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

Deciding whether or not to breastfeed your child is not an easy decision. I decided not to breastfeed my second daughter. 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

It is one of the first important decisions we have to make as a new mother - whether we are going to breastfeed or formula feed. Here is why I am choosing to formula feed my second baby. | 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

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

  1. I know this post is not new. I recently had my third baby and instantly knew I would breastfeed because I EBF my first two. Well the baby blues hit hard as soon as we got home. I was crying all the time, tired, and breastfeeding was a HUGE burde. Formula kept coming up in my mind and it would make me feel guilty and lead to more crying. My husband actually brought up the idea to formula feed because he was witnessing me suffer from hormones and he could see the guilt. Well it is 3 weeks later and I still havent made the switch.
    First I feel overwhelmed on how to transition and I still am struggling with the guilt of being shamed as a mom. I still want to transition because I miss time with my other two boys and I am tired if being tied down to feed for us every hour.

    Blogs such as these help me deal with the guilt.
    Thank you for sharing and I still have plans to transition my little to formula, soon.

    1. Oh mama! I’m so sorry you feel so much guilt! It can be overwhelming and the amount of pressure to breastfeed is just crazy. I firmly believe we shouldn’t do it if it’s hurting us in other ways. My second daughter that I solely formula fed just turned two last month and is incredibly healthy, we’re bonding more and more as she grows and she’s so smart. I have no regrets about my decision and I hope so much for that guilt to slip away from you. Wishing you all the best with the transition! <3 Meghan

  2. All choices are not equal. Formula feeding should not be a legal choice. Formula should only be available by prescription to people who can’t physically breastfeed. None of the justifications from the self-righteous formula-feeders in these comments are valid; they are self-serving pablum and guilt-reducing rationalisations.

    1. Rowena, I hope you can still sleep at night with all your self-righteous ego in the way of your precious pillow! Shaming and judging people you don’t even know is childish and more “self-serving” than any loving & logical mom choosing to feed her baby in whatever way works best and healthiest for her FAMILY. Yikes lady!

  3. Hi! I know this post is older, but I stumbled upon it while looking some stuff up. I’m currently pregnant with my second and EVERY thing you just said is exactly how I felt about my first son! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I’m curious if you nursed at all the first couple days in the hospital? Or just went straight to formula? Also, any info or tips on how your body reacts when you choose not to breastfeed? I don’t know if that makes sense but I’m just curious if your milk still comes in and if you need to do anything to ease that? Haha hope that makes sense! Thanks!

    1. Hi Bailey! Thank you so much for everything you said! I am so glad you found this helpful. I actually didn’t nurse at all. I made sure my doctors and nurses knew that I was only formula feeding. I was nervous they wouldn’t have formula so I did bring my own. However, it turned out that wasn’t unnecessary. They had plenty and provided me with all the formula I needed, even some to take home. I had just heard horror stories about doctors and nurses aggressively pushing people to breastfeed so I came prepared with my own stuff lol. It just made me feel better but there really was no need! And your body will still make milk. I will be really honest that it got painful. My breasts did become engorged but I just kept a sports bra on and tried not to let anything touch them, including warm water because that can make the milk start to come. I’m actually working on a post now about how I managed that! I’ll try to finish that ASAP. I hope you have a smooth and safe delivery! <3 Meghan | Electric Mommy

  4. I don’t think your a bad mom at all. I think its all personal opinion and its what you think is best for your baby, your family and you. I breastfed my first daughter for a while(7 years ago) and she was lactose intolerate. She was drinking a little bit at a time and she usually spit it up. But how was i supposed to know I was pretty much starving her? So i felt like crap for pretty much starving my daughter. So when i found out i was pretty almost 8 months ago, i straight out said, “I’m not breastfeeding this one.” Im not taking the chance of starving this one to.
    With my first kid, I was a single mom( and I mean my mom helped me all the time) but this time I have a husband who wants to help me as much as possible and my daughter can’t wait to help. So i completely agree that its a big help to formula feed over breastfeeding cause my family can feed her to. Not only me. All your reasonings for choosing to formula feed over breastfeed are good/smart reasons.

  5. Thank you for saying what sooo many of us feel! Breastfeeding is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, emotionally and physically!

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