21 October 2015

Why I Decided To Formula Feed My Children

Deciding on what is right for your child is hard work. No matter what your decision is, you'll have someone telling you it's wrong, leaving you feeling like a failure as a parent. Especially when it comes to deciding how you'll feed your baby.

For me, I chose to bottle feed. Being really honest, it wasn't even a hard decision. I didn't feel comfortable with the thought of breastfeeding my child in public and knew that if I felt stressed then my baby would sense that and struggle to feed. People would say that's a selfish decision but let me explain. 

My health visitor pushed me in to trying when I'd given birth to Thomas. I didn't want to and I didn't need to, but she pushed and pushed until I just decided to do it. But I hated it. I hated that I had to be at home whenever I wanted to feed my baby as I wasn't comfortable with others being around me. I would hide upstairs if anyone came to the house and my baby needed feeding. 

It was horrendous. I felt pressurised and then I got stressed, upset and depressed. Thomas stopped latching properly and wouldn't take my breast milk, losing weight at his next check up. I felt like a failure, that my son wouldn't take the one thing that my body made for him.

And then I realised, why was I doing this to make my health visitor happy? My baby and myself were all that mattered. As long as he had milk in his tummy (be it formula or breast milk) then he was happy and I knew that I'd feel a lot happier if I wasn't constantly stressed about feeding. 

So I changed to formula and it went down a treat. Thomas loved his new milk and even drank better. I think this was down to the fact that I was now feeding him comfortably and stress free so he was happier. It was like a weight had lifted.

But the health visitor then came round and told me that I was wrong to stop, that I was not giving him the best in life and that it was basically, all my fault if anything ever was to happen to him. I felt scared, had I just gave my son a bad start in life by choosing formula over breast milk?

No I wasn't. Thomas was fine. He flourished. Came on greatly. Got all his milestones, in fact was really forward with some things like walking at 10 month old.

Then I realised, the health visitor was wrong. It didn't matter how I fed him, all that mattered was that he was fed. Be it formula or breast milk, as long as he had a full tummy, I was doing right by my child.

So when Charlie, and then Joseph, came round, I decided to stay formula feeding as that was what I was comfortable with. And you know what, it was fine!

Babies are getting fed one way or another and that's all that matters surely...

13 comments:

  1. I have been breastfeeding for 3 months and thinking of changing to formula for medical reasons and I'm still getting pressure not to switch!

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  2. Theres a great set of photos going round Facebook at the moment highlighting the difference choices that are available to us as mothers and that we all choose different and that, thats okay. We know our children. Its up to us. You should never have been pressured into breast feeding if it didn't work for you. I initially breast fed until 10 weeks when I started to combination feed and stopped breast feeding all together at 5 months. That worked for us. It was my decision and I am happy with it. I just wasn't producing enough milk and as you rightly say a happy baby is one with a full tummy! :) x

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  3. There is so much pressure on us to breastfeed at the moment. I tried with little J and even though it didn't last long I gave it a go but it just wasn't for me

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  4. Both our posts are on breastfeeding! I tried my best for six weeks and became so ill my daughter went away and we ended up separated for many weeks all over my efforts to feed her. So sad when i reflect on it. I iwsh id just said no and gone to formula like you!

    Angela

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  5. I saw a number of different health visitors and midwives who mostly assumed I was bottle feeding, apparently the majority of new mums in my area are and I have had quite a bit of negative from other parents for breastfeeding. I have just stopped breastfeeding my daughter after 6 months, I stopped at this point because she was born with a tooth and started biting me. Everyone should have the right to choose what they want for themselves and their baby. As long as baby is gaining weight and everyone is happy and healthy that's all that matters.

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  6. I don't think you should ever feel pressured by health visitors or anyone for that matter. It's hard enough to cope when babies are tiny without having extra stress! Breastfeeding worked for me because I was too lazy to even contemplate getting bottles organised but my eldest also had formula from 4 months. My second was allergic to milk so I ended up breastfeeding for far longer than I expected - it's different for everyone and what works for you is what is best.

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  7. What an awful health visitor....I think she was so wrong to pressure you! You are right it doesn't matter how they are being fed as long as they're being fed!!

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  8. I totally know what you mean, my midwife pressured me horrendously. I don't have an issue with breat feeding but I am not comfortable doing it so I knew I never wanted to (I know shoot me now!). I think babies having happy mummies is the most important thing. x

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  9. Oh my god, I could have literally written this post, that's exactly how I felt when breast-feeding, it felt so isolating. Your health visitor sounds horrible, I was so lucky to have a student health visitor. She told me that she had to encourage breast-feeding, but then whispered to me, 'but you don't have to'. She said happy mum = happy baby and if that meant to move to formula feeding, then that's what I had to do. So I did and I have a healthy 3 yo now! Sabrina x

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  10. Do one formula suit to all children? Or should I adjust the recipe to suit each child.?

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  11. I think many parents are pressurized into believing that breast is best but ultimately a mother knows her own body and should have the decision to choose. Well done for sticking by your convictions.

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  12. I breast fed Hayden up until 4 months when I was advised to give him formula and his suffered an allergic reaction. Until I gave him hypoallergenic formula I was a hot mess and he was absolutely fine on it.
    Good on you for sticking to how you felt. We can fell so much pressure in these situations
    Charlotte x

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  13. We have to do what's best for us I breast fed till 5months but my milk became to rich so the decision was taken away from me to put on formula milk. But I know it was the right one in the long run xxx

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