Breast Milk vs. Formula

I know I have heard it so many times–the breast is best mantra. With my daughter, I didn’t breast feed. It just wasn’t for me. During this pregnancy, I have psyched myself up for breastfeeding. I’m determined to give it the best go I can and to produce all of his milk for the first year via a pump. That may be an unrealistic goal, but I’m going to do my best. My main reason for wanting to do it is expense and antibodies.

I don’t have warm and fuzzy feelings about feeding my child from my breast. To be very blunt, it makes me gag a little to think about it. I know that’s not a normal reaction, but it is my reaction nonetheless (hence the pump). I have been up front about my feelings on the subject to those who want to know, and my honesty has been received with mixed emotions. Some were understanding while others seemed almost offended that I could think of breastfeeding as something other than beautiful and natural.

While reading my daily dose of the Washington Post, I stumbled across an article from one of the Washington Post’s own Emily Wax-Thibodeaux. She talks about her inability to breast feed because of a double mastectomy and the lack of understanding by medical professionals and friends alike. This article made me think of a couple of women in the pregnancy and infertility community that have fought cancer and then struggled to have a child. Emily’s story is so similar, I couldn’t help the comparison.

This article has also reminded me that if I really can’t stand breastfeeding, it’s okay. It isn’t the end of the world if I formula feed. It was words I needed to hear last night in particular.

If you would like to read the article yourself, just follow the shortlink below.

Why I don’t breastfeed, if you must know


18 Replies to “Breast Milk vs. Formula”

    1. Thank you. I feel like I will probably have to do from the breast for a day or four to get my milk to come in, but after that it’s all pumping unless a miracle happens and I suddenly feel comfortable with straight from the breast.

  1. Reading your post, it crossed my mind that some women chose to have elective c-sections and others wish to go a med-free route. That is much less controversial then breastfeeding. *shrug* Everyone is different. I am glad you have found a solution that works for you. In the end the main thing that matters is that your child is fed and happy.

  2. First of all, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business what you choose to do. I am glad you are following what feels right to you. ❤

    Second, thank you for sharing this article. I have not had a double mastectomy, but even with my lumpectomy, they are not sure if I will be able to breastfeed in one of my breasts. I've been told yes by some, maybe by some, and no by others. Of course, I have also been told that I couldn't get pregnant by some doctors, and well, we know that's not true. Donated breast milk is pretty commonly discussed in circles with young female breast cancer survivors. I haven't researched it much as I think we will just have to wait and see what happens. I guess I am thinking that I will try to breastfeed, but if it doesn't work, like you, I will use formula.

    I think it's horrible to concern troll anyone about their parenting choices and to add pain to the experience of a cancer survivor on top of that pestering, well, people should be ashamed IMHO.

    1. Agree, agree and agree!

      I wonder sometimes if maybe Eva wouldn’t have had colic issues if she had been breastfed, but I think breastfed babies get colic, too. So, other than that thought, I am okay with whatever needs to happen to keep me sane and my baby fed.

      As for being a cancer survivor, I can’t imagine. Then lets heap some formula guilt on all those other feelings! Ugh. Women can be so awful to other women. Women can also be so uplifting, though, so I haven’t completely crossed over to bitter and jaded.

  3. Good article. You know of course that I breastfed and hope to again with this baby but I have never understood judging a mother for feeding her baby…no matter how she feeds it. It’s funny because, like that article states, women used to be looked down on FOR breastfeeding and now it’s quite the opposite. It makes me sad when I see all the signs for “breast is best” posted around everywhere that mothers and their babies might be. While that is fine and dandy for the mothers who can/do breastfeed, what about the mothers who can’t/don’t? They’re taking care of their babies too! Why make them feel like they are doing a subpar job?

    I hope it all goes well for you whatever you plan on/end up doing!

      1. I wish I did have some tips. I guess things just changed once I started breastfeeding. Trust me before hand you couldn’t even LOOK at my nipples without me cringing let alone touch them.

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