Fed is Best

I thought I knew what to expect as a mom. I am the oldest of a big family, and there were a few years that I took care of some of my younger siblings. I had NO IDEA what being a mom was like. I have been through a crash course over the past 5 months as our little boy has joined our family.

I learned my first lesson in the first few weeks of our little boy’s life. It was a hard lesson to learn, but I know I am better off for it.


Do What Works For You

When my baby was born, I was set on breastfeeding him because of all of the wonderful benefits. Unfortunately, we had problems from the start. While we were in the hospital, the nurses had to do a glucose test on my baby because he was not eating much. They suggested supplementing with formula, and I broke into tears. The suggestion, that I was not able to give my son the nutrition that he needed, made me feel like a failure. The voices of so many people swirled around in my mind; “Breast is best.” “You’re going to breastfeed, right?” I was trying so hard, but it just wasn’t working. Why couldn’t I do something that was so “natural”?

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Things got a little better over the next few days, but then, my little boy became jaundice. The doctors suggested he was not getting enough to eat. Looking back over the first days of my baby’s life, I could see that the doctor was right. So, we supplemented with formula. His jaundice improved, and I was elated.

Unfortunately, it still seemed like my son was not getting enough to eat. He was always hungry, and he was rather cranky. I was losing my mind up with a baby all hours, and it didn’t seem to satisfy him anyway. I became discouraged. I reached out to various resources including lactation consultants, but none of the advice seemed to help. My son was still hungry all the time, and I couldn’t seem to provide enough milk for him.

I spent the majority of my days agonizing over how to best help my son. I did not want to give up breastfeeding. After all, it was “the best” thing for my baby. I also knew that making sure my son received the food and nutrients he needed was the number one priority. My poor husband had to listen to me cry about this every day. He would tell me that it was okay to switch to formula if that is what I and the baby needed. Thank goodness for his support.

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The turning point was when my mother-in-law came to meet our son. She is a person that I know I can confide in. I know, when I go to her, she will give me support and her honest opinion. While she was in town, we talked about my concerns, and I told her how much I had been struggling. She told me, “Fed is best”. She made sure I knew that, if anyone judged me for giving my baby formula, they were dumb and completely out of line. She applauded me for having the courage to do what was right for me and my child. She helped me to make the best decision for my son, myself, and my husband.


I knew the day that we switched to formula that it was the right choice. My son was no longer hungry all the time, and he was a happy little boy instead of being cranky all the time. We never had any more trouble with Jaundice, and he passed all his medical evaluations with flying colors. It has been five months now, and I have a healthy happy little boy. He spends the day babbling and playing. My husband loves that our son is bottle fed because I get to share the special bonding that happens during a feeding with my husband.

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What did I learn from this experience? I learned that, as a mom (or dad), you know what is best for your child. I learned that, if I have done the research for myself, I do not need to listen to all the loud voices telling me what is best for my child.


If you can successfully breastfeed your child, and that is right for you, do it. If you can’t, do not feel guilty. Both breastfeeding and formula feeding parents are giving their child the nutrition that they need.

Have the courage to do what is right for your family. Don’t let others push you to do something that will jeopardize the health of your child or your own health.

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14 thoughts on “Fed is Best

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  1. I agree, although there is ample evidence to support breastfeeding for babies as the best choice, many mothers simply cannot. They should not feel guilt about having to chose an alternative, or a feeding regimen that works best for their baby.

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  2. I struggled with breastfeeding with my first son. We had latch issues and supply issues (the second likely from the first). I finally just gave him formula so he got the food he needed (pumped 1/2 his milk for a year). It was so hard because I had this notion that breastmilk was best, but fed truly is best!

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  3. Your little guy is so cute! I’m happy you were able to do what was best for him, you and your family. I agree with your mother-in-law… fed truly is the best!

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  4. I breastfed because that worked for me. Doesn’t work for everyone and who cares if someone doesn’t! I can never understand why mom’s are so pious and judgey. Let’s just all support each other for doing a great job! Great article!

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  5. My daughter was born 2.5 months early so everything we had planned went out the window when she was in the NICU for months so I know where you are coming from. When she was discharged, she had to be on formula for at least one meal a day because she needed a minimum of nutrients. I was so frustrated/angry/embarrassed, and everywhere I turned people judged – included family, claiming they knew more than the drs. After hours of research, I realized that was crazy. There is NOTHING wrong with formula. And besides missing the natural antibodies, in many ways formula can be better for a growing baby. What you said is 100% correct. FED IS BEST. Anyone who says anything less should shove it! ❤ PS – your son is gorgeous!

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  6. Fed is best! I hate when moms judge other moms… We’re all just doing our best. I was dead set on breastfeeding also, but it never worked. She hated it, three BF coaches couldn’t get it to work for us, and it got even worse when her bilirubin count was high and the hospital gave her bottles. After she got the fake nipple, she never touched mine again. It was defeating at first, and I spent 3 months pumping what little I could so she at least got some of it, but she’s happy and healthy and so strong and smart. She wasn’t negatively affected.

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  7. I feel like you’re telling part of my story when I read this. I also struggled to breastfeed feed both of my babies and people would often think it’s strange that I went to formula feeding. They never questioned why I couldn’t breastfeed but I didn’t need to answer their question because I felt good knowing that my boys were still being fed. They’re both healthy and growing up just fine!

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