Breast milk or formula which is best?
Well, I can’t answer that question because the answer is different for everyone but what I can do is share my experience. We’ll start with my daughter …
The plan was to breastfeed since everyone would go on and on about how much better it would be for me and the baby. Being twenty and impressionable that’s why I made the decision to nurse the first time around. Not to mention my older sister breastfed both of her kids until they were like 40 lol it seemed like the easiest most natural thing in the world (which it is) but not as easy for everyone.
from the start, it was hard to get her to latch properly even with the help of nurses. Not only that but every time I had to feed her I got emotional, very emotional I was on the verge of tears every time I heard her little cry and knew she was hungry. I wanted to quit badly before I was even discharged from the hospital but I didn’t I tried to hang in there, and I did… for about a week maybe a week and a half before she bit down on my nipple SO HARD I literally thought she bit it off. After screaming louder than I would’ve liked to with a newborn baby in my arms and checking several times to make sure I was still intact I was done. Bottles and formula became my best friend all the way up until she decided she was “over it” a little after she turned 12 months.
Now lets fast forward 9 years later my son was born and it was time to make a choice and I choose to breastfeed not because of anyone else’s opinions but because it was something I wanted to do. I didn’t have high expectations about “my breastfeeding experience” this time around, in fact, one of the main reasons I wanted to give it a go again was to see if I actually could since I felt like the first time was a total fail. The first night in the hospital he wouldn’t drink at all, felt like Deja Vu.
Day 2 was a lot better, the latching wasn’t great initially but it got better with the help of a lactation consultant that would make rounds to new mothers in the hospital, and google of course even though the internet was around in 2008 when my daughter was born, everyone didn’t have a smartphone in hand or any of the other handy devices that make getting an answer to a question so quick and easy, at least I didn’t. But because I felt a little more prepared this time and had way more information this time around things went smoothly after we both got the hang of it.
These are some things I love about breastfeeding…
The connection – Holding my baby close, looking into his eyes and feeding him from my own body is a very powerful feeling.
Food always ready – No matter where we are or what time of day or night it is I know he has an endless supply of milk that is always ready and it’s always the perfect temperature. This is really nice at night, especially in the first few months when you’re exhausted and just want a little more sleep, no getting up and stumbling around it 2 am to make a bottle.
Saves money – Formula is really expensive especially when considering you’ll need several cans per month and of course the older the baby gets the more milk they will need.
Healthier for baby – It has nearly everything your baby needs to thrive (with the exception of vitamin D) and as your baby changes so does your milk (I think that’s pretty cool) it’s also very gentle on their tiny tummies.
Things I don’t like
Clingy – it seems as if my son is super clingy, a lot more than my daughter was and I know every baby is different but I can’t help but to think breastfeeding plays a big part in that.
Feeding in public – Even though I used a wrap and always cover up completely I couldn’t help but feel awkward when I would get those occasional side eye stares.
No bottle – Preston would not take a bottle of any kind, not even the ones that are supposed to mimic the nipple which means even if I pumped milk no else could feed him so I couldn’t leave his side even if I wanted a little break.
THE PAIN – It’s the worst in the beginning but still happens occasionally months down the line. Investing in lanolin free breast cream was one of the best investments I ever made.
Now let get to formula…
Freedom – It was easier to work outside the home or go out and enjoy myself because she drank for a bottle.
Cute – This one might sound a little silly but I loved how cute some of the bottles were, matching them with her outfits was really fun
Tracking – You can keep track of exactly how much your baby is drinking.
Digests slower – Yes, formula digests slower than breast milk so you don’t have to feed as much.
Drinks – you are able to have a drink or two without worrying about how long you have to wait until its safe to nurse again,
Things I don’t like…
Can be hard on the stomach – it might take a little time to figure out which type is best for your baby. My daughter used to be really gassy and vomit a lot until a found the right match for her.
Can be forgotten – Maybe it’s just me but in the beginning, I used to pack her diaper bag before I would leave the house but somehow I would quite frequently forget her formula or bottle – hell, I even forgot the nursery water a few times (serious mom brain).
More things to carry – like I mentioned before there is the formula, bottles and nursery water it might not sound like much but when your diaper bag is also your purse it’s nice to not have so much to carry every time.
Moral of the story is Breastfeeding and Formula feeding both worked out great for me at different points in my life with each child. There are lots of advantages and disadvantages to each method you may choose to feed your baby. Research is key. There’s so much information out there to comb through to make the best decision for you and your family. Don’t let anyone tell you this or that is the best way because what works for them may not work for you, my pros may be your cons etc. When it comes to your baby nearly every choice will be a tough one, just follow your instincts and you’ll make the right one!