15 Good Reasons for Formula Feeding Every Mom Can Agree On

Mom Moment 60

baby One of the most frustrating battles in the mommy war is that of breast vs. bottle. Why do women care so much how others feed their kids? Is there really cause to rip one another apart?

As a woman who wanted desperately to breastfeed and didn't last very long before having to switch to formula, I feel like I'm right in the middle. I see both sides. I have LIVED both sides. And I'll admit my failure as a breastfeeding mom changed me. It made me more open. It made me more understanding.

I wonder -- if the more fervent members of the breastfeeding community truly understood that women don't choose formula willy-nilly, could we put this one to rest? For good?

With that in mind, we decided to ask moms to share the real reasons they chose to formula feed, whether it was from the get-go or after attempts at breastfeeding. Not surprisingly, "because I'm lazy" wasn't mentioned by a single mom. None said, "I want to poison my child" either.

More from The Stir: 10 Things Never to Say to a Formula-Feeding Mom

Instead they were all well-thought out, all understandable:

1. For my first, I formula fed. I had a breast tumor removed less than a year before conceiving and I was unsure how breastfeeding would go. I breastfed the other two.

2. My children were all adopted.

3. I nursed my daughter exclusively for 19 months. Never any formula. Then, when the twins came along, I tried to nurse both exclusively but I was EXHAUSTED and couldn't keep up. One of my boys had tummy issues so he was nursed exclusively for 13 months. The other twin, however, never latched well and preferred the bottle. I was too tired to pump and didn't have enough supply to feed exclusively anyway, so he was supplemented with formula and after four months was pretty much on formula completely.

4. My daughter was formula fed after I had surgery to remove large amounts of endometriosis and a complex ovarian cyst. The doctor and I agreed it was best for me to be on medication to keep it away.

5. I nursed my boys until they were all 6 months old and then I changed to formula because I couldn't keep up with their appetites.

6. I was diagnosed with cancer shortly after giving birth and undergoing treatment, so breastfeeding was just not in the cards.

7. My first daughter was great to breastfeed, but with my second, I started but had postpartum depression and became very emotionally overwhelmed.

8. I formula fed my daughter after I went back to work, and she decided she preferred the formula to my breast milk. It was a hard decision but it is what she wanted literally.

9. My thyroid issues caused me to dry up, and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get it back.

10. I had to supplement for the first month as it took my milk two weeks to come in. Then I exclusively breastfed until 10 months, and I had to start supplementing again because my supply dropped. I couldn't get my supply back up due to stress, working full time, and my cycle returning.

11. I supplemented for a while, then stopped breastfeeding when I went back to work. I would have liked to continue breastfeeding, but my body did not like the pump. I don't know what it was, but I just didn't get the same let down as when he nursed. So from that point on, I formula fed.

12. I could never get my son to latch, and after 24 hours he was obviously starving. We tried pumping with no luck, and the hospital insisted that he had to drink (more like choke) out of a cup so as not to create confusion. Considering we were going home the next day, I decided that we had to find a permanent solution, and the first time we tried the bottle, he ate like a champ -- it was like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders (by then he was 1 1/2 days old). My milk never did come in.

13. We were afraid he wasn't getting enough milk at first. Then he just wasn't/still isn't gaining weight, so we've always used it as a supplement.

14. I have a demanding career that I happen to love so this was an easy choice. Formula was easy, and I like that my husband and I could take turns waking up with our daughter.

15. When I went back to work, there was no place to pump, and telling my boss "the law was on my side" was just risking his wrath. I needed my job.

So how about you? Did you end up using formula? Why?


Image via jessicafm/Flickr

baby health, breastfeeding, formula


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nonmember avatar Meh

I am very pro breast feeding and I HATE the fact mothers feel the need to defend how they feed their babies. Maybe if we focused more on our own kids we wouldn't have the time or energy to care about others'.

nonmember avatar ted3553

I started from day 1 with formula because I went back to work after 7 wks. I didn't want to start him on the breast and then wean all within 7 weeks which could have been tough on both of us. I work in an office and also in the field and out of town so pumping could have been very difficult. I don't regret my decision at all.

redK8... redK8blueSt8

"I wonder -- if the more fervent members of the breastfeeding community truly understood that women don't choose formula willy-nilly, could we put this one to rest? For good?"

Even this though is somewhat inflamatory, because what if she "willy-nilly" did? Is her choice to not breastfeed just because she doesn't want to, and not because of work or cancer or whatnot reason make her reason any more of anybody elses business?

the4m... the4mutts

I willy-nilly chose to exclusively FF my first, because I was 20 and simply didnt want to breastfeed. It was selfish, and 100% for my own comfort. And you know what? I dont care. He is 10 now, and perfectly fine.

I nursed my 2 girls for 6 months exclusively, and my youngest for 2 months before we found out he was lactose intolerant. He lost weight, was sickly, slept more than normal, etc. Dr recommended soy formula, and we never looked back.

Other than my youngest, it was all my decisions for what worked for me at the time. Period. If mamma aint happy, aint nobody happy.

MrsRo... MrsRoberts413

I had a medical necessity breast reduction and reconstruction surgery several years ago-I'm due with our first in February, and I've really only got about a 50/50 chance of being able to breastfeed.  If I can, I will likely need to supplement as I may not be able to produce enough.  On top of that, I have a preexisting condition that requires daily medication, which, while approved for me to take during my pregnancy, may not be as safe for baby while breastfeeding.  I'd take formula over any other risk to my baby!  On top of that, I am a twin and was formula fed, and my twin and I were in the top of our class academically all the way through college, we are healthy and successful adults-I don't buy it that formula fed kids are at a disadvantage!  Nothing takes the place of good parenting!

Sarah... SarahHall58

How about the reason "I did not want to breast feed" that is a PERFECTLY acceptable reason

MomLi... MomLily67

Although I do believe breastfeeding is best, I've always supplemented since a very early. All my kids were "dual feed" almost from birth. None presented any tummy or developmental issues.  It is a choice parents should make based on their needs as a family. As long as babies are happy and healthy, feed them bacon from day 1 is that is what takes!!


Katie Amblod

my daughter would not latch so i started bottle feeding her and haven't looked  back i am due with our second in feb and i will not be breast feeding this one since i do like my husband and i can take turns feeding the baby and not just me

nonmember avatar karen

If mothers were told EXACTLY why breast is best, then I think more would be motivated to 'try harder'. Like STEM CELLS THAT set your baby up for life: http://theconversation.com/nothing-like-mothers-milk-potential-treatments-from-stem-cells-in-breast-milk-3898

The "I don't have enough milk excuse is nothing more than a diet change. Sugar reduces the amount of breast milk you make, fennel increases it. The western diet is to to blame for alot of the issues... including PND.

Ally Needles Edwards

If Mummy and Baby are happy and content, it doesn't matter whether they are breastfed or bottlefed. I have two sons, first bottlefed, second breastfed. Both just fine, happy and healthy. Do we really need to keep debating this subject, it is a parents right to decide for their own child. It is not a parents right to judge other parents on their decisions. Let this lie please and allow parents to be parents and not have to keep living up to other peoples expectations or ideals! Love your kids and do what you think is right for them and you, and ignore anyone who tells you what you should and shouldn't be doing!

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