Thoughts On Using Formula

DSC 0448blogcolor2

When I saw the topic for Kaitlyn's linkup this week was breastfeeding vs. formula, I knew I wanted to write something on the subject.  I know there are probably going to be a lot of posts on why breastfeeding is better - and there's a good reason for that!  Studies have established firmly at this point that breastmilk is more beneficial for babies than formula - and if you have or are expecting a baby, I'm sure you've already heard that.  

With that knowledge comes huge amount of pressure to breastfeed your baby - and I'd certainly encourage you to try, because it is good for your baby!  But I wanted to say one other thing too.

It's okay if you use formula.

If you can't keep your supply up, and your baby just isn't getting enough to eat from you?  It's okay to use formula.

If you are in so much pain while nursing that it's affecting your bond with your baby?  It's okay to use formula.

If you've nursed successfully for months, but for one reason or another you decide it's time to wean?  It's okay to use formula.

I think sometimes everyone focuses so much on the fact that breastfeeding is better for baby that moms who don't or can't breastfeed feel a tremendous amount of guilt, like they have somehow failed their baby.  And that just isn't fair.  I trust that most moms want to do what's best for their children, and if breastfeeding just isn't working?  I'm not going to put extra stress on that mom by judging her or making her feel worse about her decision.

You have to do what is going to work best for you and your baby, and you are the only one who can decide that, based upon your unique situation.  If it's breastfeeding, that's wonderful.  If it's formula, that's good too.  

Don't put unnecessary guilt on yourself.  As a book I recently read says, you can have a room full of two year olds and no one will be able to pick the formula-fed kids out of the crowd.  Your baby will be fine either way.
You may also like:
Emily Powell said...

I had so much trouble with this! My supply was so low and I tried all the tricks to increase but my thyroid disorder really made the decision for me. People will say its an excuse and thats so hurtful because they dont know my medical history. I have an under active thyroid so it causes other parts of my body to be under active too...just makes you feel sub par :(

Caits said...

Can I just say, I totally thought you were going to be all breastfeeding is great... etc. But I am so glad you wrote about formula being okay!! I wanted to breastfeed my daughter so much, I never even thought about formula when I was pregnant. Turns out my girlie had problems latching on (due to low tone and other problems) and subsequently my milk never actually came in. Formula it was. It's so nice to hear out there other moms who think formula is okay too!

Jessica said...

Great post! My cousin had her first baby, and he had a cleft lip and palate, so she was unable to breast feed. When she became pregnant with her second child, she was so excited to breast feed!...only to find out after trying that her body is simply unable to produce milk(the way it was explained to me is that she just doesn't have as many milk glands as she should, so she cannot produce milk). She was so devastated, and felt so guilty, and it shouldn't be that way! I think there is almost a stigma related with using formula in our culture, and I hope we can get away from that, because I know it produces a lot of guilt for mothers who just can't breast feed. Again, great post! I'm trying to keep in mind that it's not the end of the world if breast feeding doesn't work for me.

Lauren said...

great post! I am so thankful that I was able to breastfeed Elyse, but I'm trying to remember that if I can't breastfeed my future children then it's OK!

Brittney Galloway said...

I agree, too much pressure when sometimes the nutritional benefits don't out weight the emotional issues that can arise. And I laughed when I read about the room of 2 year olds- so true.

Erica Layne | Let Why Lead said...

Well said, Callie! I think a lot of people who promote breast feeding forget how it makes everyone who uses formula feel. And it is not as simple as choosing one or the other; there are way too many variables that go into it, some of which we can't even control. Thanks for the post!

Melissa said...

I love this! I know I'm not a mom but i have heard moms get all crazy to moms who don't breastfeed! And I've just thought - let them do what they need to do, and you do what you need to do! You know? I hope to breatfeed, for sure, but i am not going to hate myself if it isn't working!

Lindsay said...

This!!! So good and so true. I tried SO hard to nurse and was making myself so crazy my doctor finally told me I needed to stop! He reminded me that if I'm not healthy I'm not doing anything good for our baby...it was SO hard! I felt like a total failure and was pretty depressed. I still wish I could have made it work but I know I did everything I could and more. (Including waking up when she was sound asleep to pump!) our bond is amazing and really don't believe we are any worse off for it. I just wish it wasn't SUCH a thing...

Tiffany @ Austin Family Diary said...

Thanks so much for posting this Callie. I am really struggling already with the pressure of breast feeding and Elliott isn't even here yet. It's all the "what-ifs" right now. I'm trying to just relax and let whatever happen happen, but it's definitely nerve wracking. It's totally true--you really can't pick out the formula fed kids vs the breast fed kids :)

Diana Hill said...

All i can say is Thank You for this post!!

Jenni Lynn said...

such a great and encouraging post Callie!! So true, so true. I have breast fed my babies as long as I can, but I agree there is A LOT of pressure and people who may look down on you if you don't nurse. I have seen so many mama's with unique situations who are able to nurse for a long time and some who are not. It is stressful with the added pressure of everyone telling you to do it. If you can, awesome and great, but if you can't, just like you said, "formula is ok"

Danielle said...

Totally random but is that a breastfeeding poncho?

AJB said...

Thank you, Callie! I felt that way for quite a way while with Jaydon, and now going through pregnancy, I've been so worried about not being able to. This was a great reminder of what's truly important on this subject.

Hannah said...

I think it's so great that you wrote this post. I know I struggled with the whole breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding for a while, it was difficult trying to make breastfeeding work for us. This post is a great encouragement :)

© Through Clouded Glass. Design by MangoBlogs.