply and was freezing milk by the bagful in addition to feeding Trey everyday. I felt like I would be quitting out of convenience and not giving the best to my son. Plus everyone and I mean EVERYONE asked me if I was breast feeding…which I quickly decided was a personal question that you don’t really have the right to ask.
Finally when Trey was 9 weeks old I couldn’t take it anymore. I started weaning. I was able to use half breast milk half formula for 2 weeks (thanks to what I had frozen) and then when he was 11 weeks old he went to straight formula. We’ve had to change formulas three times. We started on Similac Organic but that gave him a rash, we then switched to Earth’s Best Organic but that made him super constipated, and we are currently using Baby’s Only Organic (please cross your fingers this works for us!)
Trey has been trooper. He never once fussed about the change. He has always just willingly eaten whatever we’ve given him and I love him for being so easy and malleable with formula. I know that isn’t always the case. And me? I am so much better. I had to stop feeling guilty because I am a much better mom now that Trey’s on formula. My hormones don’t seem as out of whack and I am not resenting his need to eat and feeding Trey is no longer a stressful event. Switching to formula was the best and right decision for my family. 100%.
Should Keith and I have more children then I will absolutely try nursing first but if for some reason it doesn’t work out then I will make the switch to formula with much less anguish than I did this time.
So here’s my advice: Don’t ask a woman if she is breastfeeding because really it isn’t any of your business. That’s a personal family decision that is between a woman, her child, and her family. That’s it. I feel like there is so much judgement out there from moms and really it doesn’t matter what another mom does or doesn’t do because everyone’s journey is their own.
So regardless if you are breast feeding or formula feeding it doesn’t really matter. We are all just trying to do our best and be the greatest moms we can be.