To Love. To Grow. To Change. To Live.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Breast Milk or Formula?!?

We're talking all things pre- and post-baby on Friday for the next couple of weeks, through the Preparing for a Little One link-up series hosted by Kaitlyn and Jennifer.

What should be the standard for your baby.

Breast milk vs. formula is such a controversial topic. I recently wrote about breast milk vs. cow's milk since I've chosen to breastfeed beyond year one and I was a bit hesitant about discussing it then.

But, I believe that breastfeeding is important and the first step is awareness!  With that said, you should know by now that I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding so there will be no talk of formula in this post. I believe that breastfeeding should be done exclusively until solids are introduced! I don't force my views on anyone else because I recognize that people will, and should, do what they think is best for their child. However, I can (and do) go on and on about the subject when asked!

I recognize that there are circumstances that occur that make breastfeeding difficult, hard to maintain, hard to do exclusively or hard to do at all.  I totally get it!.  In the 14 months that I've been breastfeeding I've had an abundance of issues including sore nipples due to improper latch, Maddie having multiple bouts of thrush, painful clogged milk ducts, low milk supply, etc.  So I can truly attest to the difficulty associated with breastfeeding.

As you can see I don't sugar coat breastfeeding and act like it's all rainbows and kisses.  For some, it can be very difficult in the beginning. It can be very time consuming.  It can take a lot of energy.  It can be very hard!  However, the benefits, and the bond created between mother and child far, I repeat, far outweigh all of those issues and eventually you'll get to a point where it comes naturally for you both and is quite fulfilling!  Ultimately, you will not know how difficult it is, or if you can maintain it, if you never even consider it as an option and give it an honest try.

I believe that breastfeeding should be the go to choice.  There, I said it.  It should be tried on day one and if you decide that you just can not do it and/or maintain it after truly putting in the effort for at least one full week then at least you've given your baby your very best milk.  Is one full week enough?  No, considering that it takes at least four weeks (if not longer) for you, and baby, to truly get the hang of it!  But it's better than nothing and it ensures that the baby receives the invaluable colostrum that is packed with benefits and acts as a "natural and 100% safe vaccine."

Again, I recognize that issues arise but there are so many resources available if you decide upfront to create a support system (spouse, experienced friend, etc.) and look for help in the form of a lactation consultant, literature, La Leche Leagues, etc. when/if the times get rough.  The first day after giving birth I cried because I just couldn't get Maddie to latch on and Mario told me that I could do it.  I'll also be the first to admit that my lactation consultant saved me during my first month of breastfeeding. When the soreness was unbearable and I wanted to quit, she worked with me for a solid hour just to help perfect Maddie's latch!

I said all that to say make breastfeeding your first choice, if possible.  Try and try hard, and when you feel like quitting, ask for help and try again!  Again, these are just my thoughts and opinions and I respect every mother's right to make the choice that she feels is best for her and her family!

Special thanks to my aunt who, by example, unknowingly opened my mind to breastfeeding!

I'd love to hear your constructive thoughts and opinions on the topic!

Preparing For A Little One
Are you an advocate for breastfeeding?

Click {here} if you'd like to read a great article discussing how breastfeeding benefits the baby in the early and later years, how it benefits the mother and more!

Photobucket
SHARE:

18 comments

  1. Hi! I could not agree more. I had a lot ofmtrouble BFing my daughter so I pumped for her first month. That was such a crazy first month as a new mom with the add on of the pumping chore. I became crazy. I cried all the way to the store to buy formula. I was a guilty wreck. Still am. I have been learning that they put GMOs in formula now (I about LOST IT!) I learned this when she was almost 6 months old :( I swicthed her to Earth's Best Formula so that is doesn't contain GMOs. If I could redo everything I would have surrounded myself with lactation consultants up the yingyang! I feel like I missed out on such an amazing experience and wish my daughter could have BF to give her more nutrients since I eat all organic and very well. :( I pray that I have a different experience in the future now that I know so much more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pumping can be so difficult and uncomfortable. We an only do the very best that we an and it sounds like you did just that by pumping as much as you could and switching to a better formula! Please, please don't feel guilty or be so hard on yourself about how breastfeeding turned out for you with your first child. As mother's we tend to be way to hard on ourselves even when it's our first child and forget to keep in mind that we've never done this before!!!

      Delete
  2. I totally agree with you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Dara! It's always good to know that that others agree with your stance on such a controversial topic!

      Delete
  3. YAY! Someone agrees completely with me! I believe our bodies were designed to feed our babies and I understand some people do have legit problems with latching on or milk coming in, but it is a pet peeve of mine when people decide to use formula 'just because'. I breastfed our first daughter for 14 months and yes, there were some problems but we pushed through them and once we got it down it went great. Our sencond daughter latched on when she was about 15 seconds old and has never had a problem since :) and I definitely agree about the bond it creates and I wish other moms who choose not to breastfeed could feel that bond. I also have a breastfeeding article at jessiejoathome.blogspot.com! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, Jessica! Our bodies were designed to breastfeed! It drives me wild to think that some people think it's unnatural, as if formula has always been in existence! It definitely hasn't been the easiest experience for me but it was something I'd do again in a heartbeat!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment. I really appreciate it!

      Delete
  4. Hey Nicole, I completely agree with you. When my first child was born I didn't know much about breastfeeding. I didn't go to classes they have at the WIC office. Someone told me I should do it. I tried it for about 2 months and gave up. In those 2 months alone, my son and I had an incredible bond. There's nothing like that skin on skin contact that you child experiences. He's still a mommy's boy, lol. I breastfed my daughter exclusively for about 3 months. I started a new full time job and It became so difficult. I'd come home at night and she'd be sleep. I'd be thanking God because I'd be so exhausted. I feel that unless you absolutely cannot breastfeed than it should be the only option. If I ever have another child I will do it exclusively until she can have solids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, AJ! I'm so happy that you gave it a try with both of your children and are planning to push for an even longer experience with the next. It's not an easy task but it's so necessary, especially in the early months, and so incredibly worth it!

      Delete
  5. Hey Nicole! Thanks so much for your supportive comment on my blog today! You are a supermom for going through all of that and still sticking with it. That takes fortitude!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Erica, you're far too kind! I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and leave a comment here as well! Take care :)!!!

      Delete
  6. I really support breastfeeding. With my first child, I wasn't well enough educated and just brushed it off. But this time around, I wanted to bad to breastfeed. I was able to for a few weeks but with the stress of my baby having surgery at just two days old and then lack of sleep, marriage falling apart...I tried hard, but I lost the supply. I was devesated. But we are big into non-GMO and I was very happy to find a non-GMO formula {we use Earth's Best} out there that I feel more of an ease of giving to him than the other crap they push on the market.
    But I give everyone props who can breastfeed. I really believe the milk I was able to supply my son, saved his life after his surgery. I do not think he would have made it if I was giving him formula only. So I feel I was at least able to give him the best for as long as I could, even if it wasn't for long, it made him an incredible miracle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stories like yours always make me want to push breastfeeding even more because I know those first few days of breastfeeding alone can help the baby tremendously! Plus, if you were able to give it your best shot for a few WEEKS in spite of all you were dealing with then it makes it hard for me to accept the fact that some don't at least give it a try.

      I've been hearing a lot about Earth's Best too and I'm so glad there are better alternatives on the market than there have been in the past!

      Delete
  7. Yes, I totally agree! It makes me so mad and sad when mothers don't even give it a shot because it "freaks them out." That's what they're for! I also think it's incredibly ironic that Enfamil is produced where I live and the hospitals have a formula ban to encourage breastfeeding. Take that formula makers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed, Holly! That's totally what breasts are made for...formula didn't always exist and babies were surviving somehow :)! Ha, the hospital where I delivered does not provide formula, or pacifiers even, since they are encouraging breastfeeding as well!!!

      Delete
  8. Yes it is so true- There is a lack of education and support. That it is normal for nipple pain because they stretch. I was really lucky because my little one's latch was perfect- it was just me having the problem lol. We have nursed through thrush, mastitis and food poisoning- the food poisoning was by fair the worst lol. And the biting stage :D He is now almost 14 months and I couldn't be more happy! Congratulations on the birth of your little one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You said it , Ashleigh! "Lack of education and support"! You've truly been through the worst and I can't imagine how you hung in there! You're definitely a testament that proves it can be done no matter the challenges!

      Oh, and the biting stage was absolutely awful!

      Our children around the same age! I love "meeting" moms who are going through similar stages with their little one(s)! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment :)!!!

      Delete
  9. Hello Nicole,

    I must say that I am an advocate for breastfeeding I too am a stay at home mom and I breastfeed my son for 2 years and my daughter who is now 6 weeks old. You are right when you say that breastfeeding is not easy. Right now my child is having thrush herself. I wanted to become certified but I am not sure still thinking about it. I think that as African American women breastfeeding is shunned upon from family, friends and even doctors but my in laws where very supportive did you get a lot of support in breastfeeding?

    Visit my blog sometime its www.tobeabetteryou.blogspot.com and subscribe if you like what you see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Tamara! I so feel for you and your daughter dealing with thrush right now, it's not an easy process but I'm sure you'll be able to press through it! You're so right about breastfeeding being seemingly taboo within our culture and you can almost forget about extended breastfeeding. Maddie is 16 month's old and we're still going strong and I plan to continue until she's two as well. People have a lot to say about it; however, I decided early on that no one's opinion will hold more weight than mine or my husband's when it comes to doing what we feel is best for our child. My husband has been very supportive and that's all I've really needed!

      Headed your way now...thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment :)!

      Delete

Thanks for taking the time to comment! I read and cherish each and every one and do my very best to respond to all in a timely manner.

© Pharr Away | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig