When our baby was born, he had a problem with sucking and swallowing. The medical personnel struggled to figure out what was going on because apparently that is more of a preemie problem, and our guy was full term.
Because of this, after spending about 48 hours in the hospital trying to breastfeed the lactation consultant asked if we could do some formula to just get him fed because we were starting to see complications from him not getting nutrients.
Fed is best, so I didn’t care that we used formula so soon, even though I still really planned on breastfeeding. When we left the hospital we were still formula feeding and I was pumping to get my milk to come in.
Once we got home, he still had trouble with the bottle nipples every once in a while. I would try to breastfeed him occasionally, which would work for a few minutes and then he would struggle.
As the days went on, the stress from trying to pump and bottle feed him and just spend time with him started to get to me. We also noticed that he seemed to have some problems with breast milk. Eventually, we decided to stop trying so hard and just switched to formula. As soon as we made that decision, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
I am a bit sad that I didn’t end up breastfeeding, but I’m glad I got to experience it during the first few hours of his life. Now it’s kind of nice though, because I don’t have to worry about going anywhere. Justin can feed him. Grandma can feed him. I have a little bit more freedom. Also, he doesn’t eat as often because the formula keeps him more full.
The one downside, we always have to be prepared. I can’t just whip out a boob somewhere when he gets hungry. Before we go anywhere I have to think about the last time he ate, and how long we might be gone. I have to make sure we have a bottle of water and a thing of formula to shake up in case he gets hungry when we are out and about (which isn’t very often).
I’m just grateful that the hospital didn’t care how he ate, as long as he was fed. I felt no shame having to switch to formula and I’ll always be thankful for that.
Love, a Formula Feeding Mama.