Breastfeeding vs Formula; What A First Time Mom Should Know!

My ultimate goal was to breastfeed exclusively for at least a year but that went out the window a week after giving birth to my son. As a first time mom, I read a lot and it had been instilled in my brain even by my doctor that breastfeeding should be my only option. Breastfeeding is the best option. Everywhere I would go the first question would be, “Do you plan to breastfeed exclusively?” Yes, we all know the importance of breastfeeding according to “research” but honestly, the best option is making sure your child is fed; fed well and developing on track.

Prior to giving birth, I would check periodically to see if I was lactating. My breast had become full and there was some type of activity happening so I figured, ‘Okay, i’m good to go. Breastfeeding here we come….’ Oh, I was so WRONG.

Breastfeeding is a technique which comes easy for some and extremely hard for others. I was the latter. While I thought I was lactating enough, it was the complete opposite. One week after giving birth to my son, we noticed he had lost some weight during his one week appointment which is normal but his was too drastic of a weight loss. I found out during my doctor’s appointment that not only wasn’t I lactating enough but my son wasn’t latching onto my nipple. We tried pumping and literally droplets of milk would end up in a 6oz bottle after hours of pumping. On top of all of the above, my nipples became extremely sore. So painful. My mom and youngest sister would actually laugh each time I tried to get my son to latch on. They found my pain to be comedic. LOL. I even tried Organic Mother’s Milk which is a herbal supplement to help increase lactation but it didn’t work for me as it has for others.

Basically after a week, my son literally wasn’t getting any milk. NO FOOD. TRAGIC. All due to my lack of producing milk and the mindset of, “No, formula. Exclusively breastfeed.”

During our one week appointment, the nurse recommended my son to be put on formula and listen, I was all for it. We started him on Enfamil and the way he gulped and gulped, my heart actually broke because my baby loved his food already and due to my lack of milk supply, he wasn’t receiving it in the amount he needed. What I loved most about Enfamil is that the formula came pre-made in disposable bottles in the exact amount my son needed for each feeding.

As the weeks went on, we continued with Enfamil but switched to the 4oz/9oz Phillips Avent bottles. Personally, I love the Phillips Avent bottles because the nipple is designed to mimic the breast, it has an anti-colic air vent and as your child grows there are different ranges of nipples to suit your child’s development.

During the first three months, although my son was on Enfamil, I still would let him latch onto my breast for the small, extra natural nutrients. The droplets as I call them.

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As first time mom, my advice would be to do what’s best for your child. I’m all for exclusive breastfeeding but each woman’s supply is different. I see lots of shaming of women for not exclusively breastfeeding without knowing the reasons for opting for formula. There are people who will make you feel as though you’re less of a mom because you didn’t breastfeed. Close your ears to those people because you’re the ULTIMATE MOTHER.

My son is now 18 months. He’s been off of baby formula since he hit 1 years old. He’s very healthy and just a joy.

Whether breast or bottle feeding…..a healthy baby is all that matters.