Formula: You Aren’t Failing Your Kid

formula and pumpingI have had a few questions about our use of formula since I mentioned it here. Some other new moms wondering about how I did it. The fact is, there isn’t a lot of information out there for us. You are usually sifting through info from 2 vastly different sides. Either you exclusively breastfeed or just give formula and while neither is bad, it isn’t your only choice. The biggest group of moms this seems to effect is working moms. You go down a VERY common path. You start work and quickly see how hard it is to make those bottles. You pump and pump. You take from your maternity leave stash. You are living pump to pump. Then? Daycare says “he could use bigger bottles” and you heart sinks. How?

Well I have gone through this twice now. I have a lower supply (enough for him but just not overflowing) and I don’t respond well to the pump. The combo leaves me with many days not being able to cover the bottle. I knew this was the case before coming back with oliver, so I worked my schedule to only need 1 bottle. So out of all the pumps in a day (3-4), I can make a 5.5 oz bottle plus a little extra most of the time. Formula is there to help. The night my milk didn’t let down, a bottle was gone.

The more I talk about this, the more questions I get and I realized there is a group of moms out there looking for guidance where there isn’t any. I decided to address them on Liberating Working Moms so come check it out:

“After a particularly rough night, where my postpartum anxiety spiraled out of control, I took a day off work and pumped nothing. I was already freaking out from sleep deprivation and this didn’t help. I didn’t have enough for bottles the next day. I cried and cried. It was so hard to let go of the control but I found that can of Similac and made him a bedtime bottle of half breastmilk and half formula to make sure he could handle it. I had to feed my baby…period. He never batted an eye and chugged it down but I cried the whole time. I didn’t think formula wasbad, I was just disappointed in myself for not being able to give him only breastmilk.

Flash forward to his first birthday. I pumped what I could for that first year and even kept nursing mornings and bedtime until 15 months. We had a beautiful journey and the one major note about breast milk was:

I gave him all I could….[keep reading].”

5 Comments

  1. Yes! Such a great post. Much earlier, I had a hard time with my supply and was getting almost nothing while pumping. I felt sad and guilty that I wasn’t giving her only breast milk. There were a LOT of tears (Mine. She had no problem with her formula). But I was literally giving her every drop of milk that I could produce. And yes–going back to work was on the horizon and I had no idea what to do. It was actually Lily’s pediatrician who said to me that if I wasn’t getting enough while pumping and all it was doing was stressing me out, then it was ok to stop. She was like, “if you think it’s time to stop, then it’s the right decision.” She was actually the first medical professional to say that to me, and I was so grateful. So thanks for this post, Brandy! We all need to support each other because as moms, we are all doing the best we can for our children.

  2. Awesome post! It hit home for me when you said, “I had to feed my baby.” You nailed it. I got lucky with Charlotte. We’ll see where it goes from here. Good work!

  3. Pingback: Giving The Girls a Break: A Weaning Story

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