Formula Feeding Mom-Guilt is Real
Feeling Pressure to Breastfeed? - Why the Mom Guilt with Formula Feeding?
Alright, ladies so, this topic is kind of heavy. I really want to talk about mom guilt specifically with formula-feeding. It can be tough when choosing between formula feeding, breastfeeding, and pumping. That’s why I wanted to talk about this.
This article was made to reach out and support moms who feel like they want to formula feed but are struggling with mom-guilt.
I had my first encounter with mom-guilt within days of becoming a new mom and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I started feeling mom-guilt because I continued to read and hear stuff that supported why Breast is Best.
However, I also did my research on the best alternatives to breast milk and came across Organic Baby Formula, specifically European formula. I have a whole article about why a European formula is a great option if you are looking for an alternative from American formula.
Take a moment and truly ask yourself what you want to do, not what you think you’re supposed to be doing.
If you want to breastfeed, great. If you want a formula feed, that’s also perfectly fine.
Watch the video here
Let me tell you about my journey from breastfeeding to pumping and ultimately to exclusively formula.
I had a very long labor, which led to my OBGYN telling me that I needed to have an emergency c-section, due to my cervix not dilating enough. We later found out this was due to my baby’s birth weight lol. My baby ended up being born at a whopping 10 pounds and 4 ounces!! I’m very grateful for modern medicine and the access to a safe c-section. Can you imagine needing a c-section 100 years ago??
Soon enough, I was told it was okay to start breastfeeding. I jumped right in and attached my baby to my breast! I continued to breastfeed my baby but soon developed extremely sore and sensitive nipples.
Here is where the problems really began… My baby wasn’t latching properly to my boobs so it started causing a lot of pain on my nipples. Also, I wasn’t expelling milk fast enough so my boobs became rock hard. This painful experience is called being engorged.
Get the Lactation Consultant in Here
Day 3: post delivery/ in the hospital
Finally, I said, let’s get the lactation consultant in here and maybe she can help. The lactation consultant ended up appearing in the middle of a breakdown. I was crying a lot. I told her how unprepared and frustrated I was with the whole experience of breastfeeding. (I was formula-fed by the way). The lactation consultant then asked me if breastfeeding was important to me.
I thought about that everyday for the next few months.
Day 4: post delivery/in the hospital
Finally, we were cleared to leave. I was sent home with diapers and Similac infant formula. I was supplementing until I produced enough milk to satisfy my 10 pound four ounce baby 🙂
When I got home, I continued to purchase Similac formula and loved the freedom I felt when I used it. I also continued to pump and attempted breastfeeding at times. I later switched to Organic European Formula. I wrote an article about why I switched, here.
I wanted to formula feed 100% but I kept feeling guilty when people would ask me if I’m nursing, so I continued to pump to give him breast milk.
The pumping felt endless
I pumped around the clock. I pumped every two to three hours, day or night. At night, I would set my alarm, and through the night I would wake up and pump in a dimly lit room. Just me and my Spectra (nice pump if you want to pump). My baby and husband were sleeping in the bedroom so I couldn’t do it from the comfort of my bed.
Pumping made me feel lonely and exhausted. I was also up feeding my baby throughout the night when he would wake up crying out of hunger, the temperature, or something else. I definitely wasn’t getting much sleep then.
I was constantly stressed out with pumping and having to wash and sterilize all those parts that many times a day! Somehow, ordering additional pump parts didn’t equal less stress.
Let’s talk about postpartum depression
I will share my experience with post-partum depression in hopes that others know it’s not that uncommon.
Soon enough, I felt myself just breaking down like, I don’t want to do this, I just want to formula feed and get my freedom back. Pumping just became so exhausting. I felt like I’ve been sacrificing my own needs, happiness and mental state. I have anxiety and being.a new mom was definelty a trigger for me to overthink and worry. You should think about it too, you’re important, you matter. Your mental state matters.
If you’re constantly stressed out when it comes to feeding your baby, it’s not serving you and you’re feeling depressed then, you‘re baby’s gonna feel it. You’re going to be holding your baby stressed out and they’re going to know it. You baby can sense your emotions. We can all feel the energy of our loved ones when they’re not feeling right or something’s not right. Take care of yourself so you can be your best self with others.
Know that you matter and you should to talk to someone if you find yourself living in stress, anxiety, or depression.
I had a mild case in the first three months of being a new mom and felt like everything was just setting me off. I read a lot of articles and opinions on breastfeeding versus formula feeding and I began feeling guilty, and I would cry out of nowhere, feeling overwhelmed. I probably should have met with a therapist to see if this was a normal amount of anxiety. All I know is I felt anxiety every night when the sun would go down. I also felt anxiety around the thought of feeding my baby. It’s tough being a new parent but don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for support.
Know that you matter and you should to talk to someone if you find yourself battling with stress, anxiety, or depression. You could reach out to a therapist or a psychiatrist.
I had a mild case in the first three months of being a new mom and felt like everything was just setting me off. I read a lot of articles and opinions on breastfeeding versus formula feeding and I began feeling guilty, and I would cry out of nowhere, feeling overwhelmed. I probably should have met with a therapist to see if this was a normal amout of anxiety. All I know is I felt anxiety every night when the sun would go down. I also felt anxiety around the thought of feeding my baby. It’s tough being a new parent but don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for support.
After transitioning from pumping to becoming 100% formula, let me tell you, it made everything so much easier. This way, I knew I was giving my baby the next closest thing to breastmilk, which my baby completely thrived on. My husband was also able to participate in feeding more.
My husband is now able to go mix up a bottle and take a feeding session and bond more. The whole family was able to really pitch in and share those feeding moments with my baby. I was able to let family members babysit without me needing to pump and deal with explaining milk storage and refrigerating.
I became a lot more relaxed and I was just so happy to be around my baby as if I’m free and I have me again I have my body back.
Don’t get me wrong, if breastfeeding is your thing then keep it up. Breastfeeding is freaking beautiful. Don’t give up just because you know it’s hard. If you’re breastfeeding do keep at it, you got this. For myself it wasn’t in me that I really wanted to do it. That’s why it just didn’t make sense why I would do it. I was doing it for everyone else because I felt pressure like it was the only right option and I would be out the club of the moms who made it happen. Again, any choice you make will be the right one. I support any decision the mother feels is right for her family.
I know what it’s like and I’m here for you <3