Before I gave birth I knew I wanted to breastfeed but I wasn’t opposed to the idea of formula. I had talked to many friends and family members before giving birth and I learned that sometimes breastfeeding was’t possible or that babies were happier with formula. People always told me if you can’t breastfeed don’t beat yourself up about it. Easier said then done. I wanted to write a post to get my thoughts out and give some advice.
First off; everything will be ok. The fact that you worried about your child and trying to do the best thing shows that you are a good parent. Secondly, go with your instincts and act on what you think is best for your child. So many people will give you advice, even Doctors and Nurses had general information and suggestions that weren’t working and we had to act on our own. Lastly; be patient. We wanted everything to get better immediately, and just get him better. It took some time and we learned how to read Adler and figure out what was working and what wasn’t.
With that being said, here is our story:
Adler took a few days to get the hang of breastfeeding and for a while we had to supplement with formula so he could get enough food but after two days he was breastfeeding great and we stopped with supplementing. I loved breastfeeding; being able to spend time with Adler and create a special bond was something I loved doing. Like I said in his one month post, he has always been a happy calm baby. He never really cries except when he is hungry and even then it’s more of a whimper than a cry.
Around week 4 we started to notice something different in him because he seemed very squirmy like he was uncomfortable and spit up a ton. He use to sleep a ton and now it seemed like his tummy was bothering him too much to relax and go to sleep. He still was a very happy baby just uncomfortable and I felt so bad for him. Some of my friends had told me that their kids were fussy for no reason and then as soon as they were switched to formula they were happy and totally fine. Before we tried formula though we wanted to try some other things first.
We thought it might be reflux so we started giving him medicine. That wasn’t working and we thought he might be allergic to milk because I had allergies when I was little. We decided to try formula and if that didn’t work then we would try soy formula. Formula seemed to work but not completely so we tried soy and that was even worse. So we decided that we wasn’t allergic to dairy. We went back to formula.
Deciding to switch to formula was one of the hardest decisions for me to make. People always said don’t feel like a failure if you can’t breastfeed but I totally felt like a failure. I cried when we decided to switch and I felt like people judged me when they saw me feed with a bottle. This was an issue that I just needed time.
It’s ok to be sad. Again, it shows that you really care for your child and that you are more ready to be a mom than maybe you realized. I realized that just because I wasn’t breastfeeding Adler didn’t mean I loved him any less and he wasn’t disappointed in me. I missed the bond breastfeeding gave us but I found other ways to create that bond. I would hold him a little longer after feeding to snuggle with him, I would still cradle him while he ate, and I would sing to him. It was a hard thing to do and even though I knew it could be a possibility no matter what anyone said, it was something I needed to work out myself.
Luckily we were able to go back to giving him breast milk but I can still understand why moms struggle with not being able to breastfeed.
After talking to one of my friends who is a nurse, we decided to try feeding him the breast milk I have been pumping from a bottle. We thought he might have been eating too fast so we slowed him down.
This seems to be working and for some reason he seems to be doing better with breast milk. I am very excited about this and hopefully we will be able to stop using pumped breast milk and go back to feeding him the other way.