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

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

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

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

  1. Thank you for writing this! I had 2 awful experiences with breastfeeding and it made me feel so guilty to switch to formula. Logically I knew it was the right decision and i was a much better mother/wife/person when I made the switch. But emotionally it was still hard to accept and to feel judged. My kids are healthy and happy and I can’t decide if I will try breastfeeding again for the next baby. Either way, fed is best for sure! No one should feel judged for doing their best.

  2. Thanks so much for this article! I’m having babies 3&4 in a few months and will exclusively formula feed them. Breastfeeding gave me so much anxiety and stress, I don’t produce enough which makes the mom guilt even worse!!! It’s so refreshing to read a post that is about why you chose formula over breastfeeding! I say “do you” whatever works for you- it’s no ones place to judge!

  3. It is true, that choice is all yours, every mother is entitled to choose the way they wish to feed their kids, however, I feel like you missed some support system during the time you chose to breastfeed, because there are many ways to involve fathers, even if they don’t feed the baby, if that was the only activity fathers could have on this parenting thing they would be useless, and they are not. Also, keep in mind that updated info has been released about medication and diet while breastfeeding, there are not THAT many restrictions as we think. However, I wish the best for you and all the mothers who feel the same. And for the rest of them, seek for updated information.

    1. You are the reason why moms feel guilty about making the decision to breast feed.
      You also missed the boat completely. It was the best decision for this mom and other moms out there regardless of what the “newest research” says.

      1. Thank you for sharing and Congratulations on your well thought out decision. I agree fed with love is the best! And never, ever a mom shoul feel guilty. We, (our body and mind)go through a lot with the pregnancy and after it, so is not fear after all that to feel guilty. Thank you again for sharing❣

  4. Thanks for posting this. I get tired of doctors, lactation consultatives, friends, and family saying you have to breastfeed. With my first the lactation consultant told me if I didn’t breastfeed my baby he’d be stupid and wouldn’t go to college. Well fast forward 9 years later after formula feeding him, he is in the elite top of his class for mathematics, engineering, and sciences. I’m sorry, no not sorry. I will be formula feeding is just as good as breastfeeding and I will be doing with our daughter who will be born tomorrow.

    1. I know people who were breastfed for over a year and are dumb as a rock. I remember being told the same about my son if I didn’t breastfeed him. I ignored that and did what was more convenient for me. I pumped for 3 months because I didn’t want a “dumb” kid.. he’s 7 years old and made Honor Roll all year and he’s very good in math. I am formula feeding my 6 week old baby and pray she’s not a “dumb” baby lol.

  5. Fed is best! I’m one month postpartum with my first baby boy & due to a pesky upper lip tie, we had a very difficult start to breastfeeding. While we’re doing much better now, I have to admit I feel like I get more bonding when bottle feeding rather than him on the breast. He is supplemented with formula & it’s the best decision ever! He is still getting all the awesome nutrients and immune benefits from breastmilk (whether on the breast or pumped) and Daddy gets to get involved with the formula.
    I’m not sure what the next littles will bring, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be 100% breastfed for any of them.

  6. Thanks for the article!!! Personally I can feel where you are coming from. I will be three months postpartum on the first of May. I did the guilt and anxiety you experienced. It will be moments where I would cry because I was so so sooooo frustrated. My fiancé would be sleeping soundly and I’m up every 1-2 hrs to feed our son. But we’re both nurses and chose to only breastfeed. Still to this day we are continuing to give our son breastmilk whether it’s me breast feeding him or dad giving him a breast fed bottle. However, breast milk does out weigh formula but at the end of the day it’s up to that particular parent and what works best for you y’all. I strongly feel that if formula or breast fed that doesn’t determine a child smartness toward education but how the parents and the school system are teaching the child. One way my fiancé got involved with feeding our son was we both held our son while I breast fed and we both looking into his eyes. But trust me, breast pumping is a job in its self. Having to get up to pump engorged breast, keeping track of breast milk in fridge and freezer, and having to warm to body temp is a lot. And having to protect it from spoiling. For the blog about not producing enough milk, I recommend the lactating cookies by Munchkin sold at Walmart and Target.

  7. It often takes so long for the female body to return to normal after pregnancy, that some women blame things like breastfeeding for why they feel, tired, resentful disconnected etc… Not that these things don’t play a part, but often it is the process of recovery itself, that leaves a woman feeling this way. That’s why doing things like hiring or asking for help with housework, taking a long maternity leave, resting and co-sleeping (safely) are all things that can ease the transition into motherhood. I cried during breastfeeding at first, due to the amount of hormone imbalance in the week after birth. I got postpartum depression after my second child and breastfeeding made me feel nauseous with my forth baby. But, all this is just to say…you learn with each event, each year, each birth. Just because you experienced that the first time, doesn’t mean you will feel that way again. I have breastfeed six children now, and each time it has been unique and a bit different. Fed is best but don’t let fear dictate what you do. You can try again, if you have another child and if you want to. You may find it to be a much different experience from the first.

  8. Although the article was well written, I don’t completely understand the reasons. For me, the number one reason was because of the husband. Our breasts are not here for the sole purpose of men’s pleasure. They have one purpose and one purpose only. I find it silly. All the progress we’ve made over the years and breastfeeding is still seen as taboo. Formula is not an equivalent alternative. I don’t find it fair to only try to breastfeed one child. It’s much more than nutrition, it’s a bond with the baby..but that’s just my opinion.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your opinion! However, opinions like yours are exactly why I wrote this. I am a little blown away that you think breastfeeding is taboo. I wrote this because I very much feel it is the other way. All we are told when we are pregnant and everything that is put in our face is all about how we MUST breastfeed. It’s rare that doctors talk to us about formula. I think formula feeding is what’s more taboo and I don’t feel it should be. Hopefully, one day, we can all stop judging what the other mom is doing. Fed is best. That’s my opinion. I very much thank you for sharing yours! This post definitely started a conversation. 🙂

  9. I enjoyed reading your article. I am currently breadtfeeding my baby and it is enjoyable. Sometimes it is tough as nails but so is parenting in general. In my opinion formula is like a walker – it is an easier alternative, but I agree that it is each mother own choice. With everyone I have talked to about breastfeeding, the one thing that causes women to stop is lack of knowledge. If you plan to breastfeed DO YOUR RESEARCH! Know the basics BEFORE your baby is born such as nursing often (as in each hour or two) in the first 6 weeks, that your milk is always nutritious enough and that you can only make milk by removing milk. I plan to breastfeed all my children and I commend every mother who does the same. To moms who choose to formula feed – you are still great moms!

  10. Thank you for writing this. My son is 2 months and I ended up exclusively formula feeding after a month of trying to breastfeed. I tried really hard and followed the advice of my lactation consultants, but my supply wasn’t increasing from pumping and nursing every 2-3 hours, it was decreasing. I would pump 15 minutes and get less than half and ounce total. It was so stressful and exhausting. I felt a lot of gilt at first, when I decided to formula feed. However, I know I made the right choice. I was a much happier and less stressed mom once I made that choice. If my efforts did help my
    supply to increase, I would have kept breastfeeding, but they didn’t. There is so much judgment around this subject. I wish women would just support each other. No one is less of a mother for formula feeding.

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