After a lot of thought I've decided that I want to go with formula feeding from the start. I am of course aware of the benefits of breast feeding and it hasn't been a snap decision that I have made overnight. I have anxiety issues which I believe will be aggravated by being the sole provider of milk for my baby, especially if there are issues with establishing breast feeding. I think the pressure won't be good for my mental wellbeing and therefore will have a negative impact on my relationship with my son, and him in general. Furthermore, I find that there is a huge comfort with knowing exactly how much he is eating which will also lessen my anxiety.
I'm honestly pretty happy and sure with my decision. So why do I feel so guilty? Why do I feel as though I will be judged for making the decision that I genuinely think is best for me and my family?
I've posted before here on my choice to FF from the start when other ladies have voiced similar sentiments to hopefully ease their worries. I can only repeat that you have nothing to feel guilty about. First, more and more reports are coming out that the benefits of bf have been way overblown. That siblings from the same families who were one bf, and one ff, had the same general health. Of course! Same genes and same general upbringing.
Second, as you yourself mentioned, ff has its own benefits. My husband and I found becoming parents so much easier than the reports around us. Things really went smoothly, and while I'm sure there were other factors (we're both calm type Bs- that certainly helped), I do strongly believe that the fact that I wasn't dealing with the stresses that often come along with bf, also helped our smooth transition into parenthood. Happy parents. Happy baby.
And maybe this is easier said than done, but simply stop thinking what others might think. Do you know how many people asked me if I was bf-ing or ff-ing my son? Besides doctors... just a few random people. I simply answered in a calm manner: "I am formula feeding. It's working great for us." That was it. No apologies. No explanations. No looking for insults/negativity in anyway that was probably never intended. Just a simple change of subject.
I'm forty and I've reached a point where I've realized how little other people's opinions matter in the scheme of things.
If there is someone who actually judges you...silently or outloud... ignore them or tell them off as you seem fit. It's YOUR body. No one. NO ONE has the right to force in anyway shape or form their will on another person's body.
I didn't FF from the start, but did have a lot of struggles with BF and FF eventually. It was really difficult. It hasn't put me off BF next time, but the reality is that there will be people who pressure you and judge you no matter what you do (and that goes with all sorts of parenting decisions you'll make! actually the worst things I've had people say to me had nothing to do with how I fed my daughter). That said, breastfeeding mums also get awful pressure and a lot of negativity and I actually had midwives threatening me about wanting to BF. But in the end, your baby, your family, you know what's best for you. There's absolutely nothing wrong with feeling like FF is the best choice for you. The most important thing is you have a happy, healthy, fed baby and you feel good about your choice. I don't think there's any secret to feeling good about it. I had horrible guilt about stopping BF (because I really chose to BF and that was what made me happiest, but I had a baby who didn't do so well and after 3 months, we made the decision to stop). In the long run, it was absolutely the best decision for both of us, but it took time to come around to it. Just take it a day at a time and see how you feel. The first weeks and months are intense, but you'll come around to feeling more comfortable with your choice in time once everything calms down.
People are going to judge all sorts of your parenting choices. I personally am exclusively breastfeeding and get judged all the time for that! My daughter wakes 3-5 times every night and I have to nurse her back to sleep. Everyone "blames" her night waking on my breastfeeding and thinks I should switch to formula to get her to sleep through the night. So I am stuck having to defend my choices to breastfeed and people treat me like I'm being stubborn and stupid and not making the right choice for my daughter. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that no one, regardless of what parenting choices they make, are free from judgement from others. You just have to be comfortable and confident in the choices you make and ignore what others say.
Like others have said you will be judge no matter what you do. I believe a fed baby is all that matters. I tried bf my ds and had horrible latch and supply issues. At 2 weeks I made the very tearful decision to ff. And you know what he was instantly a different baby because he wasn't hungry. And now as a healthy toddler it seems so trivial. I do plan to ff from the start next time because it's what's best for me and my baby and that's what matters.
Thanks girls. I know that with everything in parenting you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. I just feel like because BFing is so heavily encouraged that by choosing to want to FF from the start people are going to judge me and make me feel terrible - especially as there isn't a physical, medical reason why I shouldn't. I truly am basing my decision on what I think is best for my entire family.
I've formula fed all 3 of mine from the beginning and don't feel bad about it at all. It worked for us and I know I would have felt so uncomfortable bf. I would just to ignore other people's comments, you do what you think is best for your family that's all
I ff my first from day 1 and did have some regrets but she is five now and healthy and would never know how she was fed as a baby! I tried to bf my second but only did it for one day in the hospital and gave up, i do regret this more but i know that as she gets older i will feel ok with my decision as she is such an easy going baby sleeps 12 hours a night i cant complain. In the hospital with my second i wasnt even offered support to bf at all i had a midwife try and get her to take on more formula so she would sleep all night! Ive had no one question me as to why i bottle feed and no judging at all.
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