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

**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.”

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 own benefits over formula but, I am definitely not here to say one way 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 healthy and drinking as much as they are supposed to, then I think that’s what’s most important.

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

The First Time Around

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?

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.

What’s Wrong with Me?

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.

RELATED: UPDATE ON BABY- Why I’m Choosing to Formula Feed My Second Baby

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.

Our daughter is now a very healthy eight months old and I have no regrets about my decision.

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

Choosing to formula feed wasn't the easiest decision to make. However, it was the right thing for me and my family and here's why! | Are Formula Fed Babies Healthy? | Formula vs Breastfeeding #formulafeeding #newbornbaby #breastfeeding #pregnancy #fedisbest #baby #newborn #feedingschedule

This can be such a tough decision that a new mom is faced with. With so much pressure from the outside world, I think it's so important to listen to your body, your doctors and do what's right for you and your baby. Here is my story about why I decided to formula feed my second daughter. | Are Formula Fed Babies Healthy? | Formula vs Breastfeeding #formulafeeding #newbornbaby #breastfeeding #pregnancy #fedisbest #baby #newborn #feedingschedule

Choosing to formula feed wasn't the easiest decision to make. However, it was the right thing for me and my family and here's why! | Are Formula Fed Babies Healthy? | Formula vs Breastfeeding #formulafeeding #newbornbaby #breastfeeding #pregnancy #fedisbest #baby #newborn #feedingschedule

This can be such a tough decision that a new mom is faced with. With so much pressure from the outside world, I think it's so important to listen to your body, your doctors and do what's right for you and your baby. Here is my story about why I decided to formula feed my second daughter. | Are Formula Fed Babies Healthy? | Formula vs Breastfeeding #formulafeeding #newbornbaby #breastfeeding #pregnancy #fedisbest #baby #newborn #feedingschedule

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

  1. This is still a dilemma I am facing and my baby is 5 months old. I’ve been exclusively pumping for 3 months now and it has been mentally exhausting. I had no doubt I was going to BF when I was pregnant. I knew it’s just what I wanted. My daughter was about 2.5 hours old when I attempted to feed her and she had her mouth wide open before I even got her to my boob. It was fantastic. I was SOOO relieved. She was latching so well and feeding fantastically, I felt like a super mom.

    BUT THEN the boobie obsession kicked in about 4 days postpartum. She would constantly want my boob. I know this is very normal with BF newborns because they eat more often and your milk is still coming in in the beginning but my daughter took it to a whole other level. She literally just wanted to sit with my boob in her mouth 24/7. It was to the point that her and I would both be covered in milk cause she would just spit it out, puke all over me, or my boobs were constantly leaking because I was always engorged. After 1 month I decided I wanted to start pumping. Pumping once in a while turned into me exclusively pumping and it’s a love/hate with that decision. It’s A LOTTTTTTTTTT more work exclusively pumping. You have to triple your work while still caring for a baby. You have to bottle feed the baby, pump, store the milk, wash the parts, then head back to bed. It’s actually insanity.

    It’s a very tough decision to make. My milk supply has dropped a ridiculous amount in the last month so I’m giving 2 bottles of formula and 2 bottles of breast milk per day. I have made the decision that if my milk supply doesn’t increase by the end of this week I am switching strictly to formula. It’s stressful, tiring, my nipples are dry and cracked. And my daughter seems to enjoy both bottles equally so why stress myself out if I don’t need to.

    This is just another insight of someone else’s experience for you to take note. I can’t make a suggestion on which route to go because I’ve done all 3 and it’s honestly such a personal decision to make for your own reasons.

    Good luck and I hope everyone’s posts have helped you in some way!

  2. Mother’s milk is the best. No doubt, its totally your choice but just for your own sake of comfort, you are putting your child on formula feed.
    May be, as a mother, you should give your child the best you can.

    1. Maybe you can take your hate and judgment elsewhere. Are we not sick of a society where Mother’s are pitted against other mothers? We all love our kids. And we all chose differently. My older kids tell me all the time how I’m “strict” by limiting their Xbox time and their friends parents don’t. Does that mean their friends parents don’t love their kids because surely they’ve seen the same statistics as I have about increased video game time leading to a whole slew of problems. Maybe instead they are serving teenagehood the best way possible and decided that Xbox is way better then drugs. Do I need to shame those parents? Nope. I will I stead focus on my house and how I chose to run things. Now if their kids come and offer my kids drugs, then we have a problem. All of this to say, stay in your lane. You can not begin to imagine what goes on behind the scenes. I am now pregnant with a little girl and made the decision early on to formula feed. I tried with my first and frankly it was awful. It doesn’t feel right. I was sexually assaulted at a young age and frankly the vulnerability I felt breastfeeding left me in tears. I didn’t enjoy it and it was obvious. So in order to be a better mother I should continue to ignore that part of me that says this is wrong and continue on because breast milk is *slightly* better? So because I have money and can put my child I to the best schools and have the best resources, should I shame a poor mom for not providing the same? We as mothers sacrifice and doubt ourselves so much and sometimes I think we put it all on ourselves. But then sometimes I read the posts about how mothers are selfish for not breastfeeding or selfish for wanting to work outside the home and I realize that nope. There really are some women out there who feel the need to dig and berate other women to somehow say they are a superior mother. It’s a shame. I thought this article was beautiful and I agree 100%. I am so happy to feel great with my choice and have such a supportive husband, family and friends.

  3. I agree with everything you stated. I am a first time mom and was only able to breastfeed my daughter for the first two months. Those two months were hellish for me. My breast were engorged and I’d cry and shriek in pain every single time my daughter latched on. I had really bad post partum and that definitely made it worse. I saw a lactation consultant but i still was unsuccessful. I felt like the world’s worst mother. The nurses and doctors all were so pushy about breastfeeding so that put added pressure on me. It was a truly miserable time that made me question if I should be her mother at all. I pumped for a while so my husband could help feed her but that hurt too so I eventually decided that fed is best and switched to formula and never looked back. I love articles like this because they are realistic. All the mommy shaming I got for giving my daughter a bottle was ridiculous. I totally bonded with my formula fed daughter and now shes a beautiful thriving happy 10 month old.

  4. I hear you! I have breastfed four of my babies so far. I’m due any day now and I am not sure I want to breastfeed again. After I weaned my last son 5 years ago at the age of 2y4m, I felt a dramatic transformation in my mental and emotional health. I didn’t even realized how not myself I had been feeling for years. I’m dreading not feeling myself again for 1-2 years. I’m going to try to breastfeed. I’m going to give it my all but I’m staying open to giving my new baby formula if I feel myself slipping into the same sense of depression and anxiety I felt while nursing my last baby. I still believe breastmilk is superior and the best food for my baby, BUT a happy mom is equally superior and the best for my baby. I do plan to choose a high quality formula and so far Holle looks awesome. Knowing about this formula will help me feel a little better about my decision no matter what I end up choosing. Who knows, maybe I’ll do a little of both.

  5. Thank you! I’m a FTM and my LO is 6 weeks. I’m EBF right now and struggle with it. I also feel guilty because I don’t enjoy it like I should even though I haven’t had any MAJOR problems (just some hiccups here and there). I’m hoping to continue to at least 6 months, but I can’t imagine going through the same thing again with my second child. This helped me feel better about my decision and thinking.

  6. Hi, I have 2 girls and am pregnant with a boy – our last baby. I can tell you that I will be pumping exclusively with him.
    My first two never really latched on, after weeks of pain and bleeding nipples, I gave up and started pumping. Thankfully, I had really good supply and was able to pump for 11 months with my oldest. With my youngest I was tired of the process by the time she turned 7 months. I had even more milk with her, so I had a frozen stash that lasted us a couple more weeks after I stopped pumping.
    Why will I pump with this baby then? When I stopped pumping abruptly with my second daughter when she was 7 months, I experienced another bout of postpartum depression, along with guilt. Do NOT believe anyone who tells you they do not have any guilt over switching to formula. I’ve experienced it even after working hard to pump for 11 months with my oldest which was definitely long enough. Still, I felt terrible.
    Another thing that happened when I stopped pumping abruptly: my hair fell out almost overnight. I had a very gradual hair transition when I pumped for 11 months. I also gained 10 pounds in a month and it was hard to lose. My hormones went crazy and I got diagnosed with perioral dermatitis/eczema on my face. All of this happened literally within a week of stopping, except for the weight gain.
    I don’t know if all of this happens if you don’t breastfeed from the get go, but my experience was awful with stopping too soon. Therefore, I will be pumping with my son for as long as my body makes milk.

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