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

There is a lot of pressure on mom's these days to breastfeed. I think we are made to feel like less of a mom if we choose the opposite option. Here is my personal story about why I am choosing to formula feed my second baby. | Are breastfed babies healthier? | Baby formula vs breastmilk | Baby formula vs breastfeeding #formulafeeding #newbornbaby #breastfeeding #pregnancy #fedisbest

**Updated June 14, 2018:

Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding? That was the question I debated early into my second pregnancy. I have now given birth to my second daughter and eventually 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.”

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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 us that breastfeeding is better than formula feeding is overwhelming – and I’m not saying they are wrong.

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.

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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.

However, the second time around, my husband was a huge help. I just felt that much closer to him and I also feel like it gave him more bonding time with the baby. (You can check out my sappy letter to him about how thankful I am for him this second time around, if you are interested. Just go to A Letter to My Husband, I Couldn’t Do This Without You.)

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?

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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 decided to formula feed and below are the main reasons why I feel it was 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.

Many people claim that formula feeding causes you to lose the bonding experience. I personally don’t agree with this. When feeding my daughter, I hold her close and in a very similar position as if I was breastfeeding and I still get to look her in the eye. It still feels like a very special experience.

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 with 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 was born via C-section which means there was 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.

The biggest downfall to formula feeding is the cost. It is definitely the more expensive route. On average, we spend about $160 a month on formula. This is a huge extra cost that I understand many families can’t afford. It is something you should consider when deciding whether or not to breastfeed.

While the feeding route is going much smoother this time, I have to admit that two kids is much harder than one. I feel like no one can quite prepare you for how much work a second kid is. You just learn once your second one arrives and you get through it. (See more about this in What I Wish I Knew About Having a Second Child.)

Our daughter is now a very healthy eight months old! Feel free to check out my post here to see how she is doing in more detail.

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

 

Why I'm Choosing to Formula Feed My Second Baby - it wasn't an easy decision but I decided to only formula feed my second baby. Here, I share with you how I came to that decision. | Are Formula Fed Babies Healthy | Benefits of Formula Feeding | Baby's First Formula | Breastfeeding to Formula Feeding | Breastfeeding to Formula

 

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54 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!

  • Thank you for this! I am currently 37 weeks pregnant with my first and I want to breastfeed real real bad, but I had a breast reduction surgery, which might make it impossible or really hard for me to breastfeed. Whenever I hear a mother say she was able to breastfeed her child exclusively for six months, I feel guilty and emotional, not knowing if I will be able to and knowing I won’t have exactly have a choice in the matter. Every time I read about breastfeeding my heart sinks, ‘because it’s best’ and I feel guilty about maybe not being able to provide the best. I’m already sick of that pressure. I love how you state that fed is best. Because it is absolutely true. Thank you. Whatever will come my way, I’ll be okay.

    • Yes! It is so hard for us to feel okay with formula feeding due to all the pressure out there and the stigma that is still attached to us if we don’t breastfeed. I really hope that changes soon! Fed is absolutely best. My baby is almost three months now and is perfectly healthy. I hold her close when I feed her and still feel like I am bonding with her during feeding time. I don’t regret my decision at all. I wish you all the best on whatever your outcome is. Like you said, you will definitely be okay either way and I’m sure your baby will be too.

  • I am reading this article as I nurse baby #2. I have been going back and forth with the idea of switching to formula. It’s definitely hard caring for a toddler and a born. I’m realizing that breast is not best if you are struggling. Breastfeeding is hard. What’s best is a happy healthy mom that is able to care for both children. Thanks for being so honest.

    • You are amazing for trying! I’m sure it is very tough, especially with a toddler. I hope it helps to hear from someone who isn’t breastfeeding also. While I applaud moms that can breastfeed for long periods of time (especially with other kids around), it just wasn’t for me and I learned to be okay with that. I was miserable when I was breastfeeding my first daughter and thought, why would I put myself through that again? I am much happier this time around and definitely feel like I made the right decision for myself. Good luck on your journey! Wishing you all the best with whatever you decide.

  • Thanks for sharing your journey! Breastfeeding was a painful and extremely emotional adventure with my baby and it only lasted a week. We found out she was tongue and lip tied and due to the guilt I ended up exclusively pumping for 8 months. I only stopped when I got to the point of being a complete mess – crying all the time and so super stressed about everything related to feeding her. We switched her over to formula and it has been a dream ever since! The only time I cry now is when I think about having to try and feed another baby someday. I will definitely be considering formula from early on with the next one!
    Congratulations on your new baby – hope you are managing to get some rest!

    • Thank you so much! I appreciate it! And thank you for sharing your experience. It sounds like it was super tough. If you do have another baby, I wish you all the best on whichever way you choose to go. 🙂

  • Great article! You could also add that the benefits of breastfeeding have been completely overstated, adding to the many reasons to not feel like you “have” to breastfeed your child. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/04/is-breast-feeding-really-better/

    I decided to formula feed my first child from day 1 because breastfeeding never appealed to me and I didn’t see the need to follow societal norms without real scientific studies proving it would be better for my child. It’s been great! His dad and I split the feedings, as well as all of the diaper changes, baths, and other duties. He is afterall, our child, and both of our responsibility. I get to eat what I want, leave the house for as long as needed, have a glass of wine guilt-free, and I have an incredible bond with our son despite him not drinking from my boob all day 🙂

    • Yes! I feel the exact same way! Thankfully, I also have a husband who shares the responsibilities with me so it makes everything that much easier. I never thought about it this way until your comment, but I think formula feeding has also been better on our relationship. I’m not harboring any kind of resentment toward him for not being able to help feed her this time around. Thanks for reading and sharing your opinion!

  • Oh my gosh this article was so refreshing to read!!! As a first time mom, I was all gun-ho about breastfeeding (I mean the idea of losing weight was my main driving force) but as we welcomed our little girl and I started feeding, I instantly hated it and could not understand why! You nailed every reason and helped me feel better about my own feelings. Breastmilk is great for kids – but formula isn’t poison… it is there as an alternative and one that I am so thankful for!!!

  • Your blog is the only one I have found online that I can personally click with right away. My husband and I are due with our 4th baby on Easter and my c-section is scheduled for April 2nd. With my other 3 children, I exclusively nursed them from the beginning for about 1-3 months each. This time, I told my Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor that I was choosing to formula feed from the very start and did not even want to attempt to breastfeed, because like you, I have had that guilt feeling everytime from being miserable and that guilt put me into a major depression twice so far. I think I’m going to be so much happier with giving my daughter, Lily, formula from the very beginning. Not only did I experience guilt 3 times, I do not keep up with properly nourishing myself with drinking tons of water and eating every two hours…especially when I have 3 or small mouths to feed all day…I recently found out I have a Mitral Valve Prolapse in my heart and now have to start cardiac medication April 30th, I’ve had Scoliosis back surgery when I was 11, I have only EVER taken Motrin for pain medication after my previous 3 c-sections and definitely want narcotics this time, and not to mention all of the previous reasons you listed above. When I told my doctor about my experience, she was saddened at hearing that I didn’t even want to attempt this time. But, once I told her all of the reasons why, she stared at me with golf ball sized eyes and was like, I totally understand and how you choose to feed your baby is totally your choice and nobody else’s. I’m afraid I’m going to have Lactation Consultants banging on my room door on the daily for the 4 days that I have to stay in there. How did your experience go with formula feeding in the hospital? I’ve been searching for other mommies opinions on their experience with formula feeding in the hospital and cannot find any. Thank you for sharing your opinions on “Fed is Best!” I appreciate that!

    • Thank you so much for reading this and for also sharing your story! You sound like an amazing and strong mama who’s been through so much. I was worried about the pressure I would get during my hospital stay too because I had heard horror stories but it went surprisingly well. I had a couple of nurses that pushed more than others but when that happened and they started to ask why I didn’t want to breastfeed, I would just tell them “I had a bad experience previously.” I left it at that and then they dropped it. On the other side, I also had a few really awesome nurses that told me they completely understood and made sure to let me know that I shouldn’t feel bad for my decision. The actual process of formula feeding went well also! No matter how the nurse felt about my choice, they all made sure I had enough formula for the baby and made sure I knew to just push the call button if I ever ran out. They were also good about making sure I knew how much I should be feeding the baby and all that as well. I wish you the very best and I hope that your experience goes well at the hospital! Sending you lots of love – Meghan

      • Thank you so much! That is very reassuring to hear how your experience went. I commend you for sharing your experience, like I previously stated. Even though this topic is obviously a very touchy subject, I feel like women should build each other up on this, as opposed to tearing each other down. Once a mother does experience both sides of the feeding spectrum; it’s easier to understand, I think. Once again, thank you so much! My c-section date has changed to a week ahead now on Monday, March 26th. The nerves are starting to kick in. Haha! Hugs!! – Celina

  • My first child is 7 weeks old. I am breast feeding but by 5 weeks when she was still only sleeping 2 hours at a time during the night (maximum), I couldn’t take it! So , knowing formula had more calories, I experimented with switching her last feeding with 2 ounces of formula and just like that she slept 7 hours! So I’ve done that every night since and all of the sudden she is a fantastic sleeper. However, when people ask me how I get her to sleep so Well and I tell them, there is so much judgement! People are terrible about it and it’s 2 ounces a day. I’m still breastfeeding. What I’m getting at is, you know what’s best for you and your baby. Nobody else has the right to make you feel less for your decisions.

    • Thank you! Yes, I honestly can’t believe how much stigma there still is regarding formula feeding early on. I am with you though – I feel like only you truly know what’s right for you and your baby and hopefully it will change to where we don’t have to feel so guilty or like less of a mom if we decide we don’t want to or can’t breastfeed. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts! I wish you and your little one all the best!

  • Thank you so much for sharing! I share in the same sentiment many have expressed towards the blog. It is the only resource I stumbled upon that resonated with me. Greatly appreciate the insight and thoughts. I’m pregnant, first baby, due in June. My husband and I took a long IVF route to get here and have experienced complications in the pregnancy. I’ve found myself also vacillating which is odd since when I really drill down I’d prefer to formula feed. Stressful pregnancy, focusing on getting to the finish line healthy. Thank you again!

    • Thank you so much for reading and sharing your story! I’m so sorry to hear you’re having complications. It sounds like it has been a rough road for you! I pray you and your baby are healthy and if you do decide to formula feed, I hope you won’t feel guilty for it. I don’t regret my decision at all. My baby is five months and is healthy and strong. My first daughter is three and a half and I only breastfed her the first month before switching to formula and she is also a very healthy kid who rarely gets sick. I will be thinking of you and only you know what’s best for you and your baby! Trust yourself and try to ignore the rest. <3

  • Thank you so much for this article! I will be having my second daughter by c section in May and decided to formula feed from the beginning. My first I had a c section and really tried to breast feed. It was just a bad experience couldn’t get her to latch on and then decided I was going to exclusively pump. I only lasted about 2 weeks and switched to formula and it was such a good decision for us . I was so much happier and my almost three year old is doing great. My only worry now is being in the hospital to have my second child and the pressure I might get to breast feed again. I felt it the pressure to do it the first time and it makes me a little nervous for this one coming up. But reading your experience has helped knowing I’m not alone! Thank you!

    • Wow, your story is so similar to mine! Our girls are almost the same age apart and mine were both C-sections as well. That was definitely by biggest concern the second time around – the pressure I would face in the hospital. Thankfully though, no one was TOO pushy. It did feel like some of the nurses were judging me a little and had their two cents to throw in but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had imagined. Most of them were surprisingly very respectful and some even showed extra support for my choice. I wish you a healthy delivery and I hope you have a smooth, easy hospital stay as well.

  • I love seeing more blog posts from women that are actually pro-formula feeding! I feel that so many pinterest posts, Facebook rants and outspoken individuals in general focus too much on breast is best instead of fed is best 🙂 I am pregnant with #2 and will be formula feeding from birth as I did with my 1st. Breastfeeding never appealed to me and yes it was for “selfish” reasons eg split feeding duties, easier to know how much the baby is actually consuming and ultimately I just didn’t want to be tied down feeding or pumping when we can bond in other ways. I also looked at so many formulas and in the end decided with the cheapest option as I found the ingredients to be pretty much the exact same as the “premium” brands and I have a completely healthy and happy 17mth old, a happy mum and a happy dad … this is far more important than sticking to societal norms! Never once have I ever felt guilty about this decision and no one will make me feel it either 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I love your confidence! I feel the same way now – I don’t regret my decision at all and I feel like I truly did the best thing for me and my baby. In the beginning though, I definitely felt the pressure to breastfeed and felt that most people thought it was strange that I wasn’t even going to try with my second daughter. I wrote this to share my side and my experience and for people to know that you can still have happy, healthy babies that formula feed. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate it! 🙂

  • Thank you for your honesty here! Our society puts so much pressure on moms and you hit the nail on the head when you say being fed and being a better mom and wife is what is important! I think doing the best you can do is what your kids see. Thank you for this refreshing look at what is really important in life !

  • I think I’m going to be the first with a slightly different point of view here! I’m breastfeeding my third at the moment, here are my thoughts – my partner is fully on board with breast feeding, and so he shares the load by taking care of so many of the many other things our family needs (like playing with the kids, meals, bedtimes). His connection with the big kids has really grown because of this. I find it’s just easy too, not sure how I’d manage with bottles, sterilising etc, do you find it time consuming? I love being able to head out the door with just my boobs and know we’re good for feeds whenever needed. I do understand the sense of pressure being the sole person able to feed the little one, it has its moments, but this also feels really special in a way, something just bubs and I share. This is just my perspective, I get it’s differeny for each of us.

  • I think I’m going to be the first with a slightly different point of view here! I’m breastfeeding my third at the moment, here are my thoughts – my partner is fully on board with breast feeding, and so he shares the load by taking care of so many of the many other things our family needs (like playing with the kids, meals, bedtimes). His connection with the big kids has really grown because of this. I find it’s just easy too, not sure how I’d manage with bottles, sterilising etc, do you find it time consuming? I love being able to head out the door with just my boobs and know we’re good for feeds whenever needed. I do understand the sense of pressure being the sole person able to feed the little one, it has its moments, but this also feels really special in a way, something just bubs and I share. This is just my perspective, I get it’s differeny for each of us. My only other comment is that I don’t think breastfeeding is actually the dominant position anymore – the figures would say I’m a bit unusual feeding my kids until two!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your honest opinion! I definitely agree that breastfeeding comes with that special feeling. Like you said, it feels like it’s something just you and the baby share. I felt that way when I breastfed my first daughter but I try to mimic breastfeeding as much as possible when feeding my second daughter. And yes, washing bottles is definitely a chore that comes with formula feeding but I actually think it’s easier when we go out. For me, it was hard to breastfeed my daughter comfortably in public (and I know, that is just my own thing and many other moms are way more comfortable with it). For me, formula feeding has just worked much better but I know that everyone is different. I think the best thing to do is whatever you think is right for you and your baby. Again, I appreciate you sharing your opinion! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. 🙂

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who read this coming from a breastfeeding point of view. I am pregnant with my second child and I am still breastfeeding my almost 2 year old. Yes it is tiring and I am honestly ready to be done when he is, but I wouldn’t take it back or change it for the world. I fully intend to exclusively breastfeed my second child because I know it is what’s best for them based on scientific research. I have also seen the differing results in my own family of formula versus breastfeeding when it comes to health of Mom and baby. I hate to sound mean, but I think the reasons listed by formula feeding moms in this article and comment section are selfish and I do believe that breast is best. I really hope this article doesn’t discourage anymore people from breastfeeding. It’s an amazing experience and the most amazing food that you can provide for your child nothing else will ever come close to it. It’s easy, convenient, not to mention free, and full of irreplaceable nutrients. It’s definitely not the easiest path, but it’s worth it in the end.

      • Thank you so much for your opinion and for taking the time to read this. However, I think a huge point is getting missed. I completely understand that breast milk is best. However, some of you are implying formula is incredibly inferior (as someone compared it to McDonalds vs a home cooked meal). Formula these days is very similar to breast milk. I understand that it is still lacking in some areas but it in no way means that the baby will be any less healthy. Formula has come a long way and I think society needs to acknowledge that. Also, this article was in no way written to discourage breastfeeding. I wrote this because of the stigma and harsh opinions I faced when sharing my choice to formula feed. No one should have to go through that. It is up to the mother, and only her, in regards to how she wants to feed her baby and no one should make her feel like less of a mom for it. Formula is fine, everyone needs to get out of the old thinking and accept that our babies can be just as healthy when formula fed.

  • Thanks so much for this post! We’re expecting our first in December. I’ve always planned to do formula but was starting to struggle with guilt and concern over whether I was making the right decision.

    But I had a very invasive breast reduction surgery and if it is even possible, it will very difficult. We also live in Paris where the grocery store is a 20 minute walk and most other places I go are a 45 minute metro/train ride. And with a gluten allergy, staying on top of eating regular meals is already difficult during busy seasons in a country where quick or prepared meals are non-existent and everything is based on bread. I can’t imagine navigating these challenges while staying sane and healthy enough to feed my baby.

    So I appreciate this article so much! I think formula is going to be the best way to keep baby fed and mom and dad still functioning. Thankful for someone reminding me it’s ok to do what’s best for us!

    • First of all, congratulations on the baby! I’m so glad this was helpful for you! I know that I felt the same way at first and felt guilty for not choosing to breastfeed. I was really hoping this would make other moms feel better if they chose to formula feed. I wish you all the best and definitely stick to what you think will be right for you and your family.

    • Hey Rachel I just wanted to let you know that I have a gluten allergy as well and I had no problems staying nourished to breastfeed my baby. It actually takes less calories during the postpartum period to breastfeed than it does during pregnancy. If you are able to keep up with yours and baby’s nutrition needs now it’s also a possibility to still breastfeed if you were still considering it. I am still breastfeeding my son and I’m pregnant with my second baby. We live in a very small town with one small grocery store and are about 80 miles from a larger town with more options so I feel your pain, but I hope this have brought you some encouragement and peace of mind that it is still possible. Good luck.

  • I made the decision to bottle feed my first for all the same reasons. I always felt bad but I was a better mom for making that choice. I am glad to have read your story thank you!

    • Thank you so much for reading it and sharing your thoughts! It’s good to know that us moms who choose to formula feed from the beginning aren’t alone. 🙂

  • Thank you for your post! My son is 2 1/2 and he was exclusively formula fed. I felt so much guilt but it was great for us. After I had my son, every doctor and nurse that came in asked about breastfeeding and wanted to convince me. I was so annoyed because I knew the pros/cons of both. I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t just respect me. Many people assumed I couldn’t breastfeed and I didn’t correct them. It sounds horrible when you say “I just didn’t want to breastfeed.” It’s not really accepted as a reason. You are seen as the most selfish person. With my son it was nice because we alternated feedings, which meant I could sl eep for longer since my husband took a feeding. There is still bonding – every moment with my son was bonding. My husband really liked knowing how much nutrition he was getting. When we have another we plan on doing the same thing. I hope someday this constant attacking of other moms stops. We need to support one another!

  • I know this comment will be deleted but I wanted to share the other point of view instead of just agreeing. Breastfeeding is hard. So is pregnancy. I misunderstand why women’s “choices” are so harshly judged while pregnant god forbid a women smoke, or take certain medications, or have lunch meat while pregnant! But the second your baby (who is still 100% physically reliant on you) leaves your body then it’s just “your choice” “happy mom happy baby”. Doesn’t it stand to reason you should still pick the option that is medically considered best for your offspring if you can? Fed is best I totally agree but if I get to choose the equivalent of McDonalds (formula) for my infant or a home cooked balanced meal (breastfeeding) then you know which I’m going to choose despite he level of difficulty. So I would really appreciate someone from the formula camp explain this to me. Why is it not okay to do a bunch of scientifically questionable things while pregnant in our society but totally fine to pick the medically proven inferior feeding option for our helpless infants when we could provide better? I’m sorry but I just don’t see an ounce of difference between a mom smoking while pregnant and a mom physically able (key words here) giving her infant a bottle. Both probably make the mom feel “happy” soooo where is the line?

    • If a Mom is miserable breast feeding why should she continue doing it? A Mom is still human, separate and entirely her own person why does she have to sacrifice so much just to breastfeed? Moms make so many sacrifices for their children, but they needn’t be martyrs , and be super miserable. If a woman has postpartum depression and breastfeeding helps make that worse (due to lack of sleep, etc.) why continue breast feeding when there is an entirely healthy option? Also, if you are that harsh on other woman (comparing formula feeding to smoking) know that other kinds of mothers have to formula feed. What about foster moms?

  • Also can we stop saying we are”better moms” for picking the inferior feeding method for our babies? I mean come on. I had every struggle you can possibly imagine to breastfed both my babies but I did and I’ve never felt stronger or more empowered as a women or mother. So no I don’t think anyone is a “better mom” for choosing to not struggle and give her infant formula. This is such a selfish society logic problem. We want everything without any sort of sacrifice and will use all mental gymnastics within our ability to achieve that and still feel like a great person.

    • I definitely think you misunderstood the comment “being a better mom” due to my choice to formula feed. I am simply saying that for me (and me only), I was happier, less stressed and less depressed when I chose to formula feed. In no way am I saying that I am better than moms who breastfeed. I have a tremendous amount of respect for mothers who breastfeed. My point in writing this was that it isn’t for everyone and we shouldn’t feel ashamed if we choose to formula feed.

      • Thank you for replying. I am not saying formula feeding mothers are lesser people. I guess what I’m saying as a breastfeeding mother who DOES struggle to do the best thing for my child. I just don’t fully understand why someone chooses the medically known lesser option for their child’s sole nutrition source. I get some people can’t at all and in that case I get it but otherwise I still don’t see. Why is it okay to socially pressure women to be healthy during pregnancy but the second baby is out then it’s “moms choice” and no one can question that? I just find me being depressed or having a harder time for the first year of my babies life is a small price to pay for giving my child the best. Just like in pregnancy. You do what’s best for your fetus/child even if it’s hard and I’m sorry in all logical that should also apply after your baby is born. My second daughter is 8th month old it is hard to breastfeed in a lot of ways, I could probably use to be on an anti depressant but I’d rather give her the best and sacrifice my all for her benefit. I’ll have plenty of years to do what’s best for me only a blink of time do I belong to her and I will gladly suffer it. So I guess I’ll just leave it at I just don’t understand still….

  • Reading this while pumping. I planned to formula feed my second after successfully formula feeding my first from 2 weeks on. Plans changed when she arrived 12 weeks early . I was told constantly by doctors and nurses that pumping was the only thing I could do for my baby. The nurses wheeled that pump to her bedside every 3 hours. It’s been 10 weeks since she was born and we were finally able to bring her home a few days ago. I’m struggling with pumping. My output is low, I’m sure due to stress and bein g away from her so much. I’m already having to supplement with formula as I can only get 12 oz a day and it is medically necessary to fortify my milk with formula as well. I want to quit pumping but the guilt is real! I know my circumstances are different due to her health concerns, but it does help to read your stories and know I’m not the only momma that wants to focus on her other kids, get some sleep and doesn’t think breastfeeding is magical and perfect.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your struggles! I hope you and your baby are doing well. I’m glad to hear my story helped. I am just so frustrated with how much people push us to breastfeed when it is simply not for everyone and I don’t think we should have to feel guilty about it. I felt that same guilt at first but I am learning now that I made the right decision not only for me but for my baby as well. We are both doing great and I wouldn’t change a thing. Wishing you all the best! 🙂

  • Hi! Just came across this post and I have to say how refreshing your honesty is! I formula fed my daughter because we could never make breastfeeding work and it came down to her needing to be fed. I’ve secretly been relieved it didn’t work because I got so much help from my husband and there was no pressure! I understand that breastfeeding is good, but there isn’t anything wrong with formula! My daughter is almost 2 and is thriving just like other children. Thanks so much for putting this out there! We need more of it!!

    • I appreciate that so much!! I agree! I wish more formula feeding moms would share their experience but it’s crazy how much shame and stigma there is associated with it, so I understand why it’s hard. It was hard enough for me to decide whether or not to put this post out there. Hopefully that will change soon! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  • As so many others have said, this post is refreshing.
    I came looking for experiences because I’m 24-weeks pregnant with baby #3. I breastfed my first for 6 months and had a really challenging time.
    My second child was breastfed for all of 2 days and then we switched to formula. I don’t regret that decision in the least. We bonded so much faster and the entire postpartum experience was a vast deal more pleasant.
    And now here I am stressing over the whole thing again. I swing back and forth between wanting to try and not wanting to have that pressure.

    This is almost certainly our last baby. Breastfeeding is absolutely the norm in my circle of friends, and it is 100% the pressure of society that’s making me question going straight to bottle feeding.

    Anyway, who knows what I’ll decide in the end, but thank you for sharing your story and perspective. My kids are 3 years old and 21 months old and neither gets sick more than the other. They’re both happy and well-bonded, so I guess that speaks for itself.

    And to those who think choosing formula is ‘selfish’, the problem is that they don’t understand that what is best for baby isn’t limited to just what the eat. Having a healthy mother is even MORE important.
    Postpartum depression is NO JOKE and there are many contributing factors, one of which can be struggles with breastfeeding.

    A mother that chooses to formula feed isn’t choosing an inferior diet for her child, she is choosing what is best for both the holistic health of her child AND herself.

    • I so appreciate your response! It sounds like your experience with your first two children were similar to mine – breastfed the first one and hated life and then now, it is just so much better all the way around since not having to worry about everything that goes hand in hand with breastfeeding. My baby is now nine months and completely healthy. I know not everyone agrees with me and I knew this topic would not sit well with some, but I just wish we (as a society) could stop putting SO MUCH pressure on women to breastfeed when there is a completely healthy alternative. Another reader compared formula feeding to giving your baby fast food and I just don’t understand this thinking. I suffered from postpartum depression and anxiety this time and I can’t even imagine how much worse it would have been if I had chosen to breastfeed. Mama – I say do what you think is best for you and your family! And if you do choose the formula route, I hope you will not feel too much guilt. A happy mom is much more important than whether or not we are breastfeeding or formula feeding, as long as the baby is healthy. That’s just my opinion and experience. I’ll be thinking of you and I wish you a healthy rest of your pregnancy! 🙂

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