You know the saying, “There is no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one”? For me, formula has been one way I could be a good mother.
My first baby had a seven day hospital stay after her birth. In that time, she was fed from a tube with formula and then milk that I pumped once it was available. When she came home, we tried our best for a few weeks, but ultimately switched over to formula when she was about two months old.
Along came my second baby and nursing lasted a bit longer, around five or six months. At that point, nursing was starting to cause a lot of stress for me. My baby would get distracted by my toddler, my toddler would wreak havoc while I was trying to nurse and going out in public with the possibility of having to feed my baby raised my blood pressure a little too much.
With my third baby, it was the same. We lasted about five months. Now my baby was distracted by two older siblings, two active children who had a hard time occupying themselves, and double the stress of going out in public, finding a spot to nurse, occupy the older two, or have all four of us sit in the car while the baby ate. It started to be too much for me.
And here’s the part that caused the most guilt for me. I did not enjoy nursing. It was not a bonding experience for me. I did it because I knew it was “the best thing for my baby.” The guilt of wanting to stop and not enjoying it was so heavy for me.
Fortunately, I had an amazing support system (doctors, husband, parents, etc) who did not make me feel guilty at all, they encouraged me and made me feel confident.
When I chose to switch to formula each of the three times it was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I felt free and relaxed. Feeding time became a time I looked forward to and did become a bonding experience for me and my babies.
I know and understand that breastfeeding might be the most natural and nutritionally specific for babies, but for me formula was such a blessing. My three healthy and happy babies are proof.
So I am here to say, your feelings are important too when it comes to how you feed your baby. Mommy instinct includes not just the needs of your baby, but your needs as well. Be confident in your feelings and choices. However you feed your baby, you are doing an awesome job! Your baby is happy, healthy and thriving!
In terms of price point, between breastfeeding and formula clearly breastfeeding wins by a landslide, hands down. Ha. But if you find yourself in the position of needing or wanting formula, might I suggest Costco? With my second baby I discovered Kirkland brand formula. So. much. money. saved. Here’s a funny story to illustrate my love for Costco formula:
Earlier this year, I went to Costco to purchase our next few cans of formula. I was so disappointed when I got there to find out that the formula was being “deleted” from their merchandise. The nice employee didn’t know if it would come back in a few months or if it was gone for good. So I did the only natural thing a person who swears by the stuff would do. I called three different Costco stores to find out where they still had it in stock and drove to the closest one (twenty minutes away) to buy twelve cans. Proof:
It lasted us a few months and then, thankfully, the brought my beloved Costco formula back and all is right in the world. Only one more month of formula, hooray!