Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Breast vs. Bottle- my personal battle

Have I told you yet that I'm still breastfeeding Isaac.

He's 6 months now.

That's not super old or anything but the truth is I've never made it to 6 months.

I've nursed all 5 of my babies for at least some short period of time and my goal has always been to make it 6 months.  

And now I've finally done it!

But I don't feel especially proud.  Actually I feel a bit guilty.

I feel guilty because, honestly, I don't really like breastfeeding.
I can't believe I just admitted that

I know there are women that love to breastfeed. 

I am just not one of them.

Don't get me wrong.  I don't hate it.  And there are things that I do love about it.

It is super duper convenient.  I can grab the baby and his blanket and a diaper and run off to Target for hours.

I can sleep in my bed and feed him without ever really waking up.

Breastfeeding boobies are the best... yeah... I said it.

Minimal spit up.

The breastfeeding badge.  When I formula fed my babies I knew that no one looked down on me for only giving them 2nd best... but it sure felt like it.

But now I've made it to 6 months.  I've worked through all the hard work... tongue tied baby, cracked bleeding nips, painful engorged breasts, clogged ducts... and now everything is just about as simple as it gets.

So what makes me want to stop?  What makes me consider turning to formula?

Sometimes... most times... I just don't have the time to sit down for 20 minutes and feed him.

When I do, somehow the older kids know that I'm officially out of commission and they start smearing peanut butter all over the couch or trying to balance on top of the fridge with the steak knives.

And I feel like a crappy mom because I often find myself holding him and looking at his precious little face and thinking... please hurry up... instead of how much I love him. wow... that was really really honest

So last week I decided I was done.  I wasn't going to beat myself up over it.  It's just formula and the rest of the kids seemed to survive through it just fine.  Plenty of great moms choose to give their babies formula.

He wasn't crazy about it.  In fact he spit most of it out and made some really really yucky faces.

And later that day my sweet baby Isaac broke out in hives.


I instantly thought it was the formula and threw it away and vowed never to touch his poor little lips with the poison again.

That night I sat in the ER with Isaac, watching a nurse give him a dose of prednisone and listening to the doctor explain that it wasn't the formula at all but a virus that caused the hives.  They sent me home with a prescription for more prednisone.

I'm sure it was just the paranoid mommy in me but that prednisone scared me!  It just seemed like some pretty heavy stuff to give such a little guy.  So I called the pediatrician and while I waited for a call back I hopped on Facebook and talked to my mommy friends.

One of them, an amazing breastfeeding mommy of twins and lactation consultant, advised me to slather him in breast-milk.

Sure... why not?

So the next day when the welts flared up again all over his tummy and back and neck, I rubbed that baby down from head to toe before laid him down for his nap.

I finally got a call back from the doctor... no, do not give him that prednisone... should be a last resort only... try Benadryl first.

So I race out the door to go get some Benadryl and I pop in to check on the him first.  The kid doesn't have a spot on him.

Seriously.  He looked absolutely perfect.  You wouldn't have known that the little guy was covered in welts only 45 minutes before.

And they haven't been back since!

So this whole post is dragging on and on now but the whole incident scared the formula right out of the house even though it had nothing to do with the hives and at least for now I'm still breastfeeding. 

I guess it's time to hide the peanut butter and steak knives huh?


  1. I was the world's most uncoordinated breastfeeder out there, so I don't know if I would be able to take my own advice - but have you tried using a wrap like a Moby to breastfeed and remain mobile? I know lots of women are able to do that... I considered it a badge of accomplishment that I got up once and opened the door for the dogs to go outside and didn't lose latch! I was one that loved breastfeeding but I HATED pumping, had some supply issues and then Arden started biting me and refusing the breast so we ultimately gave up the boob at 13 months.

  2. Aw, I want to go out and scold everyone who makes moms feel bad for using formula. I don't think many moms take their feeding choices lightly and it seems like the ones that really think about the decision also are the ones who wind up getting the most flack.
    I'm nursing Olivia 100% full time because she thinks bottles are a load of nonsense. We keep trying, with formula or pumped bottles, but nope. Not happening. So she's my constant little sidekick. I'm lucky though because she's easy so if I have to stop in the middle of a feeding to go rein fiery discipline upon a little bundle of mischief, she's pretty cool about it. Which in turn has caused said bundle of mischief to learn that when mommy says, "don't you make me put down this baby" she MEANS it. I'm starting to think Olivia will be on solids and a sippy cup before she'll take a bottle. Yeesh.

    Nicole was the opposite, she took both interchangeably but started refusing the breast at 5 months, so I started nursing her only at night, bottles during the day.

  3. I nursed my first until 20 months, I was going to give it up at 1 year. But she went to daycare and the ped advised me to wait a month or so, then she got RSV and if she was not nursing we would have ended ip in the hospital, then.. Something always came up. Funny, once you nurse past one year a lot of people think you are crazy! What I did start doing prior to one year was stocking a ton of breast milk. Could you start pumping? Maybe take fenugreek if supply is an issue. Also it does not have to be all or nothing, you could do both formula and breast milk. I did find that around this age it started taking my baby less and less time to nurse. I have a 4 month old who nurses in 5 min, my first nursed for 45 min until she was 4 months. Honestly though when our babies grow up no one is ever going to be able to pick out the breastfed baby!

  4. I am still nursing my son too (same age as your little guy) and while I have always been confident in my decision to breastfeed, I have the hardest time doing so in public. I am a pretty modest gal, so the thought of whipping my boob out at the store kinda scares the crap out of me! I have a cover, but my little man runs hot, so even during the winter months he would end up drenched in sweat. I tried pumping and keeping a supply on hand for outings, but I would rather nurse the little guy in public without a cover at all than be hooked up to a machine feeling like a cow! I have struggled with the breast vs bottle things many times, but I look at my little man and see how healthy he is and know that I made the best choice for him. That and he refuses a bottle anyways! lol So it is more like he made the choice for himself!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...