Sunday, April 26, 2009

BF v. FF: the great debate

so i have been having this internal debate which really is irrelevant but I feel like I need to discuss....

when I first got pregnant I was totally undecided on breast feeding v. formula feeding. I hadn't given it much thought in the past and really wasn't ready to give it much thought at the moment.
As I got further along and more people started to ask me how I would be feeding my child - I figured I should consider this topic and make a decision.

I considered many things: the horror stories I heard from one too many breast feeding moms*, the pain I anticipated but cracked nipples/thrush/mastitis were not things I wanted to encounter, and the biggie - I get migraines. often. the kind that make me curl into a ball in a dark quiet room and rock myself to sleep. I take medicine for these everyday [before I got pregnant] that does not mix w/ breast feeding. If I was down for the count w/ a migraine I wasn't going to be able to feed my baby anyway right?
So that is how I came to my decision to formula feed from the beginning - I wanted to be able to care for my child no matter what and if I am sick in bed how could I do that?

Well here's the thing - I need to restart said medication but I need to do it slowly and under the care of a doctor. Who I haven't seen yet. So I am not taking anything currently and really could have tried breast feeding.

This is where the guilt comes in. I feel like maybe, in some way, I have cheated my little one out of something. Especially when I hear other women talk about it - which in turn enhances that bit of guilt I feel on my own. I know she is getting what she needs - she is growing well and she certainly isn't starving. and she sleeps 6h at a time during the night. But there is still that little part of me that wonders if we are both missing something. I do feel very bonded and close to her and am thankful that her daddy can help out so much.

so, maybe next time I will try it.
but I do know that my little one is doing pretty well with the formula. we are still working on the perfect bottle for her and the doctor told me this week she is a petite eater but still gaining weight.

*i heard good things too - but they definitely didn't stand out in my mind as much as the notsogood things


Trish said...

Don't beat yourself up. I did not breastfeed either of my two, and they both turned out healthy and strong. We bonded extremely well, and they are not sick all the time. You have to do what is right for you and your family, and no one knows what that is but you!

renee said...

you know where i stand on this, but i will reiterate. i tried, and tried and tried to pump for all three and couldnt get a thing. but i honestly don't feel that they have missed out on anything at all. i have actually read studies (one that came out a few years ago from harvard) that said that bf babies were no more intelligent than ff ones. and with everything that maria went through, she didnt get sick until she was almost 18 mos old. i think it's a wonderful thing to do if you can/want to. but i feel like we are all made to feel like crappy mothers if we dont do it and that is wrong. and it's soooo nice to have josh have that bonding time with them too. that is equally important to me bonding with them. to me, bonding doesnt happen while eating, bonding happens while LIVING. dont feel guilty at all. and next time if it works out then great, but if not, it's ok too. you're still being the best mommy you can be and that's what's important. (btw sorry this got so long)

Mel said...

You have to do what works for you, that is the bottom line! And if your baby is getting what she needs, then you are doing the best for her!!!
I personally love breast feeding. I don't have a horror story, though, so I realize I am very lucky. I still pump and let daddy feed her with a bottle several times a week, too, and I am SO GLAD he gets that opportunity. Feeding is such an amazing bonding experience no matter how it's done!

Aubrey said...

I tried breastfeeding with all 3 of my kiddos. I didn't like it much. Besides all you mentioned, I felt like that was ALL I was doing. Sure there are a lot of benefits to doing it but in the end, bottle feeding was the better choice for us.
All 3 of my kiddos are happy, healthy and just fine!
Don't feel guilty!

Aubrey said...


And THANKS for stopping by on my SITS day last week! Hope to see you again!

Celia said...

Don't feel guilty for not breastfeeding. You are the parent and how can you be an effective caregiver if you are a ball of pain? I cannot imagine what a screaming baby would sound like during a migraine.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about the breastfeeding crap... have you ever heard about something bad happening because the child WASN'T breast fed? If you can believe it, my mother attempted to breast feed me but I did so badly on it, the doctor switched me to formula. And I did much better on formula- I have my original medical records and it's interesting to see the SOAP note written about the breastfeeding failure.