A *supportive* place for formula fed babies

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Postby paper » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:03 am

Hi all! I just needed a place to let this out... I'm sure there are plenty on here who will understand and relate!

My bub had trouble latching on from day one, so I decided to pump exclusively. For the last 4 months we've been on the roller coaster ride that goes along with EPing. All sorts of nipple pain, blocked ducts, decreases and increases in supply, faulty pumps... but I kept on going, being very stubborn about giving my bub breast milk any way I could!

Over the last couple of weeks, my supply has been dropping and dropping. I've been supplementing formula for about a month now, and each day it seems that I am pumping less milk and feeding him more formula. My logical, rational brain is fine with this slow weaning process. I KNOW that formula is perfectly fine for him! I KNOW that I will eventually be feeding him only formula until he's ready for solid food. But after pumping a meager half ounce this morning, the reality set in and I totally broke down in tears.

Why does that hurt so much?! (Emotionally) Isn't it wild that our logical minds and our motherly instincts can be so dramatically opposed? It makes me so incredibly sad to think of not giving him my milk any more. Can anyone else relate?

I hope to get to a place (and soon!) where I don't feel guilty or heartbroken about giving him formula. I'd love to hear from other moms who have gone through the same thing! What helped you get through that rough patch?
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Re: Heartbroken

Postby lilbwitty02 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:38 pm

We went through this with DS. We took every breastfeeding class there was, I have a supportive hubs, we met with an LC, etc etc and tried everything...my supply was just so low and we had to supplement with formula and then my supply just continued to dwindle no matter what we tried. It was so sad!! Like you, I was not "opposed" to formula, I was just very sad that I couldn't give my son what he needed. We actually made the decision to go straight to formula with DD because I couldn't deal with the stress and heartbreak all over again!! When your son is thriving and you're less stressed about producing enough for him, you will get to a place where you are ok with it, I promise! Hang in there, momma! All of motherhood is an emotional rollercoaster ride, so hang on!!
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Re: Heartbroken

Postby sunmaid » Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:21 pm

I think it might be two things. One is that breastfeeding is a natural function, like getting pregnant. There is something about feeling like a failure at not being able to do something that the body is meant to do. The other is that there is such high pressure for breastfeeding that women feel a sense of shame if they don't. I breast fed my first for 13 months so I'm definitely an advocate of breastfeeding (we did give him a bottle of formula starting around 9 months for the first morning feeding - I was taking a medication and wanted it be past it's peak before I nursed again).

I think the formula vs breast has swung back and forth. When formula because safe and it became more of the thing to have a nanny give a bottle, were women shamed for breastfeeding as low class, poor, and unsanitary. Then the pendulum swung the other way during the 60s and 70s with the natural childbirth and Lamaze movement. I think the pendulum has swung again toward breastfeeding with people's want to be healthier in general and the health benefits have definitely been the main selling factor. But I think there has been an enormous amount of shaming going on for mom's who choose to bottle feed. I also think that shaming is counter productive. In my ideal world, it would be wonderful if mothers attempted as much as possible to nurse and if it wasn't the best or if it wasn't working, to not feel any shame about formula. What's hard for me to swallow are women who bottle feed because of the idea it will "ruin" their boobs or get weirded out because their breasts are a sexual object. But that's just me personally and that's me being judgmental.

But I do think women do feel a sense of shame and failure If they don't breastfeed. I wish there were other ways to encourage breastfeeding with out making women to feel ashamed of formula or a failure for using it. I bet with all of the crazy "lactivists" out there and the extreme measure being used to promote breastfeeding, we will see a swing away from it toward the bottle again. Then it will go back.

Ultimately a mom has to do what is best for herself and her family and it is no one else's business.
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Re: Heartbroken

Postby B Michaelson » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:21 pm

Well said Sunmaid. I wish all women would just try it, but if you can't breastfeed (or choose not to) for whatever reason there is no shame in it at all. Every baby and mom is so different it is really no one else's concern. But you know the moment people find out you are expecting they think it gives them free reign to offer unsolicited advice on anything and everything.

I hope to breastfeed exclusively but if I am like my sister and have a small baby I may need to supplement with formula as well. And if my milk doesn't come in properly I would probably feel really upset about it too.
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