Bomb Drop: I am making the choice to formula feed my son before he is even born.
It is not my backup plan. It is my only plan. I am already stocking up on formula – grabbing a can a couple times a month. I’ve got bottles picked out. I’ll get a stash of distilled water going. Jameson will drink formula as his very first meal and he is not only going to survive, he is going to thrive!
People have such strong feelings on this topic. Our society shoves “breast is best” down expecting mom’s throats. It is expected that every mom breastfeed their baby. Many mothers who cannot breastfeed are thought to be failures and many mothers who choose not to breastfeed are thought to be lazy. I’m not typically one of those “my body, my choice” women, but when it comes to this topic, I am a mind your own business kind of woman. I don’t mind if you ask or even inquire about my choice, but you can keep your opinions and judgements to yourself.
When I was pregnant with Hazel, I wasn’t too excited about breastfeeding. It was daunting and wasn’t really something I was interested in, but everything I saw and read said that it was the best option and my baby would suffer if I didn’t try. So I read the books, got the stuff, talked to other moms, and was all set to breastfeed… and it was awful from the very beginning.
Every couple of hours, I would try and get Hazel to latch and when she did, we would sit there – her eating for an hour on one side and then we would switch. She would proceed to cry and be upset. I was so exhausted and didn’t know what was wrong. It got to the point where I had no desire to feed her. I would put it off and refuse to get her. My mom was staying with us to help out at the time and she made a bottle of formula and told me that I had to suck it up – either breastfeed her or give her the bottle, but I had to feed her. I cried, because I was conditioned to believe that bottle/formula would harm my child, but I couldn’t breastfeed her anymore, so I told my mom to go ahead and give her the bottle. The next morning, I decided I would try to exclusively pump that way she was still getting breast milk. Well that only lasted a few days. I would pump for an hour on each breast and only get like an ounce. It was absolutely brutal and not worth it to me at all. I decided to be done with breastfeeding/pumping and feed her exclusively with formula.
After making that decision, Hazel was a new baby and I was a new mom. Our relationship was restored. She was finally full and I was less stressed and exhausted. Hazel was fed with formula until she was 12 months old and she is an amazing baby/kid/toddler. She was not harmed or stunted in any way by drinking formula. She is happy, healthy, smart, sweet, and funny and I have no doubt that Jameson will be the same way.
I am sharing my story, because I honestly feel like many new moms are bullied into breastfeeding. If they share that they might not be interested, they are immediately talked back into it. It is not an easy task and it isn’t for everyone. We need to shed more light on the fact that formula is a perfectly good option for feeding our babies and moms are capable of making the decision on how they want to feed their babies. Breast is a good option, but formula is also a good option. We should support moms regardless of which choice they make.