5 Thoughts for the Mom Who Hates Breastfeeding

posted by Andrea | 11/14/2016
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bottle feeding

Over the past 2 months, I’ve had a handful of conversations with various mothers of brand new babies — neighbors, friends from church, friends from high school and college, moms with kids in Nora’s class, and even a random lady at Meijer!

The conversations always started out very light-hearted — How many weeks old are they now? Did you find out the gender or were you surprised? Did you get newborn pictures? How did you decide on the name? etc. etc. — but in each situation, the conversations circled back to the topic of bottles and formula versus breastfeeding (yes, even with the lady in Meijer!)

For those of you who don’t know me, I am NOT one to start a conversation about breastfeeding versus bottle feeding — in fact, I will pretty much avoid that topic at all costs.

I was not the person to start these conversations either — but over and over again, I sensed the moms’ frustrations with their efforts to breastfeed. It wasn’t going well, their babies were still hungry, they were tired and wanted a break, they didn’t want to pump at work… BUT they felt so much pressure to exclusively breastfeed that they weren’t even considering formula.

More and more, I’ve sensed a ridiculously huge pressure on moms (usually from the internet, but also from medical professionals) to exclusively breastfeed NO MATTER WHAT.

The baby doesn’t have a good latch? Work with a lactation consultant.

You’re worried about milk supply? Drink special tea and pump after each feeding to increase your supply.

You’re going back to work and don’t want to pump in a bathroom stall? Suck it up. After all, it’s for your baby.

Your baby is hungry ALLLLLL the time? Great! Feed her ALLLLLL the time.

It hurts like hell? Just keep trying.

You hate nursing? Don’t worry, it’s “only” for a year.

Certainly, I realize ALL the benefits of breastfeeding — and if it’s important for you to breastfeed your babies, then I don’t think there is anything wrong with sticking with it, pushing through some pain, and working with a lactation consultant.

BUT… if you just hate it and want to be done, I’m fairly confident that using formula will not harm your baby’s growth and development.

Yes, formula is also more expensive, but speaking as a very frugal person, I’m 100% positive the monetary cost of using formula for Simon was worth it based on how much it “saved” me (namely, my sanity!)

Now, before I go any further, I should probably clarify a few things…

I have 3 children — 2 were breastfed exclusively, 1 was bottle-fed exclusively starting at 6 weeks old.

Breastfeeding was/is VERY easy for me. I never had one single issue with pain, discomfort, poor latch, low supply, etc.

I’ve always been a stay-at-home-mom, so my choice to use bottles for my middle child wasn’t for my career — it was for my sanity!

After all the feeding issues we had with Nora, there was never a doubt in my mind that I would use bottles with Simon — and I’ve honestly never regretted that decision.

On the flip side, after using bottles with Simon, I was fairly confident I would breastfeed James — mainly because I was tired of washing bottles and they were so close in age that Simon was actually still drinking a couple bottles a day when James was born. 🙂

I’m a fairly confident person, so I didn’t really care what anyone thought of my choice to use bottles and formula.

After my recent conversations with these new moms… and after 5 years of collective experience nursing, pumping, and washing bottles, I’m sharing 5 thoughts that I hope will be encouraging to any mom struggling in their breastfeeding journey.

1. Breastfeeding is NOT for everyone.

I’m very thankful breastfeeding was easy for me (especially since Nora refused bottles) but I can’t tell you how much of a relief it was to use bottles for Simon.

If breastfeeding is not easy for you, or if you just hate it, try something else.

I can’t think of many areas of life when we would continue to do something we hated or that wasn’t working for us when there was another perfectly suitable solution to our problem right in front of our faces.

There are enough things to worry about as a new mom — feeding our babies doesn’t have to be stressful!

2. Formula shouldn’t be a “last resort”.

Formula is a fabulous option for working moms, stay-at-home moms, full-time bottle-fed babies, and occasional bottle-fed babies. It’s suitable for fussy babies, calm babies, happy babies, and grumpy babies.

Formula is a great option for the mom who has tried EVERYTHING and still can’t breastfeed. But it’s also a great option for the mom who works outside the home, the mom who doesn’t want a baby attached to her for a full year, and the mom who just wants an occasional break.

Using formula was not a “last resort” with Simon — it was completely planned out ahead of time, and I’m so glad I didn’t change my mind!

I’m annoyed with the current stigma of “inferior” or “bad” associated with using formula — especially since using formula can have such a positive effect on the mother’s quality of life — which will most likely transfer over to her baby (because babies can definitely sense our stress).

3. Most people really don’t care.

Yes, there will always be attention-seeking celebrities posting breastfeeding selfies all over the internet, there will always be crazy ladies chanting “breast is best” to anyone who will listen, and there will most likely be a few “special” people in your life that will let you know they don’t approve of bottle feeding — but for the most part, other people really don’t care about how YOU feed YOUR baby.

As I mentioned above, I’m a fairly confident person, but even still, I braced myself for the negative comments that would surface once I shared my bottle-feeding journey on my blog and with my real-life friends.

Would you believe that I only ever got ONE slightly negative comment the entire time I was bottle feeding Simon? Other than that, everyone was very supportive — to the point that it wasn’t even a ‘thing’ or a topic of conversation.

I know it might seem like you’ll be the outcast of your fellow mother’s group if you switch to formula, but I have a feeling no one will really even care!

4. The myths aren’t necessarily true.

I’ve heard everything from “bottle fed babies get sick easier” to “bottle fed babies won’t have the same attachment to their mothers” and even “you’ll lose your weight quicker if you breastfeed”, and I honestly don’t believe any of it.

I know it’s all individual case-by-case scenarios — but just using the 3 examples I gave above, Simon is the LEAST likely to get sick of any of our kids, and if you think that little boy isn’t attached to me, you are SO wrong! Also, James’ pregnancy was the hardest for me to lose the weight, and I basically breastfed him around the clock for months!

Simon is (and always was) our best sleeper, he was our best infant and toddler eater, he is the least “sensitive”, he is extremely tough and resilient, and he loves me more than anyone in the whole world.

If you think giving your baby a few ounces of formula everyday will somehow corrupt him for life, please think again. These myths, theories, and assumptions are not necessarily true!

5. We are so fortunate!

We have options, and resources, and assistance — we are SO fortunate!

We are educated and informed and can choose the best plan for our family, our baby, and our life — we are SO fortunate!

We have government programs that assure women and children have access to healthcare and nutrition — we are SO fortunate!

We live in America (or another developed country) and don’t worry about our children literally starving to death — we are SO fortunate!

If you think of the fact that there are thousands of children and babies who starve to death every week, the decision to use formula as opposed to breast milk just seems so small and insignificant.

Our babies are fed, they are safe, they are loved… that’s all that really matters.

I know it still might seem like a HUGE deal to switch over to formula — but I promise it won’t be the end of the world!

If breastfeeding is difficult, painful, causing unnecessary stress in your life, affecting your mood or your relationship with your baby, or if you just need a break, I would highly encourage you to give formula a try.

The sense of relief I felt after switching Simon over to bottles is something I can’t really even explain. It was just the “break” I needed to feel like I could be independent if I needed to be — and Dave really enjoyed feeding him at times too!

Even though I switched back to breastfeeding for James, I will always be thankful for Simon’s bottle-feeding experience as it really did put so many things in perspective for me.

There is absolutely nothing I regret about using bottles for Simon… except maybe the time Dave and I spent washing them 🙂

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40 comments

  1. Kate

    12/02/2016

    Hi Andrea,
    I really appreciated this article.
    You mentioned you exclusively bottle fed Simon from 6 weeks old.
    Just curious, how long was he on breast milk for? When did you switch to formula with him?
    Thanks.
    Ps. I wonder if the previous commenter above who mentioned ‘Breast is Best’ is from Australia…… That is actually what they say here. It’s like the campaign slogan.

    [Reply]

  2. Carol Smith

    11/16/2016

    Such a great article! I too felt a lot of peer pressure to breastfeed. I decided to try it but wasn’t convinced it would be for us. With my first child it was relatively easy and worked well. At the time I worked just 2 days a week (8 hour shifts in those days) and as a nursing suoervisor I had access to the “hospital grade” pump and a lot of support from the nursery nurses; their director gave me a key to her office so I could use it on the weekends.
    5 years later when I had my son I was working in ICU full time and while I still had the same support I just couldn’t count on getting breaks to pump at regular intervals. Ir was so stressful and eventually my milk supply dwindled during the day. I ended up nursing my son in the morning, when I got home from work and at bedtime; during the day he drank formula from a bottle either with his daycare provider or for me on my days off.
    I wish more moms knew it doesn’t need to be an all or nothing approach to breast feeding. My milk supply adjusted to what worked for us at the time; moms need to know they have options and whatever works best for your family is the way to go!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for this Carol! I agree that it doesn’t have to be “all or nothing” so I’m glad you shared your story!

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  3. Janine

    11/16/2016

    Awesome article!!! I wish I had read something like this when my babies were born. I absolutely hated breastfeeding. It was incredibly painful (my poor babes looked like they were latching on to raw hamburger) and I couldn’t wait to quit. I was soo happy to get pregnant again with my 3rd because I had to tell my mom (a huge breastfeeding advocate) that I just couldn’t nurse my 6 month old anymore because I had to look out for my unborn baby. I tried to sound regretful but inside I was leaping for joy.

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  4. Alissa

    11/15/2016

    Great Post!! I consumed so many calories the first 5 months while breastfeeding our twins that I thought formula seemed cheap! I literally ate All.The.Time! Switching to formula at 5.5 months was the best choice ever. Nights got better, I felt better, and we’re all happier now 🙂 I think if us Moms would encourage each other in our differences, it would take so much pressure off the feeling of trying to get everything right. Every baby and Mom is uniquely designed by God!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — that’s great! I guess I never considered how much more I would eat when nursing. Also, I joke about how ‘expensive’ it was to feed Nora because her food therapy was SO crazy expensive. In her case breastfeeding definitely was NOT “free”!

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  5. Pamela

    11/15/2016

    Yes, yes, yes! I hated breastfeeding – it was just so painful and I couldn’t get the hang of it! I think at one point I counted 14 bruises on my breasts from getting it wrong. I felt like there was a lot of pressure from the hospital to breastfeed, too. I remember just bursting into tears when they brought in the horrid pump. I wanted to snuggle my baby, not be hooked up to a machine! Once we got home, I couldn’t tell if I was doing it “right” – I gave up after a week and I was sooooo happy to use formula!! For me, it was really important to be able to *see* how much milk my baby was getting rather than trying to count wet diapers or what have you.

    I think breastfeeding is great if it works for you, but just like everything else, it has to work for you and your family. My baby thrived on formula and I’m grateful 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — that’s brutal! Glad you were able to switch to formula!

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  6. Nicky

    11/15/2016

    I applaud the confidence you show in making a decision based on YOUR wants and needs but I think writing an article which implies breastfeeding has no health or developmental benefits is factually wrong. You chose the way you fed your baby because it suited you, fine, but there are literally hundereds of accurate impartial scientific studies which have have been well researched that show the benefits of breastfeeding over formula. Yes this is a first world problem. Formula feeding in an area with little clean water and no sterilisation facilities is often dangerous for babies (yet big co-orporations encourage sale of formula there by giving it away free for the first few weeks) but please don’t imagine there is no effects in the developed world. Here is a quote from the World Health Organisation website; “Every year, more than 155 000 children in the European Region die before the age of 5, with 19% dying from pneumonia or diarrhoea. In April 2013, WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched the integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea, calling for better integration of efforts for prevention and treatment. Since breastfeeding benefits infants’ immune systems, increasing rates would help to achieve the Action Plan’s goal of reducing infant mortality.” This is more valuable to me than one mothers anecdiotal ‘evidence’. It comes from an article on thje necessity for peer support which has been identified as the the main reason mothers give up breastfeeding.

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  7. Tara

    11/14/2016

    Yes to all of this Andrea. This message needs to be out there. We are so blessed to have options. I have glandular insufficiency and am physically not able to produce more than about an ounce or two of breastmilk in a 24 hour period. It was a tough pill to swallow with my first baby. I cried and cried and mourned the loss. Meanwhile my husband, mom and aunt were all pretty thrilled to get to hold her and feed her too.

    With my second, I knew what I was in for. I pumped drops of milk for a few weeks and fed them to my son with a syringe before each formula feeding. I cried tears of joy and cherished my cousin’s remaining frozen stash of breastmilk she tearfully passed on to me when her baby refused a bottle and she had to juggle trying to nurse while working part time. Then I moved on and enjoyed no postpartum depression and felt much more human. I was getting decent amounts of sleep because my husband and I were able to stagger night feedings between us.

    I do believe breastfeeding/breastmilk is the best situation for babies of any kind. But it’s been optional for many new mothers for centuries. I think people forget that only a few decades ago, when a mother couldn’t or wouldn’t breastfeed for one reason or another they called upon the services of a wet nurse! There’s a concept! Haha!

    I have a friend my age (mid-thirties) who had a stay-at-home dad who took her to a lactating neighbor lady to nurse because she refused bottles and her mother was a nurse-midwife who had unpredictable and long work hours. You don’t see wet nurses so much these days. I wonder if people would have judged me for toting around a lactating woman in my diaper bag to feed my children so they could always have the “best.”

    Andrea, thank you for your levelheaded presentation of reality. To any new moms out there reading this…you cannot singlehandedly prevent your child from being a wonderful healthy human being by breastfeeding or not. This applies to many other currently controversial topics in mommy-hood too. Do what your gut and your Higher Power lead you to do and then rest in the fact that you are not God. Just a human being doing the very best you can do. That’s what your kids are too.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    well, I can relate to your cousin a little bit — and that’s one of the reasons I quit working my part time job after Nora was born. It was just too stressful when she wouldn’t take bottles. I actually tried to give my 50-bag stash of pumped milk to a couple people who had recently adopted but they didn’t want it. Oh well.

    Also, the whole Wet Nurse concept is something I never really thought about before — but I do realize they were used in the past. That’s so interesting — however, I just can’t imagine ever wanting to nurse someone else’s baby!

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    Tara Reply:

    I can’t really imagine it either. It seems so foreign to me in our world of sterilizing bottles etc. to just let another person put my child to their breast. But I guess I’d do it rather than watch a baby starve. That is if I had the ability to do it. I think I’d honestly have a harder time letting someone else breastfeed my child than breastfeed theirs. That connection they might have seems strange to me. So thankful for bottles and formula and that my babies were willing to take them.

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  8. Laura D.

    11/14/2016

    Our son was born with a cleft palate (a hole in the roof of his mouth), so breastfeeding was not an option. He had to stay in the hospital until he could drink two ounces of formula at a feeding, which took him six days, and that was with a squeezable bottle with a cross-cut nipple. His dad and I made some trips to the hospital to learn how to feed him. Even after we brought him home, some feedings took an hour for some days. Then partial suction kicked in, and feedings went more smoothly. The cleft was successfully repaired via surgery when he was 4 1/2 months old, after which he drank his formula from a big syringe for 10 days. He is now 29 years old, over 6 feet tall, and a new parent himself. I am VERY thankful for formula!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow! thankful for formula and modern medicine!

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  9. Melissa

    11/14/2016

    Thank you for this article! I am one of those moms who completely hated breastfeeding – pain involved, not producing enough, incessant pumping. I’m very thankful to read an honest, forthright article like this!

    [Reply]

  10. Holly

    11/14/2016

    I have 3 girls and successfully nursed 2 of them for almost a year. I was devastated that I was unable to nurse my middle daughter due to poor suck strength. It took me until she was 14 weeks old after her 2nd swallow study when one of my dearest friends ( a HUGE breastfeeding advocate who also happened to be the Speech Therapist who did her swallow study) looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “Oh Holly- there was no possible way for her to breastfeed” for me to forgive myself and move on. How sad is that?! There is just too much pressure! After that moment I realized that ‘fed’ is best. Breastfed, botttlefed, you name it…but the root word is fed. It doesn’t matter how their bellies get full. There were many feedings where I had to feed my baby using a medicine dropper just to get food in her belly bc her suck strength was so weak. But she was fed. Thank god we figured out the problem and got her into the proper therapy and she was able to take a bottle! She is now 7 & extremely healthy. Formula and all!

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  11. JoDi

    11/14/2016

    It’s funny to see how things change over time.I remember my mom breastfeeding my sisters in the late 70’s and early 80’s back when bottle feeding was the norm and breastfeeding was still out of vogue. I recall some people having negative things to say about her breastfeeding. Now attitudes have done a 180! I find the change odd because you’d think that with more moms working outside the home now, bottle feeding would be MORE common, expected, and accepted than it was then!

    Personally, I did a combination of breastfeeding and bottle feeding (both pumped breastmilk and formula.) Not only did I work part-time so he had to be fed while I was at work, but our son was waking up every hour and a half through the night when he was about 6 weeks old, and a co-worker (who I will always owe my sanity to) suggested trying formula for the last feeding of the night. The first night he had formula, he slept to 6 hours straight, and I never looked back! The formula just kept him full longer so he (and I) could sleep. He was a healthy kid, rarely got sick, was a normal weight, and had normal eating habits like a typical kid as he grew up. I don’t believe that things would have been any different had he been exclusively fed one way or another.

    People need to find what works best for their kids, and it would be nice if others could expand their minds to understand that there’s rarely one “right” way to do anything. What’s considered right in one era was often considered completely wrong in another and then that can reverse completely again! Somehow we all manage to survive! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, I’ve often thought the same thing!
    My grandma tells me stories of her pregnancies, labors, and deliveries (back in the 50’s) and it’s amazing any of her 5 children survived! Her doctors literally told her to drink beer when she was pregnant to get rid of the morning sickness! Also, she was drugged (I think she said it was Ether) so she was completely unconscious and didn’t even see her babies until a day or 2 later. Of course, my grandpa wasn’t even allowed anywhere near her during the whole process. And yes, she was highly encouraged to use formula as only the very poorest families breastfed their babies!

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  12. Lydia Senn

    11/14/2016

    Personally breastfeeding was important to me. But I emphasize- TO ME. I really didn’t give a flip what other moms were doing because I’m not living their lives. In fact, I had a friend who was crying over the fact she had to supplement and she felt so guilty about it. I felt so bad for her and wondered just where that guilt was coming from. I know that from my experience I was given formula in the hospital “just in case.” I really think it depends on the region where you live.

    And for the record, my exclusively breastfed baby got 7 ear infection the first year he was alive, so I don’t know that it prevents sickness.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh sadness (about the ear infections)! All my kids are pretty healthy, but Simon seems to be the least likely to get a bug — even if the other two have coughs and runny noses. I’m sure it has NOTHING to do with formula versus breast milk, but it sure does make me happy to know that all those silly things we hear about formula-fed babies really aren’t true!

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  13. Linda

    11/14/2016

    Both my children were adopted and I was unable to breast feed them. They have grown up to be extremely healthy children, now ages 20 and 17. One ear infection between the two of them, very few colds or other childhood illnesses. No need for braces. And I assume the formula companies have continued to improve their recipes.

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  14. Jules

    11/14/2016

    Enjoyed reading this today. My favorite part:

    I can’t think of many areas of life when we would continue to do something we hated or that wasn’t working for us when there was another perfectly suitable solution to our problem right in front of our faces.

    My 6 month old is still nursing and I am thankful our experience has been relatively ‘easy’, but have always been open to doing whatever is best for him. Even though I chose to nurse him, I, too, felt the pressure of Breast is Best propaganda, which is borderline ridiculous. It seems that if society as a whole had the same non-judgmental attitude as your readers, mamas would be in a better place 🙂 Thanks for always honestly sharing your thoughts on motherhood. It is refreshing and encouraging to all of us

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes — so true… also, my readers are awesome 🙂

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  15. Kelynn

    11/14/2016

    Thanks for the great article, Andrea. Wish I would have read something like this about 3 months ago. The struggle with not producing enough breast milk was hard, but now Jameson is a healthy, formula fed baby! Love the article. Thanks again.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    healthy is the important thing — and bottles can be SOOOO much easier too (besides washing them) 🙂 Glad you found what works for you and Jameson!

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  16. Shelia B

    11/14/2016

    My ‘babies’ are all teenagers now but I had twins the first go round and tried breast feeding them – it was hard. And I’ll never forget a lady I worked with told me this about breastfeeding vs formula feeding….Go to a classroom full of kindergarten children and point out which ones were breast vs formula fed. You can’t!!! As long as the baby is fed and loved, then what does it matter where the nutrition comes from. That eased my concern and has always stayed with me as some of the best advice i’ve ever gotten.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, I’ve heard people say the Kindergarten thing too — it’s a great perspective to have!

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  17. Leanne

    11/14/2016

    Since my first two babies were adopted 20 months apart as infants, we used formula (and I mean “we” because my husband fed them too 🙂 )… when I got pregnant and delivered my biological child, I had already made the firm decision to bottle feed him… for convenience (I had the formula thing all figured out!)…. for availability to my two other toddlers…and to save myself from exhaustion…
    I had a nurse criticize me in the hospital for “not trying”…
    I had a fellow friend mom, say how much harm I was probably doing to my biological child…
    I had a relative who also criticized my decision…along with my decision to have a planned C-section based on a discussion with my OB doctor and my neurologist…
    in the end, I realized, it’s my body, my child, my choice and none of their business because, like you said, my child was loved, safe, and very happy…
    and I made the right choice for my family…
    such a great article!!…
    oh…and I’m happy to report that despite being formula fed, all of my children are very healthy and make good grades at school… 😉

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — that’s a lot of babies in a short time period! Go you!

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  18. Amy B

    11/14/2016

    Great article–I love how you chose what was best for you and your kiddos!

    I don’t produce enough milk for my kiddos, so after trying everything to help with #1, I gave formula. I breastfed #2 for a few weeks and supplemented with formula. I’m pregnant with #3 and I told my midwife I’m not sure if I’m going to even try breastfeeding, and I didn’t want all the nurses and lactation consultants bugging me about it in the hospital 🙂
    I had a hard time with #1, worry about judgy people (and got a few comments), but with #2 and #3 I didn’t/don’t care! 😉 Less stress is best for me and baby, and I chose what works best for our family.
    Formula is expensive, but I’m super thankful that we live in a time/country where we have clean water and so many formula options available!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    With Simon, I KNEW I was going to bottle feed, but I told all the doctors and nurses that I was going to breastfeed (just because I didn’t want to hear their lectures). I nursed him until my 6-week checkup and switched to bottles the next day! So technically, I didn’t even lie to them when they asked if I was still nursing at that appointment!
    Just go with your gut — if your gut says to use bottles from day 1, then use bottles. Or pretend that you’re going to nurse and start bottles the day you get home from the hospital!

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  19. Kelly Hess

    11/14/2016

    Great article Andrea! As of Mom of 3 who ended up bottle feeding all three of her kids, I LOVE this perspective. The guilt is huge. We put enough of that on ourselves, who needs someone else critiquing our choices. My kids are smart and healthy, and drank formula! I had a wonderful pediatrician who put it in perspective for me that I was putting too much pressure on myself.

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  20. Tina

    11/14/2016

    I feel like you are gonna get criticism no matter what you do. So it really doesn’t matter what way you feed your baby. Do what’s best for your family.

    I breastfed both my kids for 18 months. I never pumped because I tried it and didn’t like it and I despise washing dishes. This worked best for me and my family.

    You would not believe how many weird looks from people you get when they find out your breastfeeding past a year. Even my mother kept saying “when are you just gonna give them a bottle/wean them?”. I had many emotional conversations with my husband about the pressure i was receiving.

    My son was not a good table food eater and probably needed to nurse a few months longer than 18 months, but I partially stopped him when I did because of a lot of people basically saying ‘you’re really not done yet? How much longer is this gonna go on?’ he went down from 90 percentile to 20 percentile quick and I vowed never to care about what people think about how I feed my babies ever again.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    You’re probably right to some degree (about criticism no matter what you do). That’s unfortunate, but also sort of a reality now days 🙁
    Also, I vividly remember when Nora was about 11 months old, I told an acquaintance that she still wasn’t eating any table food and only nursing. That persona said “but she’s not even a year old yet… give it time.” Then, at 13 months old, that same acquaintance realized I was still nursing and basically looked at me like I had 2 heads for nursing after 1 year 🙂

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  21. Julie S-H

    11/14/2016

    Great article! So true! I breastfed both my sons but weaned the second one much younger (4-5 months?). I was in gradschool and had to send him off to a wonderful lady for daycare a few hours a day. He turned out fantastic!! 😉 But what I remember most is giving my other older son his first formula at 8 months when it just felt like I didn’t have enough milk and he gobbled it up and slept in the most satisfied way I hadn’t seen in awhile. I thought my gosh why didn’t I do that sooner? From then on I supplemented! You can’t go back in time, but I realized what you always share on your blog- you have to do what works for you (and your baby!). For whatever reason my son wanted more milk than I was making! I will never forget that look on his face of happy satisfaction with a full tummy. I did feel so fortunate to have the option of formula. 😉

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes always — what works for you and your family and your stage of life. It was so interesting to me that breastfeeding seemed to be the easier, simpler, more logical choice for James when I was SO intent on using bottles for Simon. I was at a different stage of life I guess!

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  22. Mara

    11/14/2016

    GREAT post and thanks for sharing. Baby number 3 arrived last Monday and I have done a different combination of formula, breast and pumping with each baby! It just really depends on so many factors. I was having the same thoughts as you when our hospital starting BOMBARDING me with “Breast is Best” propaganda. There was never once a sheet regarding facts and helpful tips regarding formula and bottle feeding. So disappointing! Thank you for sharing on a vulnerable topic, I think a lot of mothers will enjoy this post.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — congratulations! one week old today!
    Also, I literally laughed out loud when I read “Breast is Best propaganda”! thanks for the good laugh 🙂

    [Reply]

  23. Jessica

    11/14/2016

    Thanks for this, Andrea. While my daughter is now 12 months old, I still remember the intense feelings of guilt over hating breastfeeding- the pain, my daughter screaming and still being hungry, pumping for 3 hours a day and only getting 3-4 ounces. I remember a friend looking at me when I was 6 weeks postpartum and saying, “Have you considered just doing formula?” She herself had nursed 3 babies successfully well past a year. In a weird way, that nursing mother validating the feelings I was having, with zero judgement, gave me the “permission” I felt that I needed to give up the incessant pumping, tea drinking, supplement taking and just enjoy sitting down with my daughter to give her a bottle. I started weaning from the pump the next day and have never regretted it. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this matter.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Glad you had a non-judgemental friend wit lots of baby experience! I had to laugh because the one and only person to give me any bit of grief about using bottles and formula for Simon was someone with no children. That friend is now pregnant with her first baby and I’m interested to see how she handles feeding her new baby 🙂

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