I made the decision to exclusively formula feed early on in my first pregnancy. It was a decision that came pretty easy to me but seemed to bother A LOT of people. Friends, acquaintances, medical professionals and even perfect strangers all seemed to have a negative opinion about my decision to NOT breast feed. Was I able to breast feed? Yes. Did I want to? No. Why? It just wasn’t for me. Plain and simple.
Even though I knew from the start that it was something I just had no interest in doing, the constant questioning from others about my decision started to get me down. I started to look for support/info for formula feeders and discovered there really wasn’t much available to us except for controversial mom group threads, arguing and bashing each other about their decisions. Not cool.
Here are a few things I wish I knew/would tell myself while I was in this stage of parenthood.
1- Be Prepared for questions
Everybody and their mother will ask you or actually sorry, assume that you will breastfeed. When you tell them you won’t be, more often than not you will get the “oh” (confused face) and the “but, why?” questions followed by the “breast is best” speech. Don’t let it get you down. It gets old very fast but don’t shy away. Stand up for yourself.
2- Prepping bottles really isn’t as horrible as people make it out to be.
“OMG I’m so happy I don’t have to prepare baby bottles, my boob is always the right temperature”
Alright Susan, I think that’s great and all, but calm the F down. Honestly, it really wasn’t that much of a hassle to open up a can of ready to feed and pop it in a bottle at 2am.
3- You can sleep
I know this is still possible if you pump, but there was something so nice about not being on a timer every single day. If I needed to go out, I didn’t have to worry about pumping. If I wanted to have an uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep, I could do it. My husband did the majority of night feeds for the first 4 weeks with our youngest two kids and let me tell you, it was GLORIOUS. Me and my boobs were so well rested.
4- You can still bond with your baby
I never and will never understand people who try to make it seem like you have more of a bond with Your child if you breastfeed. I’m sorry, but I can still hold my baby close and snuggle and make eye contact and f&%#!n love the heck outta this little person no matter how I’m feeding.
5- People will try to make you feel like a bad mom
I’m not exaggerating when I say I felt like I had to try and justify my decision every single time I told someone new I wasn’t breastfeeding. I felt like I was being bullied. Actually, I was being being bullied. If I could go back to my formula feeding days and change only one thing, it would be to tell everyone and anyone who lectured me about my decision and made me feel like I was feeding my baby poison, to mind their own business.
Do what’s best for YOU and your baby and don’t let anyone make you feel like an asshole for it.