Why I Chose to Formula Feedby Alice Howells
Choosing to formula feed.
So this is always a sore subject, anyone you talk to assumes that because you are pregnant that you are going to breastfeed, as of course breasts is best! But is it? Is it best for me? After all, I am the one that will be breastfeeding, so this should be my choice, surely?
My reasons for not breastfeeding is that I am on a cocktail of medication for an underlining condition, one drug is an immunosuppressant, my thoughts were that my poor baby had to undergo 9 months of me taking this medication (which is safe during pregnancy) why should they have to continue absorbing the medication after birth. Breast milk is meant to help your immune system not make it worse! Also, I was so worried that I would go into reemission with my condition, I needed to reduce the stress in my life, and having a newborn is stressful enough and the stories I had heard made me feel stressed just listening to them. I also don’t personally have the confidence to breastfeed in public or even around my partners family, I know that I shouldn’t feel that way, but that is just the way I felt. When having a baby you should never feel pressured into doing something, you should do it because you want to not because someone is telling you to, this goes for anything regarding your baby, as long as your baby is happy and healthy then I believe this is all that matters.
And do you know what choosing to formula feed was the best decision for myself and my family. My husband and I could take it in turns to feed her, we both could have a rest and it worked well for all 3 of us.
My first daughter was born on the smaller side at just 5LB 7OZ, so by choosing to Formula feed I was able to monitor how much she was drinking at each feed, as I was very conscious about her putting on weight. Although it is very common for newborns to lose up to 10% of their birth weight in their first week but I felt that she was so tiny she couldn’t afford to lose that much and when she had her first weigh-in she had only lost 4% which was amazing, I knew that she was going in the right direction, she looked healthy and was drinking her milk, after finding the bottles that she preferred, as apparently we had made a princess and didn’t want any of the bottles we had already bought.
Now when she had her final check-up with the midwife, she had reached her birth weight plus some, so we were over the moon with her development and put it down to the fact that we could see how much she was taking at each feed.
Now with our second daughter, I knew straight away that I would be formula feeding her from birth.
She was a bigger birth weight when she was born at 7LB 3OZ, I personally think she would have had milk out of a cup if we gave it to her, she is our little milk monster. She has always done so well with the milk that she never lost any weight while in the newborn stage, or any stage come to think of it.
She’s 7 months now and takes 3-4 bottles and takes 6-8OZ at each feed. She sleeps through the night and is developing excellently. So again choosing to bottle feed was defiantly the right choice for our youngest.
When choosing which formula we were going to use I had made up my mind that we were going to use Cow and Gate, I had no particular reason for choosing this brand, and if either of our girlies had to have anything different then, of course, we would have changed. But I felt that that brand was pretty versatile, it offered a range of different types of milk, Hungary Baby Milk, Anti Colic Milk, Follow on Milk and Growing up Milk. You can also get pre-made milks, packs that you can take to the hospital with sterilised teats already included, so for us, this was the perfect milk to introduce to both of our girls when they were born and that ended up being the best milk for both of them.
My advice for any parent, new or existing, is that do what is best for your family and your baby, do your research and don’t feel pressured into doing something just because you are being pressured into it. Of course, I’m not closed off to not breastfeeding at all and if I were confident and didn’t have to take all different medication then I would have given breastfeeding ago, but for me, formula feeding was defiantly the right choice and both of our daughters are happy, healthy and lively what more could a parent want?