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Breastfeeding Versus Formula

Breastfeeding and Formula

Breastfeeding or Formula?

Is formula poison for your baby? No. In fact, depending on your situation, formula may be a better choice! Or both! The scientific evidence for breastmilk being better is so marginal it barely makes a difference.  

The Evidence

Let's back this up with science and a personal story. For the science see this article written in the Atlantic, “The case against breastfeeding”  

The Personal Story

The moment I finally held my beautiful first born baby in my arms. He was perfect. I loved having bonding time post birth that was just us. I lay on the hospital bed admiring his big eyes, chunky cheeks, a cute little nose, 10 little fingers and toes…and then the nurse walked into our room and ruined everything. She demanded I try to feed him every hour. He had not latched in the initial post birth feed so he was hungry. My son must have ADHD because he was not paying attention during the breastfeeding seminar at womb university. The nurse was very good at her job because like clock work she would come in to remind me to feed him. 12 hours later he still had not latched for a feed but my nipples were bruised and bleeding from all the trying. Finally the doctor walked in.

“Are you against formula?” asked the Doctor. I responded, 

“No! I’m against my baby starving and my nipples bleeding- give me that sweet white powder!”

The moment I saw my son latch to that little bottle and I could visually see the formula going down, all those nutrients going into my son, I felt a huge weight lift from my soul. I could finally relax knowing my baby is fed. This stress relief gave me such a physiological release, I was able to be patient with myself, started pumping and a few days later my milk came in and my breastfeeding journey began. 

I have since had 3 more children and formula has saved us in those tricky situations when I don’t have any milk stored but my business duties call me away for the weekend. Not all formulas are created equal and I noticed what worked with baby 1 and baby 2 did not work with 3 and 4. My first two babies used Enfamil (with the gold label) but only the liquid one not the powder. My most recent babies drank Kendamil and Bubs. Kendamil is made in UK and Bubs is made in Australia with much better ingredients than most US made formula. 

I went on to breastfeed for over a year with all 3 of my boys and my daughter is now 3 months old and I plan on breastfeeding for as long as it makes sense for us. I liked breatsfeeding because I hated doing dishes and I liked feeding my baby with my breast. I believe I was able to unlock this breastfeeding experience because I was open to supplementing with formula and expressed milk so early on. Having formula and expressed milk has become a valuable tool in my early motherhood journey. 

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