Friday, 22 March 2013

6 Reasons I Hated Formula Feeding and Would Never Do It Again

Hmm. How shall I say this? I should probably put on some sort of protective armour before making this confession -- but here we go: I hated formula feeding. HATED it. Despised it. (There. It’s said)

But once I’d started my breastmilk dried up so I had little choice but to stick with it.

I'm totally aware that telling the world that formula feeding just wasn't for me will probably result in my being called a nazi, but I'm willing to do it, because this needs to be said.

When I had my son two years ago, I had every intention of formula feeding him exclusively. He took to the bottle fine and, as my milk came in and then dried up, I told myself a thousand times “I can do this” and swore to stay with it even though my breasts felt engorged with milk.

But then when it consumed my life and made me even more tired and low than I already was, I realized that formula feeding was never going to be my cup of tea.

By that time it would have been so much work to relactate so I didn’t. If I ever have another child I’ll breastfeed from the beginning and ditch the bottles without hesitation.

I’ll reiterate: I hated formula feeding. And here are a few reasons why.

1. It's all I did -- OMG. Those bottles needed constant washing and sterilising and then, because formula milk isn’t sterile, I had to make up one bottle at a time making sure that the water was hot enough before waiting for the milk to cool down. As soon as the novelty wore off for family and friends it turned out that I was giving that baby all its feeds anyway and by the time I was done I had to wash up and sterilise again, not to mention all the washing I had to do because everything was covered in formula puke.

2. I needed sleep -- Not being able to safely co-sleep because it’s not recommended for formula feeders really took its toll on my overall well being. My husband helped with some of the night feeds until he had to go back to work and then I had to get up every damn night, make the bottle, and then listen to the baby cry while it cooled down.

3. It hurt like the baby like hell -- I have always been jealous of those mums whose newborns can bottlefeed with no discomfort or pain. Mine wasn't one of them. I spent a fortune on different bottles and medicines to try to alleviate the trapped wind and I was constantly burping him, which often made him vomit. 

4. My baby was too full – Physiologically, all babies are surprisingly similar, born with tiny stomachs, but because my baby’s stomach was stretched with formula as soon as he was born he got used to taking massive meals infrequently. He was very sleepy in demeanor because he was constantly trying to digest foreign enzymes.

5. It made it hard to go out – Almost all my friends formula fed so I knew I’d fit in with the crowd, but what I didn’t realise was just how much stuff I’d need to take with me when I wanted to go out with my baby: clean bottles, formula powder, heated water in a flask. And if I ran out of milk while I was out or he vommed it all up I’d have to go back home. Sometimes I bought ready-made formula to make it more convenient, but it costs a bomb.

6. I wanted my body to be used for its natural purpose -- I know it might sound weird, but after being pregnant for nine months, I felt a physical bond with my baby that I wish I’d continued. People who breastfeed tell me that the closeness is something really special and that it turns out that boobs can be for babies and for sex. Who knew?!

Reasons I Hated Breastfeeding at The Stir

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant. Pitch it to The Telegraph, I'm sure they'd love to run it...