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I Couldn't Breastfeed My Son, and I'm OK With It (Now)

Mar 3 2016 - 10:38am

There is no question that breastfeeding is the best practice. But sometimes a mama just can't make it happen; I'm not talking about lack of trying though. I breastfed my firstborn for over a year. Then for my second child, there were problems from the start (latching issues, tongue-tied, etc.). I dragged my newborn to every specialist under the sun to try to get breastfeeding to work for us, but it never did. Nearly every nursing session left both of us crying — it was awful. After his three-month check-up with the pediatrician, I was told that I should consider supplementing with formula because my lil guy was not gaining enough weight. It was devastating to me, because I felt like a failure and guilty that he wasn't getting all the benefits from the breastfeeding. Sure, I pumped as long as humanly possible, but I still felt terrible.

Now, years later, my bottle-fed son is a perfectly happy and healthy little guy, who's bonded to me like crazy. Looking back I wish someone had said, "You've done all you can do, now stop beating yourself up!" So ladies, here are a few reasons not to feel bad if you've given it a try, but breastfeeding just isn't in the cards for you.

Source: Flickr user David Precious [1]

Mommy Can Still Bond With Baby

Breastfeeding was taking away my ability to enjoy the first weeks of my son's life, as I dreaded the struggle that came with nursing him. It was so frustrating! Now, I really feel that our real bonding began the day I started giving him a bottle.

Source: Flickr user Diamond Farah [2]

Daddies Get In on the Bonding

When mommy is the exclusive feeder (due to having the breasts), daddy often gets left out of the bonding. Bottle-feeding gives him that time with the baby and gives mama a break!

Source: Flickr user Lars Plougmann [3]

Anyone Can Help With Feedings

For an entire year, I basically had to be near my daughter because she would not take a bottle. I'm glad I did it, but it was rough at times.
So one of the best things I experienced with my bottle-fed son was the flexibility to leave him with caregivers for longer periods of time.

Source: Flickr user Britt-knee [4]

Bottle-Feeding on the Go Can Be Easy

Breastfeeding in public was not a big issue for me, but I was more aware of my surroundings (and would sneak into a quiet corner if possible). With bottle-feeding (while annoying to have to carry around the bottles and formula), you don't have to worry about those too-long stares from onlookers.

Source: Flickr user Bradley Gordon [5]

Car Trips Are Easier With Bottles

Breastfeeding can make a road trip even longer, but if you're giving your baby a bottle, then (as long as someone else is driving) you don't need to pull over every time baby might be hungry.

Source: Flickr user Quinn Dombrowski [6]

You Can Eat Anything You Want

My daughter had colic, which meant I was constantly evaluating and eliminating possible culprits from my diet while nursing. When breastfeeding is no longer an option or if you switch to formula, you can start eating whatever you want.

Source: Flickr user Emiliano De Laurentiis [7]

Less-Frequent Feedings

Formula-fed babies typically do not need to eat as frequently, as formula is not digested as easily as breast milk.

Source: Flickr user David Precious [8]

Bottle-Fed Babies Are Happy Too

Please don't send me hate mail. I agree that breastfeeding is absolutely the way to go! You should do everything in your power to try to make it work, but after trying your hardest, you may need to move away from the breast (or even supplement with formula). Be confident with your decision, and move on. Bottle-fed (be it filled with breast milk or formula) babies are happy too — I swear!

Source: Flickr user Shannon [9]

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