11 Formula Feeding 'Side Effects' No One Told You About

Mom Moment 109

baby formula bottleAh formula feeding ... something many moms must do to give their baby the best start yet many make them feel absolutely and completely terrible about it. It's the second tier of new mommy judgement -- the first being how you birth.

I'm a huge advocate of breastfeeding and nursed my babies into that "you're still breastfeeding?!" stage. I even revealed the breastfeeding side effects no one tells you about, but I'm also a BIG supporter of moms who are doing the best they can. And that includes formula feeding moms. I was one, too. We love our babies just as much as the moms who make the liquid gold.

But what I'm about to tell you is what really happens if you formula feed. The stuff no one wants to talk about.

Before I begin, I just want to take a moment to make sure you all know that this is for the formula feeding mamas. This isn't to bash breastfeeders because, if it was, I'd be bashing myself ... and I don't like to do that. Mamas who bottle feed need and deserve support, too. And a chuckle.

1. Bottles will become the source of your misery even more than a colicky baby. All those parts! All the washing of the parts! All those times during the day! It's also a pain in the arse to prepare.

2. You can bottle feed in public without people giving you dirty looks. Well, except for a small number of people who scowl because you AREN'T breastfeeding and they judge you without knowing anything about your situation. (P.S. I support nursing in public -- I even nursed my twins in public. I also support bottle feeding in public.)

3. You will be judged for not trying to breastfeed. Even if you tried for weeks/had the worst mastitis ever/couldn't produce enough milk/had a life threatening complication after birth that prevented your milk from coming in. Ignore those people. You are doing a great job, mamas.

4. If your friend is able to successfully breastfeed, you may find you want to rip her breasts off and put her milk ducts on. Instead of doing that, celebrate her ability. As long as she celebrates how you are doing the best you can, too. If not, pour formula over her head.

5. You may shy away from posting your bottle feeding pictures on Facebook. Especially if you have many friends who breastfeed. Why set yourself up for Judgey McJudgersons?

6. You will find great delight when daddy, grandma, auntie, uncle, even your older child, can feed your baby. It's photo op time! You get to see the loving looks they all give your little spawn, and you have a moment to take a shower!

7. The first time baby holds your finger when you are holding the bottle will melt your heart into a ooey gooey mess of love. It's like she's saying, thanks mama. I love you.

8. Seeing your partner feed the baby, with that look of pride on his face, is just one of the many moments you find yourself falling more in love with him even when you didn't think it was possible.

9. Reading anything about breastfeeding will make you feel like crap. The worst side effects to this are a sense of failure, guilt, jealousy, and self-loathing. Stop reading. Stop thinking it's directed at you when you know you did and are doing the best you can.

10. You may start to feel dizzy and irate if there is a formula recall. And you will panic if it's your brand. And then you will read about it and the comments from the women who say "this is why I breastfeed ne, ne, ne, ne-ne-ne" will make you even more dizzy and irate. Did I mention you should stop reading?

11. The day your baby turns 1 and no more formula is needed is going to rival the best orgasm you ever had.

Were you aware of these side effects? Which ones are you dealing with the most?


Image via © iStock.com/Gewoldi



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Kimbyann Kimbyann

What I don't understand is why the need to breastfeed only. Why am I expected to do all the feedings why are some against bottle feeding to include the daddy?

nonmember avatar Lee BH

Awww, man, I thought you were going to get technical. The whole breastfeeding thing--whatever. Everyone gets over it, regardless of what side they're on. If they don't, they're a**holes. Here is what I *thought* you were going to write:

1). your choices don't end when you decide to bottlefeed---there are approximately 500 different kinds of formula on the market and fyi, 497 of them will give your kid constipation.

2.) breastmilk may be "liquid gold" but you will easily spend $30-$50 a week (A WEEK) on formula. So, maybe it's liquid, uh, silver?

3). You will throw away SO much of it, it will make you feel ill. Breastmilk stays good at room temperature for at least 3-4 hours. Formula smells like something your cat vomited after about 45 minutes.

4.) You can transport formula around with you much much easier than you can breastmilk, but just be forewarned that if you ever get the idea to put it in a ziploc bag and then go through airport security, be prepared to convince your friendly TSA agent that you are not a drug mule.

I'm sure there's more..

littl... littlebeanmom

Health professionals make it sound like exclusively breastfeeding is better because of supply issues.  Supplementing with formula can only increase the need (in some women) for more supplementation. It's a complicated set of supply and demand.  But not everyone will have this problem.

mompam mompam

I never ever felt like I was wrong for bottle feeding. My mother made me feel guilty for breastfeeding (my younger 2 were breast fed) I never even knew people felt bad about bottle feeding until I came on Cafemom. No one ever gave me a dirty look. And bottles are not hard to deal with at all, just pop them in the dishwasher.

GiveM... GiveMeCake

"What I don't understand is why the need to breastfeed only."

Ever heard of the virgin gut? Give it a google.

mlber... mlberry4172

Thank you. I had two necessary c-sections, and was unsuccessful at breast feeding. It seems by cafe mom standards I am a horrible mother. I want all of us on here to stop bashing and start supporting. I don't know why we feel compelled to judge each other. Bottle/breast, csec/vag, sahm/wrkn mom, free range/helicopter. Enough!

Sierr... SierraLynn

This was funny and so true. I formula feed due to lack of milk ducts. I don't produce anything after the colostrom basically. I never felt bad because its something I just couldn't predict, or prevent.

backn... backngroovemom

I was a closet bottle feeder after I did not produce enough milk for baby #1 - it felt like I had leprosy.

Thanks for this - my oldest in now 11 and I think he still loves me and will go to college despite the formula!

Jammi... Jammie209

Very well said Mlberry. We're all moms who love our children & want the best for them.

nonmember avatar CaliGirl33

With this article...I'm no longer going to subscribe to Cafe Mom! I've had it with the breastfeeding debate. I have two beautiful children that we bottle fed because I couldn't supply them with breast milk. Thank you Cafe Mom for making me feel like a crappy mom! I appreciate it! BYE

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