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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Formula Vs. Breastfeeding

Picture from "Accustomed Chaos"

I breastfed Princess for a year.  I had to supplement with formula because she just wasn't getting enough otherwise, but still...a year is an accomplishment.  It was hard, especially for the first few months.  And the next few.  And a few more after that.  First, she couldn't figure out how to latch on, then she went on a nursing strike.  It was rough, but I was determined to make it work.

Then I had Little Man.  Breastfeeding experts will tell you that a baby will never reject it's own mother.  They're wrong.  Little Man violently, angrily, loudly rejected me.  He frustrated an experienced lactation consultant and numerous nurses at the hospital.  I assumed he'd figure it out eventually and stuck it out for three months before a nasty bout of mastitis shut the factory down.  After starting him on formula, my scrawny, screaming baby became a chubby happy baby (actually he still screamed when he was tired, but, not surprisingly, being fed enough did keep him happier the rest of the time).  All told, the experience was a total nightmare that kept me from truly bonding with Little Man for a while.

So what do I do this time around?  The thought of breastfeeding again makes me actually sick to my stomach.  I know I might regret it later if I don't at least give it a shot with this baby, but I really, really, really don't want to breastfeed again.

Everyone keeps telling me that I need to at least give it a try.  Maybe I'll try it for a week or two, but honestly, even if it's going well, I don't want to breastfeed.  Period.  I feel so guilty because I know the health benefits, but I also don't think it's very healthy for the baby if the mommy is absolutely miserable.   

What do you think?

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  1. Ahh, breastfeeding...with my first daughter the first six weeks were horrible. I had horrific pain every time I fed her and dreaded when it was time for her to eat. I completely agree with you that something like that can make bonding with your baby more difficult. Fortunately, with my second daughter things are going much, much better (although I did come down with a nasty case of mastitis...my God that was awful). My thought is that whatever you chose is your decision and ultimately you're the expert on what's best for you, your baby and your family. Oh, and good luck!!

  2. I love this post. Thank you so much for sharing. I think you are making a great decision, and it is not an easy decision to make. Don't let anyone try to talk you into doing something you don't want to do. You know what's best for you and for your family. I am pumping exclusively for my daughter who is now a year old. I am currently in the process of weaning from the pump, and now that I'm looking back at the whole experience, I wonder whether all the pumping was really worth it. Yes, she got the health benefits, but I was so miserable at the beginning because of it that I think it might have been better if I had just formula fed.

    1. I was almost hesitant to write this post because it's such a controversial issue, but I'm glad I did. This is the first baby I've formula fed right from the start and things are so much less stressful which is a lifesaver when having a preschooler and toddler to deal with besides the baby.


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