An article came out this week about Similac adding a new ingredient to the formula to help boost immune systems in babies. You can be assured the mom’s in the parenting Facebook and Twitter groups were up in arms over this article. The wrote things like “don’t think fed is best…breast is best,” “women need to breastfeed their child to give them the best possible start to life.” It was open season on the people who formula feed their kids.
Giving your child formula or breast milk is a debate that will not go away. Yes I understand that “Breast Is Best,” but breastfeeding mothers need to understand that it is not always possible. I tried to breastfeed both kids, but it wasn’t possible for me. I tried really hard: I took the pills, I pumped, but I just didn’t make enough milk and my kids were screaming for food. Breastfeeding mothers told me to pump every 3-4 hours and give my baby breast milk from a bottle. I bought an expensive hospital grade pump, but I found that I just didn’t get enough milk in the bottle and I didn’t have the time to pump every 3 hours (sometimes I needed to sleep to function). After a month, my husband saw me in tears and said “stop making yourself cry, enjoy your baby and give her a bottle.” I decided to formula feed and my baby was happier because she wasn’t starving anymore and as a result I was happier. While my doctor was not worried about my baby and said she was healthy, other mothers seemed to be very worried. When I pulled out a bottle lots of mothers stopped to question me about what was in there. I was warned constantly that formula feeding my child would affect her future: she would be fat, her immune system about be lacking, she won’t receive bonding time. Their comments made me feel bad and made me feel like I failed. But there was nothing I could do, my body didn’t produce enough. Maybe I chose the ‘second best’ option for my kids, but the formula kept them fed and nourished during their first year when I couldn’t do it.
Fast forward to the present: my 2-year-old is fit, a social butterfly, healthy (I wish I had her immune system), and we have a bond like every other mother and daughter. You look at her and her friends now and you can’t tell the difference between a formula fed and breastfed baby. My youngest is also formula fed and she is a very healthy 6 month old and I am not concerned for her health. My kids are happy with the bottle and I am happy that they are fed. I don’t know who said it, but “a happy mom means a happy baby and family life.”
So for those of you who cannot breastfeed or choose not to rest assured your kids will grow up healthy and after the first year no one will be able to tell the difference. Try not to get depressed when other people comment about your decision. Like Taylor Swift says “Shake It Off!”