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?

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.

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!

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

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

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

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

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

  1. This is so encouraging! And reading all of the comments from other moms feeling the same way! I didn’t produce with my son and felt so guilty about not breast feeding! And then when someone would ask me (some times strangers which isn’t okay) if I breast fed, I felt I had to lie or justify why I didn’t.

    I’m now pregnant due in June and I’ve been trying to decide what to do because I don’t want to breast feed. I want the extra help and sleep and honestly I just want less stress! Thank you for the encouragement. I wish more moms could just encourage one another instead of tearing each other down!

  2. I just had a baby girl and she is two and a half months now, at first I thought she couldn’t latch and spent a whole month pumping before I decided to try breastfeeding again, she latched perfectly fine the first time! Now it’s so easy to feed her I’m so much more relaxed feeding on demand I don’t think I’ll ever go back to exclusive pumping again if I can help it, for me it was just so exhausting having to make sure and wake up at the same times every night to pump and then constantly having to clean and sterilize bottles and pump parts, I enjoy breastfeeding so much more, I do believe breastmilk is best and mothers should feed it to their babies if at all possible, especially as I’ve heard many times that formula fed babies are more likely to get sick since they’re not getting the natural antibiotics that mothers milk can give them but I don’t blame mothers who formula feed, I realize breast is best but fed is even better, and I’m happy for you mothers who can let go of the guilt and just do what works best for you and your baby.

  3. I had my baby in November 2018 through c-section. I was in the hospital for severe preeclampsia and sepsis for 7 days. My baby was formula fed since birth and but I did start pumping. My baby never latched on when I got home and I couldn’t pump the 8 times a day the lactation specialist wanted me to.My breast never engoroged and my milk supply never really came in. I feel less of a woman because my breasts don’t produce milk.
    But then I remind myself that My baby and I almost died, and I am thankful to be alive. (My baby and I were on 4 antibiotics following his birth because I had a dangerous bacteria in my blood and my baby was swimming in it)

  4. I enjoyed reading your post. I think all moms have felt this way. I do want to encourage moms that there are ways that dad and other family members can bond with the baby besides feedings! Do get weary over that! I also had a csection and the meds are FINE! Also as moms we have to realize that WE ARE ENOUGH. You don’t have to be on a super strict healthy diet to breatfeed. Your concerns are pure and the post is your story, but a lot of your fears or worries were misconceptions. I do agree 100% that fed is best, but there is tons of research that supports breastmilk being the best form of nutrition for baby. With my first I did not nurse the entire time, so I’m not judging. I’m on baby #2 and I’ve learned a lot more! #RelaxandNureOn

  5. Thank you soooo much for posting this!! I had my 2nd daughter in november 2018. My first is 2yo and going through that terrible two stage (the struggle is so real). My first wont let me breastfeed the baby, she will try to hit, kick, pull her little sister away from me and will throw the biggest tantrum when i try to breastfeed in another room. So after a week of that chaos i decided to pump exclusively, but she’ll come in the room and start to pull the pump bottle, cables etc. in turn i was getting sk angry and stressed out from the disturbance plus at this point i am sleep deprived. So i decided to just ditch the pumping and feed my baby formula. It’s been 3 days now that i stopped pumping as much (im pumping 4 times a day to slowly decrease my milk production) and i am less stressed out, i get to rest more, i am more patient with my toddler and generally happier. After reading your post i feel less guilty about not wanting to breastfeed and yes fed is definitely best

  6. Thank you so very much for this encouraging article.. I just had baby#3 on 1/26/19 and chose formula feeding. My other two babies never really latched well but I tried breastfeeeding first 5-6 months. It was super exhausting experience to formula feeding and pumping in between. I went through mastits twice. I almost felt like mastits was more traumatic than labor. So before I had my baby#3, My husband and I had a conversation over breastfeeding and we decided what is best for our family. My other two kids are 3 y/o and 4 y/o and they still require lots of attention and time from mommy. Every single visitors asked me “Are you breastfeeding?” I just wanted to tell them “None of your business, We are doing the best for our family”. Dont feel guilty because you are not breastfeeding. Your babies are fed, being loved and held…

  7. Thank you for the articles. What you wrote is all great for options. I breastfeed my two child and now i got third child and for less guilt i mixed feed him. Formula and breastmilk that i pumped. Night time we he sleep next to me and ready to breastfeed anytime he want. I just use formula mixed with breast milk if i go out. So as long its easy for you and you happy with it, anything is possible coz we are mother and wife that handsful and i think we all done enough

  8. I recently came across this article and I feel like I can relate with the points that you made. Nursing my 2nd child (shes 1 month now) was so time consuming and I never made time with my toddler (hes 3 years old). There were times he wanted to help and now I given the opportunity to pump instead because she stopped latching on this past few days. She would cry being hungry and I didnt know what to do so I decided I’m gonna put her on the bottle. Before I was nursing her exclusively during her 1st month and in between her feedings I was pumping on the side because I was constantly engorged in both breast and the milk was always running.
    Right now she has been crying and putting her on bottle was the best because she stopped crying. (Like you said BEST IS FED) she took the bottle and I’m not frustrated with struggling to put her on the nipple. About a week ago I noticed that she wasnt nursing much and my milk supply kinda ran low so I went to WIC lactation consultant and she pretty much gave me an appointment later on next month which I wanted to be seen quickly so she can help me but it never happened.
    In the end I’m glad that she took the bottle and is still drinking breastmilk. Right now I’m pumping on the clock so she can get the benefits

  9. I love this!!!!
    With my first daughter I struggled to breastfeed. I tried so much and she would not latch. I would cry and feel like it was my fault and I was just a terrible mother. I pumped but soon after I started to work I gave up on that too. With my second daughter I did breastfeed but I did have resentment towards my husband who was able to sleep all night while the baby was waking me up every 40 minutes. I had so much pain my nipples did bleed and I was not happy. I enjoyed the babies more when I bottle feed them and was able to relax, play with them, and hold them close. I love this blog because so many of us feel guilt about breastfeeding when no guilt should be there.

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