Pros and cons of breastfeeding & formula feeding

Well it’s May and it snowed. Yesterday we were all thinking about what to plant in our gardens and today we are shoveling snow. Can we just all say 2020 is a wash? I guess only time can tell.

There are still some controversial debates going around and have been around for many years. Since the internet has been such a big thing for awhile now, these debates have been massive. One of the big ones are breastfeeding vs formula fed.

Let me start off by saying I did both for my kids. My first child I am not sure why I was just not producing enough and had to do both. My second child I was producing a lot, but he was just so hungry I could not keep up with the demand and had to do both. With my last I did a little bit when I found out that he was allergic to dairy products and had to get it out of my system so that he could breastfeed properly without getting and upset tummy.

There are a lot of reasons you choose to do either. You are not able to produce, you feel like formula is too expensive or you need to do both.

There is a lot of breastfed is best and fed is best, but I want to dive into each one and look at their pros and cons.

Photo by willsantt on Pexels.com

Breastfeeding

Pros

Natures natural baby food. If you are able to exclusively breastfeed your child, that is amazing good on you! Breastfeeding is really hard. Cracked nipples, biting and sore boobs come with it. It also comes with the boding experience with your child.

Breast milk comes with the immunity building antibodies. It is believed that scientist have yet to make that exact formula to put into anything else. Breast milk is full of vitamins and protein and fat a perfect blend to help your child grow. This formula helps your baby fight off virus’s and bacteria. Breast milk also helps your child lower the risk of allergies as well. There are some tests saying that it highers your IQ but I know some adults that are extremely smart that have been formula fed and are doing just fine, so I am not 100% behind this one.

There are even some benefits for the mother when breastfeeding. Burning calories it releases hormone Oxycontin. This helps your uterus go back to its normal size. They also say it lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

It does also save your money. Since you don’t have to buy formula and bottles and nipples.

There is more ease and convenience to breastfeeding. You are able to feed your child anywhere, no need to warm up a bottle or make preparations before leaving the house.

Cons

I know I can hear you saying, there are no cons of breastfeeding but I promise you there are pros and cons to mostly everything.

Some mothers and children just get it right off the bat with breastfeeding and just ease into it like they have been doing it for awhile. There are some that it takes long to master and there might be some barriers in the way that make it difficult to do so.

Issues with milk supply which I did. I had both way too high and way too low. Cracked and sore nipples. I use to cringe when mine would latch it was so painful. The pain level was up there with having 3 c-sections it was terrible.

Adjusting your sleeping schedule to your babies feeding schedule can be difficult, the constant demand of caring for your baby and yourself, it can be extremely challenging.

Your baby is attached to you, all the time. You are the the supplier of food. Woman may feel like they are loosing themselves. Body image, sex life and self-esteem issues.

Right now, more and more stores are making it easier for moms to breastfeed their kids but some places still struggle with that, even more in the work place environment. It can be difficult to still breastfeed in public. When you are at your friends house and they don’t have kids yet, mothers may feel the judgement of it.

Your spouse or partner will not get that bond feeding their child, and the mom may feel the lack for support when it comes to the child in that aspect.

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Formula feeding

Pros

You can buy your supply. A lot of woman including me for my first child you struggle with producing milk, sometimes you may produce a little and some can’t produce any. The convenience of being able to go out and buy more when you run out.

Having time to yourself to get your body back, with the fact that you can make a bottle and get someone to help you feed your child you can have a minute in the shower, or at least brush you hair. You can drink that bottle of wine no problem and just lush yourself.

You don’t have the nipple pain, you may experience some enlargement pain while you body dries up the supply but that will go away in do time.

Your spouse and even your parents will get the shared experience with your child. That amazing closeness and bond that you get when feeding your child, you can share that with your other have. You are able to get some well needed sleep that you longed for.

No lopsided boob. This was a big issue for me when I was breastfeeding. My kids would rather one side over the other and then the nipple pain was more on one side so I tended to use one side over the other, which made one boob bigger than the other.

Those weird pads that you put in your bra, the ones that make you look like you have a third nipple, you wont have to use those because no leaky boob!

Con

It can get expensive. Depending on what type of formula that you want to buy for your child or what type of formula that your child needs. For example for sensitive tummies.

The judgement you might get do to the fact that you are not breastfeeding. Even more so from your parents or your grandparents. When you go out for dinner and you order that glass of wine, people will be looking at you with your baby beside you “wow are you still breastfeeding and drinking” then you tell them “no I formula feed” then the judgement gets worse “how dare you not breastfeed your baby”

You may not burn the calories that you would if you were breastfeeding, with breastfeeding your body helps you do some of the work.

Dishes Dishes Dishes… Okay we all hate doing them, sometimes I feel like just throwing out all the dishes and using paper everything, but yes… washing all the bottles and the nipples and all the things that come along with it that you need to wash.

You know that amazing smell, when you open a coffee can for the first time and it hits you like amazing pot of gold. Yeah that won’t happen with formula the smell alone is just I don’t even know how to explain it. It stinks.

Pro for both

YOUR BABY IS FED!

As a mother finding what is best for both you and your baby is hard. All the judgement and all the info that get’s crammed in your face can be alarming. The right choice is what is best for you and your family. Talk to your doctor or health care provider and talk with your spouse. You shouldn’t have to feel you are alone in making this decision.

Make time, because time doesn’t wait for us.

The past few weeks, it has really hit me that time does not wait for anyone. That it just creeps up on you realizing that it goes by so fast, you blink and its 30 years later. It clearly doesn’t work that way but that’s how it feels.

Growing up it feels like you have all this time. Time to think of what you want to do when you’re older, all the time with your parents. But flash forward you are 30 and married with 4 kids of your own to raise.

You’re parents raise you to the best of their abilities. As a parent myself I have realized that is no easy task. One of the things I have learned is that the moments of reassureness, relief and pride are far in between. When you think you have everything under control something comes creeping in out of no where. It is hard to feel like you are really ‘Succeeding’ at this whole parenting thing.

As I said time doesn’t stand still as we get older so do our parents and I feel like many of us forget this. Many of us say “I am too busy to visit I will soon” Sometimes that soon never comes.

Life should come full circle. Your parents take care of you when you’re young, you should take care of them when they are older. Even if its just by visiting, bringing them tea/coffee. Just by showing them that you appreciated everything that they have done for you and continue to do for you.

You are never too old to want to make your mom proud and I am so happy that mine is proud of me. I am so happy that my mom raised me the way she did because that is helping me truck through being a mom myself. Being a strong woman.

Every day, that we doubt ourselves, they doubted themselves.

But hey we survived, we are here. Repeating everything they have taught us. I got so much by being their daughter. Learning from them, watching them is now a rippling effect with my children.

They taught me not only by teaching and telling but by just being themselves. They showed me how to be happy, how to live a productive and meaningful life. Giving us the ability to survive and thrive.

They taught me before you leave this world to make it a better place for our kids, and to teach our kids to do the same. My parents live every day doing things without wanted gratitude or praise just by doing the right thing giving to others, being their for others. Treating people the way you want to be treated.

Our elders have been through it all and we are just starting. No its not the same world and we may have to tweak it a bit but they gave us the building blocks and we need to build from it.

So much of who we are is because of them. The good, the bad, the ugly. But that all has made us stronger.

The past few weeks I have realized that time is not always there. That with a blink of an eye they could be gone. That we will wish that we did more things. That we had more time.

So make that time now. Go for that coffee. Go for that chat about god knows what. see your parents more. They went from seeing us every day, making our meals, coming to our events. To barely seeing us at all. To be honest thinking about my kids growing up and doing the same would kill me. I want them to visit me as often as they can.

So make the time. Time doesn’t wait for us.

Motherhood & Anxiety

I am a mom with anxiety.
No, I can’t just shut it off, No I can’t just wake up one day and it just go away.

Anxiety isn’t something that we can pick and choose what days we have it and what days we don’t.

It is not a choice.

Some days we can have the best day, we are free from it and everything is great. Some days it just creeps up on us unexpectedly and we are just left to deal with it.

We can’t just choose to be happy, or chill out when it is happening, its just not that easy, not that simple.

You will never know how it truly feels to be someone with anxiety unless you full on walk in our shoes. You will never know how it feels to be hit with darkness in the middle of something that should bring happiness, but you remembered something and it just hits you like a tons of bricks.

So before you come at us and tell us “to just chill out” please remember that anxiety is a mental illness. It is not a cold that we can just get rid of in a few days or weeks. It is not a cry for attention.

If we had a choice to not have this cloud over our heads we would. If we had a choice and could stop it from happening we would. Trust me, we would “chill out” if it were that easy.

There are so many things that I get triggered with, that just send me in a down word spiral. Which I tend to just hold in and let it unload on my husband.

Am I doing this right?
Most the time I have no idea what I am doing, I have been a mother for 10 years now and I am constantly learning new things. How do I know if the decisions that I am making are the right ones? Which bottle do I use? Crib? Co-sleeping? What foods?
what doesn’t help is everyone else shoving opinions at you like its confetti and you have no idea who is right or wrong?

  • When you think this way, remember… There is no right or wrong when it comes to parenting. Everyone has different opinions they are going to be coming at you left right and center. It is your life. Keep being you!

Is my baby / Child okay?
How do I know that everything is okay? there is a new bump? or they are not walking yet? Why are they talking yet? They are not hitting all their milestones when they should be?

  • When you become a mother you get this thing call mothers intuition, trust that because its rarely wrong. If you are having concerns about something contact your doctor to make sure nothing is wrong.

Mom guilt at its finest
Am I spending enough time with them? I spent a little to much time on my phone will that effect them? I am not buying all the cool toys that are in right now is that bad? Am I handling it right when they have tantrums?

  • I promise you, you are enough! All they want is you. Anytime that you spend with them is enough. They know that you love them. They know that you will always be there.

Comparing myself to others
Well Nancy feeds all her kids organic foods should I?
Those kids are dressed better with all name brand clothes and some of my kids are hand me downs is that bad?
They go on fancy trips and have all the neat outdoor climbers am I not giving them their best life?

  • Social media can be the devil… most of the time everyone is posting just the fun parts of their life and never the negatives. Focus on you and your family and nothing else.

There is just not enough time, they grow up so fast
I feel so guilty when I have those days that have just been so long that I am counting down till it is bed time… but they grow up so fast. Does that make me a bad mom?

  • Counting down the time till bedtime doesn’t make you a bad mom, it makes you human. Motherhood is intense and some days we just need a minute and that’s okay!

So before you come at someone with anxiety and tell them to “chill out” Maybe sit down with them and ask them what is going on. Be a listening ear and let them know “Hey I have those fears too” Let them know that you are there no matter what. Don’t make them sound like they are crazy for something that they cannot help.

Let’s do our best and leave the guilt behind and let’s do our bed to make sure to let someone know that you are there no matter what.