Sensitive Mommy: June 2015
Mommy War… Breastfeeding vs. Formula
I feel I can speak to this Mommy War, as I have done both, twice. In my opinion (not that you asked for it), both breastfeeding and formula feeding are phenomenal choices, you really can’t damage your beautiful children doing either, or both. Both option provide nutrition to your baby, so please stop spouting off about the superiority of one or the other.
For the Breastfeeding Haters:
Please stop trying to tell the world we are “flashing” everyone by nursing our babies. I am more shy about my body than most women, and I nursed both my babies… in public, gasp! I really tried to avoid public nursing and bring pumped milk, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. Have you ever tried to wrestle a spider monkey under your shirt or a blanket, while it screeches… No?! I have! And no those cute little boob covers do not work. I apologize if you saw more than you wanted, I really didn’t want you to see. No, I will not nurse my babies in a stench filled public restroom. Why don’t you go in there until I’m done.
Formulas today are amazing, but they do not account for all possible sensitivities. Trust me. If you don’t believe in food sensitivities please exit this page immediately because my children are the poster children for food sensitivities. My oldest, Captain, was milk intolerant since birth, he was the epitome of colic. I nursed while strictly dairy free diet, yet he screamed for hours. We tried 8 different formulas before we discovered he was most likely having a reaction to a synthetic ingredient or maybe gluten, as he was later diagnosed with celiac disease.
For some moms, a restricted diet for mom while breastfeeding is what they determine is best for their baby because their child can’t tolerate formulas. More power to you selfless momma! I couldn’t do it, (more on that below). Formula is not perfect and discretely nursing a wildebeest is not easy, so stop hating!
For formula feeding haters:
Breast is best. I believe that. Science has proven that. Moms are designed to provide the best nutrients for their babies, whether you are human, bear or goat. That being said breasts and moms are not all created equal.
I’ve had friends screaming in pain as they lovingly tried to breast feed their new babies, only to have low milk production, tissue damage and blisters (yes, on the girls). Is that how they imagined their first days with a baby? Heck, no. I’ve nursed through milk blisters and clogged ducts, it isn’t for the faint of heart. So my friends switched to formula, and then they and their babies were happy. Happiness is huge postpartum.
I was happy to nurse Captain on a restricted diet with milk blisters, but when I went back to work my production dropped. All the tips and tricks Pinterest and Google could find didn’t increase my supply. We struggled to find doctors to help us and a formula he could tolerate. No one told us their were special formulas that a doctor could get us. At 8 months old, I finally found a formula Captain could tolerate. My supply was fading quick and a tolerated formula saved us, until he started getting sick all the time…. Boom celiac!
Baby Bee was (is) ten times more complicated than Captain. My beautiful, happy blue-eyed baby was a screaming, gassy, cranky mess. So I gave up dairy, then soy… egg … beef… peanuts… avocado… Everything I ate was considered a culprit to the reflux, extreme gas and screaming, then came the bloody stools and rashes. FPIES really does make things challenging. Most moms have hundreds of photos of snugly babies, I had photos and videos for the doctors of poop, tears, rashes, reflux, Sandifiers… I was slipping down the rabbit hole of postpartum depression at the speed of light. The MSPI Mammas, a Facebook Support Group, saved me! Neocate, saved my baby! I cried for days transitioning Bee to formula. We loved our breastfeeding snuggles, and they were ending. Slowly he stopped screaming all day, reflux improved, and rashes cleared. My head became less clouded, and I was happy again. Breast is best, but formula saved us! It was what was best for our family. Luckily, Bee still likes to snuggle.
Here is a non-screaming, not poop little Baby Bee:
There are many reasons for choosing breastfeeding or formula feed. Let’s not have a Mommy War over it. Women need to support one another. Do what you feel is best for your family, and I’ll do what’s best for mine. We might not agree, but we don’t know all that led up to making this choice. Maybe we shouldn’t judge to harshly.