Friday, May 10, 2013

Breast Feeding vs. Formula

Preparing For A Little One

I'm linking up on Wifessionals to share my experience on the "Breast Feeding vs. Formula" segment. At first, I was not going to share my opinion or take the time to write about my personal experience. Then I realized that it is not about comparing yourself to other moms or saying that one way is better than the other. I believe that every woman has to do what is right for her family, and every circumstance is different.

When I became pregnant, I really wanted to know how working moms make breast-feeding work. It seemed complicated and worrisome to think about pumping at a job. A month before I gave birth, I was a substitute teacher and sometimes would travel to 2 schools in one day. I was thinking how complicated it would be to pump while at the school, in a place that I was unfamiliar with. The funniest thought came to mind back then. As I juggled this idea in my head, the thought of pumping while I'm driving to my next school location would be the only way to go. That sounds absurd but I thought that would be the only way I would have time for it. Can you imagine driving along the road and pumping (as discreetly as possible)?! What a joke.

I really wanted to try breast-feeding my son. Lets be honest--I never attended breast feeding classes or researched much about it. Thinking that it was just an easy, natural thing was what I leaned on. Again, unprepared and naive. Plans do not always work out as you expect. My birth plan was also thrown out the window on birth day. Being in labor for 13 hours, the doctor finally ended up performing a C-section on me. Sitting in the recovery room 30 minutes later, the nurse asked me if I would like to breast-feed or bottle feed. I really wanted to try to breast feed. Plopping Joshua near my boob, it was near impossible to get him in a position to latch on. After the C-section it was difficult to get in an upright sitting position myself, let alone prop up a new baby in the right way.

 Not too long after that, another nurse came in to ask if I would like to feed him. She asked if I was breastfeeding or formula feeding. I informed her that my son needed a bottle. He sucked that baby down immediately!  During my 3 day hospital stay I pumped about 5 times because I wanted Joshua to get the colostrum (the nutrients that are most important from breast feeding that are available during the first few times of feeding). Pumping/breastfeeding + C-section hurts! My stomach was stabbed and cut and when pumping or breast feeding you have to use those major stomach muscles. I could not handle the pain and pumping only increased the post partum-contractions.

All in all, I pumped about 5 times altogether and only got like 1 ounce each time. Not enough for a meal!  So my baby was bottle fed except for those few times I gave him breast milk. During the first few days of his life, we switched formula on him three times. He kept spitting up. So that was another experiment in and of itself. There's a lot of aspects that go into breast feeding and even formula feeding at times.

When moms are empowered to breast feed or formula feed it is up to them. Sometimes plans do not work out how you imagined.  There are times when I still feel regret over how it ended up because I wish I had that breast feeding connection, but I didn't. As a first time mom, EVERYTHING is trial and error.


  1. I've breast fed two and bottle fed two. For me, it was about timing, logistics and whether or not my body actually cooperated. :)

  2. You go girl! I say, hold that bottle with pride! :)

  3. i did both then eventually switched to bottle was easier with work and all...