October 9, 2017
I remember feeling so ashamed when I started having supply issues when my baby was around 7 months old.
I did everything I knew how to do to increase my supply, and nothing was working. He dropped from 50th percentile in weight, to 5th percentile in weight. I feel shame and guilt even just typing that truth. I was stubborn and I wouldn’t supplement with formula because I wanted to 100% exclusively breast feed until 12 months.
Many moms dread hearing the phrase breast is best, usually because it induces so much guilt for those who tried as hard as they could. And yes, breastfeeding is wonderful. And for some moms, breast really is best.
But it isn’t for every mom. Some women try everything they can but breastfeeding just doesn’t work out. Maybe they physically aren’t able to breastfeed due to a medical condition, or baby is adopted, or there are supply issues.
Whatever the reason, many women find freedom in formula. And that’s a great thing! Because what’s important is that your baby is full and happy and healthy.
So we’ve talked about the pros and cons of breastfeeding. What about formula?
Pro: Anyone can feed baby.
One of the best things about formula feeding is that anyone can feed your baby; it isn’t all on you. Your partner, grandparents, daycare providers – anyone can do it! As breastfeeding moms can attest, this is super great at night because it means your partner can truly share the load.
Pro: You don’t have to plan your entire schedule around baby.
Of course you and your baby still have a schedule, but if you’re feeding your baby formula you don’t have to schedule your day around the baby’s schedule. If you need to be away from baby for several hours you don’t have to worry about bringing a pump and whether baby will take a bottle from someone else. You have some freedom to your schedule!
Con: Formula is expensive.
The cost is really the biggest problem with formula: it’s expensive! Especially if your baby is sensitive and needs a certain type of formula. There are coupons of course, but it’s can be a struggle for many families.
Con: It can be hard to mix and travel
You have to be prepared when you leave the house with baby – making sure you have formula, bottle, water – all the things. And if your baby insists on a warm bottle, there’s the problem of finding a way to heat it up, which isn’t always easy.
Con: All the dishes.
The convenience of anyone being able to feed baby is offset by all the dishes to clean! (Especially if you use bottles with lots of pieces like Dr. Browns.) This isn’t too big an issue of course, but it can be tedious.
Obviously I’m not a doctor or pediatrician and this is not medical advice. I’m just sharing my experience in hopes that you feel heard and not alone. The truth is that there are pros and cons to everything, even breastfeeding and formula feeding. The best thing to do is find what works for you and your family. That may mean breast is best, it may mean freedom in formula, or it may be somewhere in between!
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