Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding – Why I’m Choosing to Formula Feed My Second Baby

Why I'm Choosing to Formula Feed My Second Baby, Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding, Pregnancy, Bottle Feeding

I am less than two weeks away from giving birth to my second daughter and have made the decision to only formula feed her. This wasn’t the easiest decision to make, especially with how much society and doctors push us to breastfeed. For example, this is what the American Academy of Pediatrics states about breastfeeding:

“Breastfeeding is a natural and beneficial source of nutrition and provides the healthiest start for an infant. The AAP reaffirms its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for about the first six months of a baby’s life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of complementary foods until at least 12 months of age, and continuation of breastfeeding for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby.”

This statement is then followed up with all kinds of statistics from different studies supporting their claim. (You can read the full article and policy here.)

Needless to say, the amount of information out there telling you that breastfeeding is better than formula feeding is overwhelming.

I completely understand that breast milk does have it’s benefits over formula but, I am definitely not here to say one is better than the other. I personally agree with the phrase “fed is best,” whether that’s fed with formula or breast milk. As long as the baby is being fed enough and is healthy, then I think that’s what’s most important.

Here, I want to share with you my experience breastfeeding my first daughter and the main reasons why I am choosing to formula feed my second baby.

Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding, Why I'm Choosing to Formula Feed My Second Baby, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, Bottle Feeding, Motherhood, New Baby

There was never any question with my first baby whether or not I would breastfeed her. It’s not something I had thought about too much but as her arrival approached, I just knew that I was going to breastfeed her and that was that. I knew that breastfeeding has lots of benefits and also doesn’t cost anything so why not give it a shot?

I had just been moved to a small room after my C-section and was holding my daughter when a nurse came to check on me. She suggested that I try and feed my daughter. I instantly felt scared. I had no idea what to do! Thankfully though, the nurse was there to guide me through the process.

The first few days of feeding my daughter went as well as breastfeeding can go. She seemed to know exactly what to do. There was no trouble with her latching on, she seemed to be getting enough milk and it wasn’t painful – yet.

Soon, I was discharged from the hospital and we were on our own. At home, I continued to breastfeed our daughter but it wasn’t easy. It started to become more and more painful. I produced a lot of milk so my breasts constantly felt swollen and extremely tender.

I also started to feel resentful towards my husband. The first couple of months with a baby are overwhelming and exhausting enough as it is and when you are the only one that can feed the baby, it just adds to your exhaustion. While I did buy a pump so that I could pump into bottles and let my husband feed the baby, that didn’t change the fact that I still needed to get up to pump.

The bottom line is that I was miserable and because I felt miserable, I began to feel consumed with guilt. What was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I enjoying this process of feeding and bonding with my daughter? Did this mean I wasn’t a good mom?

I had heard stories of how bad breastfeeding could be, stories about cracked nipples, it being painful when the baby latched on, or the baby not being able to latch on at all. You hear lots of horror stories like this when researching breastfeeding. However, I wasn’t experiencing anything close to this. Yes, the process was painful sometimes but it wasn’t intolerable. So, if my experience wasn’t as bad as it could be, why was I hating it so much?

Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding, Why I'm Choosing to Formula Feed My Second Baby, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, Bottle Feeding, Motherhood, New Baby

 

Looking back, I realize now that what it comes down to is how it made me feel and I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to resent my husband and I didn’t want to feel guilty all the time.

All of these things came to mind as I debated whether or not I was going to breastfeed my second baby. Ultimately, I have decided to formula feed and below are the main reasons why I feel this is the best decision for me and my family.

1.) I will have help

Knowing that I won’t be the only one that can feed the baby takes a lot of pressure off. Not only does this give my husband a chance to participate and bond with our daughter, but it also gives other family members (such as Grandma and Grandpa) the chance to help out with feeding as well.

2.) More rest

What I learned in those early days with my first daughter is that sleep is CRUCIAL. Especially for me. I’ve never been able to function well without it. I seem to transform into this irritable and grumpy monster that doesn’t want anything to do with anyone. Not being the sole person that can feed my baby will allow me and my partner to take turns, therefore allowing me to get some more rest.

3.) I will be able to still spend time with my toddler

One major difference this time around is that I will also have a three year old to take care of. I remember back when I was breastfeeding her how time consuming it was! I want to make sure that she doesn’t feel left out all of a sudden once the baby arrives and by choosing to formula feed, this will allow me to still spend some time with my toddler while also giving her a chance to help and be a part of the process. She is always wanting to help Mommy and I think it will be an awesome experience for her to be able to help feed her baby sister.

4.) Less guilt

It’s funny because on one hand, society tends to make us feel guilty about choosing not to breastfeed our baby. I think we are made to feel like less of a mother somehow if we don’t breastfeed and it sucks. However, I am very comfortable in my decision to only formula feed and it has actually removed much of the guilt I felt the first time around. I won’t have to worry about whether or not I am doing it right, or if my baby is getting enough milk or wonder why I’m just not enjoying the process. I think less guilt (along with more help and sleep) will overall make me a happier mama this time around.

5.) Don’t have to worry about my diet or pain medication

My baby will most likely be born via C-section which means there will be strong pain medication involved. This was also the case with my first daughter. She was delivered via C-section and I remember being so worried and paranoid about how the pain medication I was taking would affect her. It was just one more thing that added to my guilt. I also worried about every little thing I ate. I felt like I couldn’t just enjoy a meal anymore. This may seem like a selfish reason to formula feed and I guess it probably is. However, I personally believe that the happier I am and the less guilt I am feeling, than the better mom and wife I can be.

What are your thoughts? Did you breastfeed or formula feed your baby? I would love to hear your experience!

 

 


Related Posts

My Personal Story on Why I Left My Career to be a Stay-At-Home Mom

My Personal Story on Why I Left My Career to be a Stay-At-Home Mom

  When I sat down to write this, I have to admit – I was scared. It’s hard to share such a personal story but I hope in sharing this, that it might help someone else that may be going through something similar. I want […]

What I Wish I Knew About Having a Second Child

What I Wish I Knew About Having a Second Child

As I finally sit down to write a new post, I realize it’s been over a month since I have been able to write anything. A month! What has happened in that month? Oh yeah, I gave birth to our second daughter and man, I […]



10 thoughts on “Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding – Why I’m Choosing to Formula Feed My Second Baby”

  • Hi there! I just wanted to say it’s very refreshing to read this blog! I too have had many of the same reasons why I would like to formula feed my second child (I’m not pregnant but do plan to have a second child in a year or so). There’s so much judgment these days if you choose to not breastfeed. I did breastfeed my first child for about 3.5 months and eventually just wanted my body and life back. Everything that I did had to be planned around when I had to pump and it was causing me so much stress. I was so relieved once I stopped breastfeeding and switched to formula. It was like I was a normal person again! 🙂 I couldn’t imagine taking care of a toddler and trying to breastfeed a newborn! I appreciate your honesty and it makes me feel good to hear someone else say this aloud! 🙂 Take care!

    Emily

    • I’m glad to hear from someone else that feels the same way! I was so surprised with how tough breastfeeding can be. And I apologize for responding so late! I just had my second baby so I have been neglecting my blog more than I’d like to admit but I really appreciate what you wrote. My baby is five weeks old now and I have no regrets about my decision to formula feed. She is healthy and doing great so if you do have a second child, do what is right for you! I wish you all the best. 🙂

  • Thank you so much for being brave enough to write this article ! I am 2 weeks away from my scheduled c-section and am still completely stressed about breastfeeding / pumping vs formula feeding. I simply have no desire to breastfeed or to be locked in a room pumping every two hours. The very thought makes me feel stressed and queasy. However, I have been so pressured by all my doctors to breastfeed that I really don’t know what to do. Medical staff had gone as far as telling me that my child will be sickly if I choose to formula feed! I also feel that a less stressed mommy is the best mommy and wife but I am just feeling so much pressure and guilt from others.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! I know exactly what you mean! I could NOT believe how much the nurses in the hospital pushed breastfeeding. Thankfully, my doctor understood my decision and did not push the issue but the staff in the hospital was another story. One of the nurses that was a little more understanding gave me some advice to just stay firm in my decision and just push back if I had to. It’s really unfortunate that we have to deal with that on top of just having a baby and recovering from a c-section but my best advice is to do what’s best for you! I wish you the best of luck and I hope you have some more understanding nurses with you in the recovery room if you do choose to formula feed.

  • I am a nurse on a mother baby floor and I always tell my patients as long as their baby is eating, I don’t care how you feed them! I was bottle fed and was very rarely sick. While breastfeeding is for some people, it’s not for everyone and that’s ok. You should be able to feed your baby in a way you can enjoy them to the fullest. I know we are not allowed to suggest bottle feeding breastfeeding mothers at the hospital I work at but we definitely don’t push it on people.

    • Thank you so much for your comment! It’s really nice to hear from a nurse. That was another reason I was nervous to only formula feed – I had heard horror stories about how much some nurses and doctors pushed moms into breastfeeding and I was nervous to deal with that. Thankfully, I had some more understanding nurses because that made it much easier for me. It’s really nice that you understand both sides! I am sure the moms you take care of really appreciate you. 🙂

  • I just want to say thank you for this post! I️ just had my 2nd child on 11/8 and this time around i am much more open to giving my child formula vs breast feeding! I do know the benefits of breastfeeding, but it was the guilt that got me with my first. And what others thought. This time around, i am listening to me. I’m trying this exclusive pumping for a month and then hoping to transition to formula. Of if I️ can’t keep up the demand with pumping, I’m going to give her the formula. I’ve come to terms with it and I really want to thank you for this post. In the world of raising babies, all you hear is “breastfeeding is best”. And they make it seem that if you don’t then it’s not ok. Thank you for making me feel that I’m not alone in my thoughts! You rock!!

    • Thank you so much! I really appreciate it! I tried breastfeeding my first for those same reasons – I felt so much guilt if I didn’t at least try and I cared so much what others thought. I really am glad I listened to myself this time though, and I have no regrets so far. And congratulations on your second baby! I’m glad you are doing what you think is best for you and I wish you all the best with your new baby! 🙂

  • Thank you for writing this article! I am in the beginning stages of planning for a baby, so I am trying to learn all about what I want for myself and future baby. I have had conflicting emotions on breastfeeding or formula feeding because I’ve heard that breastfeeding is the best and healthiest way to feed. I have inverted nipples, which I have also read that it is much more difficult for the baby to latch or stay latched. Reading what you said about the bonding with baby, or the pain that breastfeeding would cause made me feel that I want to formula feed too.

    • I am so glad this might help you with your decision! It is not an easy decision to make, that’s for sure. Most things we read seem to still push breastfeeding and make us feel guilty for choosing otherwise. I know breastfeeding definitely has it’s benefits but personally, my experience formula feeding is going very well and I am glad I went this route. My baby is very healthy and to get the bonding experience, I just hold her very close to me when she feeds, in a similar way I held my first daughter when she would breastfeed. I wish you all the best with whatever you decide!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *