Breastfeeding guilt – formula?

posted 3 months ago in Babies
Post # 2
816 posts
Busy bee

My 7 year old was in the NICU for almost a month and was formula fed from day 1. I never breastfed, and 7 years later everyone is doing just fine.

Post # 3
320 posts
Helper bee

I breastfed for 13 months and let me be very clear: your health, including your mental health, is so, so, so much more important than breastfeeding your baby. The research touting the benefits of breastfeeding is SUPER limited because there tends to be big class/resource divides in breastfeeding v formula feeding moms. The very little research that has been done on siblings where one was breastfed and one formula fed show almost no differences between the two. 

Do what is right for YOU. Your baby needs a healthy, happy mother.  

Post # 4
1580 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Location

Sure breastfeeding is better in theory but formula saves lives. Don’t blame yourself, do what will work best for your family. If that means formula so that your husband can do some of the night feedings and it helps you survive then there you go. There was a whole generation raised on formula and they’re doing fine. 

Post # 5
359 posts
Helper bee

I would just feed the baby and not worry about what anyone thinks. Only reason why I am pro breast feed is because its free… which I prefer over formula costs. But if I couldn’t breast feed then I would get over it. 

Post # 6
9172 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

if breast feeding doesn’t work for you, don’t stress about it.  formula was created as a literal life saver.

i had a breast reduction 8 years before my 1st child was born.  i knew i was going to have a struggle.  he was born at 36weeks and in the nicu so was given formula immediately.  i didn’t know i was supposed to pump often.  he also had tongue and lip ties and was a lazy eater.  when i finally got the help i needed around 6 weeks, and met with our 3rd ibclc, i was only even able to produce 50% of his need.  we supplemented the rest with formula. 

then for my sanity, i stoppedbreast feeding altogether at 6m.  i triple fed (breast, bottle, pump)him for the first 6m, it was tiring and each feeding session took an hour.

if you want the breast feeing relationship without the pressue, you can look into an sns or lact-aid.  you can fill it with formula, donor milk, etc.


i will say, all the struggle i had with my son.  i worked really hard for my 2nd. got a better pump also, and have been breast feeing her exclusively for 19 months and counting. though the end is coming soon.

Post # 7
1271 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

milkandcookies :  I breastfed and supplemented with formula for 4 months due to a low milk supply. It was so stressful and time consuming. I felt immense guilt when my LO refused to take any more milk from me since it was so much work for her for so little milk. It took awhile for me to stop feeling guilty. 

However, my life is so much better now that I’m not breastfeeding and supplementing. I realized a lot of my guilt came from people/baby industry who did the formula shaming. There’s nothing wrong with breastfeeding and there’s nothing wrong with giving your baby formula. Do what works best for you and your family. A lot of people my age were given formula as babies. We all grew up fine. My LO is currently very healthy and on track with her milestones. Looking back on it, I wish I stopped trying to breastfeed a lot sooner. 

Post # 8
4497 posts
Honey bee

Fed is best. 

Seriously.  Whatever gets the job done.

Millions upon millions of formula fed babies have grown up to be happy, healthy, productive members of society.  Yours will, too.

Post # 9
981 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

milkandcookies :  (((hugs))) Just formula feed if that works better for you. The Boyfriend or Best Friend vs Formula science is very inconculsive. Do whats right for you!

Anectdotally I Boyfriend or Best Friend my daughter for 13 months exclusively breast milk. My son was born premataure and I pumped for him for about 6 weeks before switching to formula. They are both healthy happy kids (10 and 16 years old)

Post # 10
419 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

milkandcookies :  Big hugs to you, how incredibly overwhelming to deal with all of that.  I hope you’re recovering well. I have several friends who did various combos of breast and bottle, all in different ways that worked for them.  Two friends had low supply and we’re able to do some nursing and some supplementing; one who did about a 50/50 split for a long time, and another who mainly used the boob for comfort but the bulk of the baby’s calories were from formula.  I have another friend who never directly breastfed but did a combo of pumped breastmilk and formula.  They all found the groove that worked for them, and they all have perfectly healthy children.  I also had a very welcoming, supportive breastfeeding group near me that included exclusive pumpers and moms who were supplementing either by choice or by necessity.  I would definitely see if there’s a group like that near you, just be sure it’s not an overly preachy breast-only group.

Post # 11
7905 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

milkandcookies :  breastfeeding is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Full stop. It is RELENTLESS. I breastfed for 20 months and it takes a toll on you. I also found it incredibly rewarding so, to me, it was worth the struggles but if it isn’t important to YOU and you’re only doing it out of guilt or outside pressure then don’t bother. Formula is great.  I also had a birth complication that impacted my milk supply so I formula supplemented for the first few weeks – it kept my kid alive and there is ZERO shame in that! 

Post # 12
1827 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

It’s fine to formula feed your kid.  Just know that, especially this early, it probably won’t work to just nurse when you feel like it.  If you want to continue to have a milk supply, you will likely need to commit to nursing or pumping every few hours around the clock.  One thing you can do to save time and maintain supply is to pump while someone else feeds the baby, then save the breastmilk to bottle feed in the future.  After a few months, you can space out feedings or pumps more.  If that will take away from your quality of life though, there is no shame in just using formula and nursing when you feel like it until your supply dwindles.

(In case it matters, for context: My daughter got formula in the hospital because I had to be put under for a retained placenta, and she was Small for Gestational Age.  Once we got home and my milk came in, I exclusive pumped and stopped formula.  Nursing never worked out for me, but I exclusive pumped for 14 months.)

Post # 13
4245 posts
Honey bee

I breastfed for 7 weeks before stopping. My only regret is not stopping earlier. There is nothing wrong with formula- I have a strong, healthy and beautiful 19 month old and I’m so happy I decided to quit BFing early enough that I was able to bond and create that relationship with her because all BFing was doing was causing me panic anxiety and resentment. It’s not worth feeling like that, IMO. As far as bonding goes, I felt much better when bottle feeding- I was calm and could gaze lovingly in her eyes lol, rather than be panicked that she wasnt latching or having enough and thinking about how i had to do it again in 3 hours.

I’m currently pregnant with #2 and will probably exclusively use formula. 


Post # 14
905 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 1984

Hang in there momma ((hugs)) I subscribe to the fed is best outlook. Here is a fact based video to help allay any fears you may have.

Post # 15
6660 posts
Bee Keeper

As a breastfeeding advocate I’ll still tell you that a healthy, fed baby is what’s most important. Feed your baby–whatever that means. Take care of yourself. Don’t make yourself crazy. Choose what works best for you. There is no one right answer for everyone, do what works for you and your family. 

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