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Old 07-14-2012, 08:10 PM   #1
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The Best of Both Worlds: At Peace with Formula Feeding

A quick background on me. DD is now 13 weeks old. I have had major issues with breastfeeding from the beginning. Between horrible pain and very low supply, I have trucked on through. We have had to supplement with formula since about two weeks due to failure to thrive. I have done everything to try and increase my supply, but I have come to terms with the fact that I need to formula feed for my baby's health and for my own sanity. I still pump and nurse when I can, but at this point it's more like I am supplementing her formula diet with breast milk! I guess I just keep holding out hope that suddenly the domperidone or goat's rue will magically work and I will gush fountains of milk.

I don't know how many other mamas both formula feed and breast feed, but I feel like I am in two worlds of feeding. I can't EBF, but I don't EFF. I have resented the bottle for months now and been angry at formula for it's ability to be mixed up ready to go in seconds when I can only pump 1 oz per 15 minute session.

This morning, as I was feeding my baby girl her bottle after she nursed all she could, I realized that I can no longer waste precious time and energy being angry over something I have no control over. I need to embrace every moment with my little girl and we can be close and bond, even over a bottle.

This is just a huge step for me. I just thought I would share, as I am guessing there are other mamas out there who have been through similar dilemmas or are maybe going through the same thing.

To all mamas who are doing the best they can no matter how they feed their little ones!!

My baby girl is very healthy and nearing her 1 year birthday in April. She has met or exceeded all developmental milestones (except her teeth are taking forever to come in, LOL!). We are fully on formula and I have become even more at peace with the way I feed my baby, we have done baby led weaning when it comes to food and she eats everything and does amazingly. She's smart, sweet and a lovely girl. I have the privilege of being a SAHM and though she has her moments of independent play, we have this amazing bond. When she looks at me and says "Ma!", I don't sit and ponder whether my inability to breastfeed had some sort of hinderance in our relationship or her development. Rather, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that I grew this amazing life inside me and have done everything in my power to nurture her and teach her in only the way a mother can.


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Old 07-14-2012, 08:28 PM   #2
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Re: The Best of Both Worlds: At Peace with Formula Feeding

I remember that moment. It was very freeing and I was a much better mom after. Good luck, you have to do what is best for you and your family. No one else can understand how deep that choice is to make. I completely understand where you are coming from.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:08 AM   #3
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Re: The Best of Both Worlds: At Peace with Formula Feeding

HEy Mama, I just blogged about that today! It has been a very hard battle, and i know myself the first time I purchased formula i stood in the aisle of walmat, and cried. I too am finding that i am a better mother, i can spend less time worrying about his intake, I can get help with feeds so i can shower, or take a nap. I try to supplement with BMilk but its not happening much, as it takes a full day of pumping to get one feed but at least he got what he got up until now! You did what was best for your LO and hey wasnt that the point of EBFing to begin with? Good work mamma! Hang in there you have a large network of support here!
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:33 AM   #4
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DS us 7 months almost and I just called WIC to say I quit breastfeeding. I haven't totally quite, but he needs way more than 4 cans of formula every month and is, like you said, supplementing breastmilk in his formula diet. I held out for a long time, but once you realize that a healthy baby is more important than the grief and pressure over struggling to continue breastfeeding, I think it gets easier to let go of the anger and resentment.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:17 PM   #5
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Re: The Best of Both Worlds: At Peace with Formula Feeding

i totally understand the struggle.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:09 PM   #6
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Re: The Best of Both Worlds: At Peace with Formula Feeding

I was unable to breastfeed due to a birth complication that caused my milk to never fully come in and I felt the exact same way. My LO is 15 weeks old and she's been FF since about 3 days old. Her very first feeding after birth was formula because she refused to latch. After my complication was discovered and corrected, I tried to relactate. I came to the same realization as you... that all the time and energy I was wasting on pumping and torturing myself was time and energy I should have been spending on my LO. I put down the pump and stepped away and I',m now 100% happier.

You are not alone.
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:25 AM   #7
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Re: The Best of Both Worlds: At Peace with Formula Feeding

It is so great to read these stories and relate to them.

I experienced issues with delayed lactation and low supply from the very beginning despite trying everything under the sun. I remember feeling like a failure as a mother when I started supplementing with formula when my son was 4 days old since my milk had not come in yet. I think I cried every time I gave him a bottle in the beginning. I pumped every 4 hours around the clock for months just to be able to give him some breast milk. One day when he was 3 1/2 months old I was pumping and he was sitting nearby in the boppy crying. I stopped my pumping session to tend to him and he just looked up at me and smiled. I realized then that pumping was taking away from valuable time I could be spending with him and that he would happily accept a diet of 100% formula if it meant he could spend more time with me. That day I started weaning off of the pump. It felt great to let go of all of the guilt and anger I felt at myself over not being able to provide breast milk for my baby. My son is 7 1/2 months now and a very healthy and happy baby and I'm much happier now too.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:32 AM   #8
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Re: The Best of Both Worlds: At Peace with Formula Feeding

I'm glad you found some peace. It can be so hard when feeding doesn't go how you want it. With DS I had wanted to BF but had a horrible time and quit early on, but always regretted it some even though I knew it was best for the both of us emotionally and for bonding. With DD a similar thing happened but after I started some medication I was able to let her supplement with bm while mainly being ff and not have it be a bad experience for either of us. I hope you continue to find peace!
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:15 AM   #9
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Re: The Best of Both Worlds: At Peace with Formula Feeding

I hear ya. it got to the point for me either my child want BM or a mamma in the insane asylum. I was going crazy and it was making the engry in the house bad.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:32 AM   #10
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Re: The Best of Both Worlds: At Peace with Formula Feeding

Been there. Our pedi was the one who helped me have a break through. He said you are not a horrible mother if you cant breastfeed. You would be a horrible mother if you didn't do what wqs right for your baby to be healthy. Sometimes you can't control what your body can and cannot do.
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