In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I’ve decided to be different. Because well darling, it’s just my style. I formula feed Grayson. I have no regrets. I have no doubts about the nutritional value of formula. And no, this post is not sponsored by a formula brand. You can read more about my prior thoughts on breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding and you can clearly see, things didn’t work out this time around once again and well—I am completely happy and content.
I wanted to share my thoughts to reassure those who can’t or aren’t successful with breast feeding that you shouldn’t feel bad or guilty as a mother. Yes, it’s World Breastfeeding Week and congrats to all of those who can, but let’s not make those who can’t or choose not too feel bad. We are all in this together, right? I believe so. I think that is where the problem lies, in the support. Who cares if you breastfeed? Who cares if you bottle feed? Like I just told BabyZone, really the focus should be on feeding your baby in general and focusing on their well being it doesn’t matter how you do it. Breast or bottle. And that is how I feel. You need to feed your baby. That is your role and responsibility as a parent. It’s OKAY to not breastfed. Yes, I said it.
So many new moms feel such pressure to breast feed. While doctors and nurses are pushed to tell you to do it, it’s your decision. Whatever it may be. Some physically can’t breastfeed for whatever reason, they just can’t. Some just don’t want too. Or it may be something that just isn’t for you and that is okay. I promise.
As I hit publish, I do realize the feedback I am about to receive, but please keep in mind that I didn’t breastfeed because I couldn’t. I wasn’t able to do it. I haven’t been successful in the past and it just seems to be something my body doesn’t do as well, along with various medical reasons that occurred. I don’t need to know the benefits that I missed out on or hear that I am a bad mom for feeding my child a bottle. If you can breastfeed and choose to then more power to you girlfriend! I am in no way anti-breastfeeding, it just wasn’t something we could do—and that’s okay.
Check out the reasons why I don’t feel bad about not being able to breastfeed.
1. My baby is healthy. While Grayson has had some major health issues, they are NOT related to breastfeeding. In fact, if I did breastfeed, he wouldn’t do as well on the growth chart and he would be in constantly pain with his severe acid reflux. Knowing that Grayson is happy and loves his bottle so much makes me feel better about not being able to breastfeed.
2. I am not depressed. Now, that doesn’t mean the person next to me breastfeeding is depressed, but one study found that women who disliked breastfeeding were 42 percent more likely to experience postpartum depression than those who truly enjoyed it. We have to remember that it is just as important to take care of the mother, not just the baby. If you are thinking to yourself that you just can’t do it anymore, call your doctor and stop. You don’t need to feel that pressure as mom.
3. No mom fail here. I love my kids so much. They are my life! But breastfeeding is demanding and can be very difficult for some. Once I found out that this just wasn’t going to work due to Grayson’s sugar issues, I let it go. I wasn’t stuck on the thought that I failed as a mother.
4. Health issues win. Grayson’s sugar level issues at birth caused a problem with breastfeeding due to the lack of calories. He also has severe acid reflux, as well as allergies. When he saw a specialist, they felt that he was allergic to my milk. As soon as we made the switch to hypoallergenic formula, he was instantly happier. Which means, the entire family was happier. No more projectile vomiting. No more screaming. Some mothers spend so much time being frustrated and worrying over breastfeeding when they could have been spending those precious moments with their child instead. You have to remember to do what is best for all.
5. Formula is not the F word. I don’t feel bad for feeding my baby a bottle with formula. While yes, best is breast… it’s my baby, my choice, and I felt the need to do what is BEST for him even if that wasn’t by breast.
6. I’m proud of my decision. I couldn’t breastfeed and instead of feeling guilty, I learned to embrace motherhood with the decision I made. When you become a mom, I can promise tough choices are ahead and you need to learn how to overcome your guilt and remember you know what is best for your child.
7. I don’t feel guilty. I have no regrets about my decision not to breastfeed. I love the fact that my husband doesn’t have to rely on me to feed Grayson. I love that I don’t have to stress about pumping or sore nipples. I don’t feel guilty for not being able to breastfeed or the fact that medical reasons weren’t on our side and we have to formula feed. When my 2nd youngest Sadie was in the NICU, she had to be formula fed and I was fine with that. As I tell my husband, happy wife, happy life! And when momma is happy that sweet baby is just a happy too! And well—that truly is all that matters!
8. It isn’t my full time job. When you begin breastfeeding, you will discover your new full-time job. I remember with my first child, I breastfed for a few weeks and I clocked so many hours just sitting and I hated it. I noticed my spot on the couch was even sinking deeper because of all the hours I spent sitting on my butt. It was like she was on my boob—all day long. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing thing to be able to cherish and share those special moments and take them in while you’re breastfeeding your child, but spending hours upon hours with an attachment just wasn’t for me—especially in my line of work. I was okay with this decision and realized I was smiling a lot more when I didn’t feel the pressure to breastfeed.