On the roller coaster of becoming a new parent, you are inundated with so much information that your head spins and tears increases.
Over the past decade the pendulum swung back to emphasizing breastfeeding over formula feeding. The unfortunate result were offshoot groups pushing breastfeeding as the only salvation.
And moms felt the guilt. I felt the guilt. I spent the first four months in tears in everyday because the bean never wanted to latch properly. Once he got hooked onto the bottle, well, that was it too.
To make myself feel better, I pumped. For 10.5 months. Exclusively pumped. But I also had to do 1-2 formula feeds a day because I could never produce enough milk through pumping alone.
Everyday while I pumped, I had detailed notes on when and how much I pumped and how much formula kiddo had.
Here is a day’s worth of notes:
*00:40 pumped 12 min, 90 ml
06:10 fed 100 ml
06:30 pumped 20 min, 170 ml
07:00 fed 30 ml
08:30 fed 150 ml
09:30 pumped 20 min, 110 ml
12:00 fed 70 ml
13:20 pumped 20 min, 130 ml
Giant poop at CVS! 😂
15:45 fed 150 ml
18:30 breastfed 15 min
19:00 pumped 15 min, 90 ml
21:15 fed 90 ml formula
22:00 pumped 20 min, 90 ml*
My notes were copious for the first 6 months and then after I just did totals each day and marked the number of pumps (that actually helped me with dropping pumps/day once I was ready to do that).
Perhaps this kept me sane (or less insane to be honest), but I want to stress to you, new mom, that it is OK to give formula. Formula today isn’t formula of the 1950s, barely regulated and without a lot of nutrition. Sure, formula does not contain antibodies or different flavors like breastmilk does, but if you cannot breastfeed or your life is turning into a complete mess, add that formula.
*”J’ai faim” – “I’m hungry”*
For me, a formula supplement allowed me to skip a pumping session and sleep a little extra. I need a good 8-10 hours of sleep and without it, I fall sick easily and have massive headaches. That formula session (where my husband could feed baby) was everything.
And speaking of husbands, formula feeding (or bottle feeding) allows your spouse to bond a little more closely with the new bean and lets them feel more involved.