Here at DMB, we support each mother’s infant feeding choice, be it formula, breast, bottle or any combination thereof. The following is a personal account from our contributor, Meredith, about why she is pro-formula for her family.
I feel guilty about NOT feeling guilty about breastfeeding. There. I said it!
I know I should feel this internal need to nurse. But I didn’t feel that way throughout either of my pregnancies or after. I know what you must be thinking, and I am hearing the collective gasp across the internet, but I’m just being honest.
It’s not like I didn’t try to breastfeed my kids. I know it’s supposed to be the most ‘natural’ thing and ‘best’ for bonding (I’m using quotes, because, although for many it is true…..not for me). Breastfeeding, or at least my attempt to do so seemed like the most unnatural and horribly frustrating thing that was taking away from what should have been a joyous and special time.
I was told by several well-meaning lactation consultants I had ‘flat nipples.’ And, I also had a very low supply. So, it was going to be challenging. But, if I consulted with them twice a week (at $100 per consult), take all of these natural supplements (that were NOT recommended by my pediatrician or pharmacist), do not THINK about giving your SCREAMING infant formula (how dare I try to poison my child) AAANNNDDD pump every three hours (by the end of the day I ended up with maybe one ounce of ‘liquid gold’). I might have a chance of having a baby that is somewhat fed, and seems to hate me, because he is ALWAYS hungry. Oh joy.
That sounded like an awesome way to spend the first few weeks with both of my little boys. Them screaming, me crying and my poor husband questioning how this was better for me and the baby.
Many of my friends and family tried to ‘kindly’ point out that I was not trying very hard. If I really wanted what was best for my babies, I would do the work and eventually it would happen. I refused to let other people tell me that I was not trying hard enough. My kids, my choice. For our family, formula feeding was wonderful. I knew that my babies were nourished. I knew that they were happy and fed. I was able to bond with them while feeding, instead of hating every moment of ‘meal time’. My husband was able to take part of that bonding too!
As the weeks and months went by, I never looked back. Both Charlie and Henry are now thriving. Other then the horns and tails they are growing, they seem to be totally normal.
My point is, while some people have strong opinions about how horrible formula feeding is, they have never been in my shoes. Millions of babies are formula fed (myself included) and have lived to tell about it. I dare those mamas to tell me EXACTLY how your children are better, smarter or healthier then my children. I bet if we lined up our formula feeding babies and breastfeeding babies, no one would be able to tell the difference. They would just see a bunch of beautiful and healthy babies. That is our end goal, right?
While I think breastfeeding is wonderful for many families, I get so frustrated that society has put so much pressure on moms who are having problems with it. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH FORMULA. In fact, formula ROCKS MY WORLD. It was the answer to keeping our family sane, happy and healthy. And, I will choose that over stressing about my ‘flat nipples’ any day.
Did you have a similar experience?