When my sister-in-law was pregnant with her first baby, she told me she would not breastfeed. “I don’t want to,” she explained. “Besides, I want to be able to share the responsibilities of feeding with my spouse.” And that was it! I remember being afraid of her trust – because I felt so much pressure from friends, relatives, hospitals, and even strangers on the street to breastfeed. But the FORMULA CAN BE SAVINGS OF SANITARY AND EVEN SAVING LIFE for many families. Here are a bunch of wonderful mothers talking about their experiences with formula …
Photo by Mary.
A few weeks ago I re-posted the old one breastfeeding fast and he noticed a topic that is repeated in the comments section: many mothers expressed shame and guilt for going the other way – by feeding formula. “Breastfeeding is wonderful when it works, but help your mother when it’s not,” wrote Ellie, a pediatrician who couldn’t breastfeed her (now successful, smart, kind nine-year-old) daughter. “You can break from shame.”
Christine, a military wife, had three sons in less than three years. But while feeding was best suited to their family, she felt the burden of the stigma: “I will never forget to be at my husband’s“ coffee ”(an event common in the military) and hide in the bathroom to mix my son’s bottle. Or when another well-meaning spouse from our oversupply unit offered to pump extra so I could feed my baby ‘best instead of formula’. “
Pressure can come from all sides. “I got an incredible amount of judgment from people because of my decision to eat food – from the nurses in my office to friends to literal strangers on the street,” says Mia. Another mother named Bonnie, who lives in Germany, agrees, “I can’t tell you how many times strangers (strangers!) Have stopped me on the streets to ask,”Are you breastfeeding?‘(Translation: are you breastfeeding?) ”
Parenting books don’t help either. Suzannah says, “There seems to be a small paragraph at the end of every 10 pages about the benefits of breastfeeding that says,‘ And if you have to use formula, that’s fine too. “It’s very challenging not to feel like your child will miss all the physical, mental and social benefits listed on the previous pages.”
A mother named Hannah felt the same way: “I only ever see infographics about the benefits of breastfeeding from yada yada (which, awfully, are plentiful!), But there are also benefits to breastfeeding. What serves one family may not serve another and that is perfectly fine! “
Photo by Erin.
MANY REASONS WHY THE FORMULA MAY BE THE BEST FOR SOME FAMILIES
The “breast is the best” mantra resonates with popular culture – and for some families that’s fine – but there are many reasons why adaptation might be the best choice for other families.
First of all, breastfeeding may not be physically possible. With her first two babies, Alissa had mastitis six times (leading to two hospitalizations), bleeding nipples, and more clogged ducts than she could count. Pumping has also taken over her life: “I work full time and have spent more than a hundred hours pumping in various windowless rooms,” she says. With her third child, she made every home remedy imaginable (probiotics, sunflower lecithin, cold cabbage, breastfeeding before the cold, breastfeeding after the cold, vibrating massager, different care positions, nipple protectors, etc.) and saw three different ones. breastfeeding counselor. “All this work on avoiding mastitis culminated in another round last week and the family falling apart with me,” she says. ‘What when I finally said,’Enough. ‘”
Other mothers may have little milk or their breastfeeding may be extremely painful. “I was absolutely shocked by the crazy intense pain she was causing – the panting voice-tears-flowing-down-face-to-face,” Liz recalls. “My hospital had a lot of nurses for lactation even after giving birth, and each of them gave us different, often conflicting advice.” Her friends assured her she would be better after six weeks – which seemed like an eternity. “Six weeks of squeezing the guts, biting the lips every hour? Also, my breasts were painful to the touch – I could barely wear a T-shirt or take a shower. I kept thinking, “How does the human race go if this is an average experience?”
Breast reduction can also affect the ability to breastfeed. Kelly has had her breasts reduced at the age of 19, which she attributes to allowing her to live an active, healthy, confident life. When her daughter was born last year, she could not breastfeed and gladly switched to the formula: “I am proud of my choices, my body, what she went through and what she achieved.”
Adoptive parents and foster parents usually bottle-feed their children. Megan, a single parent of her choice, became the breadwinner (and later adoptive) of the three-day-old girl. “I was instructed that formula was all I needed to feed her and that I shouldn’t keep trying to get breast milk from the bank or anything like that,” Megan recalls. “So she was left with a very happy, healthy baby on formula feeding!”
Past sexual experiences or trauma may make breastfeeding difficult or impossible. “I chose formula feeding because of past sexual traumas,” Ashley says. “I know enough about myself to know that they touch me VERY easily and that it would end up harming my relationship with my child.”
Some parents suffer from postpartum depression or anxiety, which can affect their feeding plans. “I breastfed exclusively with my first child for nine months and had a hard time getting used to it,” says Caitlin, who was then diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety. “I even landed in the emergency room at 2 a.m. with a panic attack.” When her second daughter was born last December, she decided to go with formula.
A mother named Sarah also suffered from severe PPD and PPA after the birth of her son. “The thought of breastfeeding led me into a deep frightening depression.” The formula allowed her husband, parents, in-laws and friends to feed her son when she could not. Fortunately, Sari has recovered, and her son is now a healthy, happy two-year-old. “The formula saved our lives,” she says.
Other mental health issues can make a positive decision. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 21, Charis learned that getting pregnant while taking medication daily – lithium – could harm her future baby. Rewinding the decade: Her psychiatrist gradually reduced her medication and met with her regularly until the birth of her first daughter to ensure her mental stability. “As soon as I got out of the recovery room, I popped out the first dose of lithium in nine months,” she says. “Feeding formula has never been negative for me: in fact, I was so grateful to be able to have a baby, I never even thought to miss it. My two girls are happy and healthy and my mental health is stable. “
Finally, a demanding career can be another factor in decision making. Lindsey began her doctoral program shortly after her son was born. “The formula was a godsend for us given the awkward logistics,” she says. “It was difficult to set aside time for pumping on campus between lectures, seminars and meetings. Once my husband advocated for formula, and we made the transition, I felt so unencumbered. “
ALSO, YOU DON’T NEED A REASON
Like my sister-in-law, some mothers just don’t want to breastfeed, and that’s also 100% worth it. “From the very beginning, I knew I was going to be a mom with a formula,” Danielle says. “I never doubted that it would work best for me and my life. There was also a practical side: I went back to work earlier, I wanted my dad to be able to feed her, I was fed formula and I just didn’t want to breastfeed openly. No doubt countless women would say I should get over it and do what’s best for my daughter, but I did – she had a happy mom who was rested. “
A mother named Maggie was also not interested in breastfeeding. “My two siblings and we were all fed formula and that seemed normal and natural to me,” she says. Her children – now three and six years old – are healthy and thriving. “I wouldn’t change my mind about anything.”
Photos by Elese and Kelly.
BONUS: OTHER LOVED ONES CAN FEED THE BABY
When you breastfeed, you are often the sole breadwinner of the baby. But! With formula, everyone can cope with feeding – spouses, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, friends, the list goes on.
“My husband could have been a complete partner; we were equally connected to the babies from the beginning, ”says Ellen. Plus, since you can share shifts, you can both get longer sleep. Suzannah says, “When I saw my husband feeding our daughter skin to skin, my heart melted. This is true for anyone who can now participate in the feeding ritual – grandparents, friends, etc. There are so many hands to turn to in life. “
Photo by Betsy.
THE PARENT / CHILD RELATIONSHIP WILL ALWAYS BE
One concern parents may have about formula feeding is: What if we don’t make that connection? “Sometimes I’ll think, ‘I wish I could put it on my nipple and make a direct connection,'” Hannah says. “But it comes from an idealized vision of caring for Mother Mary.” no matter how you feed him.
Here are some testimonies:
“My turning point came when I realized that he really didn’t care what and how he ate, he just wanted to feel the meals with me. That’s it! He just wanted his mom. ”- Ellen
“We have an amazing relationship, she is as healthy as a horse and we are all happy.” – Danielle
“I thought I would feel overwhelmed, but instead I feel free. We are so blessed to live in a time of incredible formula. Keeping my baby close to my breast while I bottle feed is still a very nice experience. “- Alice
“In the beginning, I was worried that we wouldn’t get so attached. However, I quickly realized that this would not be the case! I have so many memories of feeding in the middle of the night when just my baby and I were rocking and singing while we ate. Their tiny hand wrapped around my finger. ”- Ellen
“My relationship with my daughter is unquestionable. Those sleepless nights are the same with a bottle or a breast! “- Kelly
“Feeding them at night, keeping them close, kissing their cheeks, those are still the sweetest moments of my life.” – Brittney
“And can I tell you?” Feeding formula is shaken. [With depression ending], I finally fell in love with my son and his feeding. We had delicious sessions with milk and crowds, epic naps after the bottle and so much cooing, singing and looking in the eyes. The formula connected us in a way that breastfeeding could never, and I am infinitely grateful that we found it when we did. “- Ellen
CONCLUSION: DO THE BEST FOR YOUR FAMILY, ALWAYS AND FOREVER
If you need it, this post is here to give you permission: Go with formula, if it’s the right choice for you, your baby, and your family. After all, you are a parent. “The Fed is the best and you don’t have to suffer to be a good mom,” says Suzannah. “Your baby is a little short, so enjoy.”
Sending love to all the wonderful parents there. You are doing a great job. xoxo
Photo by Bonnie.
Photo by Annie.
Photo by Charis.
(Best photo of Ashley.)