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Fed Is Best—Stories from Moms Who Struggled to Breastfeed

Fed is best is a message many moms need to hear. Many moms struggle to breastfeed and decide it’s not for them for a variety of reasons. Here’s a collection of moms who decided fed is best.

fed is best, mom bottle feeding baby

Fed is best.

I hadn’t heard the phrase before I gave up breastfeeding. But when a friend said it to me after I told her why I wasn’t breastfeeding anymore, a wave of relief washed over me.

When I couldn’t breastfeed Evelyn, I felt extreme guilt and shame. I felt like I had already failed my baby. As a new mom I was constantly worried about messing up. When my milk supply never increased, I contemplated switching to formula but worried about Evelyn’s health and development.

Breast is best is all I had ever heard.

After all, if you Google things like “Fed is Best” you’ll see that people also ask questions like:

  • Does formula cause Autism?
  • Are formula fed babies more likely to get sick?
  • Does formula cause SIDS?

There are so many misconceptions when it comes to the whole breastfeeding versus formula discussion. It’s no wonder that I and countless other new moms struggled with guilt around formula feeding.

WHY FED IS BEST

I’m not knocking breastfeeding. That liquid gold is AH-MAZING! I’m in awe of our bodies and how it can bring life into the world and then provide for that life immediately.

But for women who struggle to produce enough milk, or have other issues with breastfeeding, then breastfeeding isn’t so amazing. If you’re in tears every time you have to feed your baby, that’s not healthy—for you or for them.

Your mental health as a mother is the utmost importance. And if formula feeding your baby takes a weight off your shoulder or fills you with relief, then it’s okay to do that.

Your baby will benefit more from having a mentally healthy mom, than it would from breastfeeding.

I always find it therapeutic to hear other woman’s struggles with breastfeeding and how they decided fed is best. I’ve gathered up several stories from other moms who struggled with breastfeeding. Some of them had low milk supply, some hated breastfeeding. Each one made the decision that fed is best. And all of them have children who have grown out of the baby phase and are now thriving as little toddlers.

fed is best

Fed is Best Due to A Low Milk Supply

Like me, a lot of women have low milk supply. Sometimes they just can’t keep up with their baby’s demands, no matter how much Fenugreek or Blessed Thistle they take.

I cried as I read Michele’s story about her struggle to breastfeed. It all resonated with me—her low milk supply, the hesitancy to introduce formula, and the shame that came with not breastfeeding. I felt all of it. It was a dark time indeed, but now she has a healthy, smart, preschooler and you’d never even know she was 100% formula fed.

Becky was determined to make breastfeeding work, but she struggled to keep up due to a low milk supply. In the end, formula feeding her baby made her a happier and healthier mom. That’s all our baby truly needs from us anyway!

fed is best

Kim’s inability to breastfeed contributed to her postpartum depression. She was told she would never bond with her baby if she didn’t breastfeed. It’s those kinds of comments that bring on the mom guilt. Today, her five year old is active and happy—and fully bonded with both of her parents.

Lindsey learned that whether or not you breastfeed has nothing to do with how good of a mom you are, or how much you care about your baby. She goes on to say her healthiest child is the one who never breastfed at all!

Many of us have this notion that formula is poison. Andrea thought the same thing until she couldn’t breastfeed due to low milk supply. Now, she urges moms to respect one another no matter how their baby is fed. Her formula fed little girl is thriving.

As if we needed another reason to love Adele, she has spoken out about how we need to calm down about breastfeeding. Yes, breastfeeding is amazing, if it works for you. But that doesn’t mean that breast is always best. 

Fed Is Best Due to A Poor Latch

When babies don’t latch properly it can hinder mom’s milk supply from the beginning. It’s also extremely painful. Some babies are pro latchers while others really struggle due to a lip or tongue tie.

Jaime felt like a failure when she quit breastfeeding after two months. Soon after that though, she felt free and now has a happy and smart little girl who was mostly formula fed.

fed is best baby bottle

When Alissa’s son couldn’t latch properly, she turned to pumping exclusively. She calls the pressure to breastfeed “breastfeed bullying” and reminds moms that they know what is best for their baby, despite what anyone else says.

An overbite and lack of appetite meant breastfeeding didn’t work for Kelly. She pumped and formula fed for months before switching completely to formula.

Fed Is Best When You Hate Breastfeeding

Even with a strong milk supply and latch, many women just don’t like breastfeeding. It’s not the sweet, beautiful, bonding experience they hoped it would be. Breast isn’t always best when it brings you stress and anxiety and interferes with your relationship with your newborn.

Title Free Mom felt so grateful that formula existed after she couldn’t breastfeed her first baby. She has three babies now and breastfed them all for different lengths of time before moving to formula.

fed is best baby and mom

Hannah was able to breastfeed but hated it. She was diagnosed with postpartum depression and put on medication, which meant she could no longer breastfeed. After feeling like she had failed, relief finally set in, knowing her baby was fine and she was a good mom after all.

After nursing for two months, Average Mom gave up breastfeeding with no regrets. In fact, she wishes she had given it up sooner and fed her baby formula feeding from the beginning.

Meghan shares how breastfeeding made her feel resentful and guilty and led her to hate breastfeeding. She disliked breastfeeding so much that when she delivered her second child years later, she made the decision to go straight to formula feeding.

mom bottle feeding baby fed is best

There’s a lot of physical and emotional pain from breastfeeding. This mommy felt weirded out, anxious, and generally uncomfortable each time she tried to breastfeed. Despite really wanting to love breastfeeding, she ended up hating it.

One of the best sentiments I found on bottle/breastfeeding came from Megan. She reminds mothers that deciding whether to bottle or breastfeed is not a life or death decision. In a few years, no one will be able to tell the breastfed children from the formula fed children.

After having four children, one of the moms from Lou Lou Girls feels more confident in her decisions and actually loves bottle feeding and sees so many benefits to it.

fed is best, baby with bottle

I wish I had read Kate’s open letter to formula-feeding moms when I was struggling to breastfeed. I think it would have helped me with the guilt and shame I felt at that time. I hope it helps you!

There are so many women who decided that fed is best. All of these women gave up breastfeeding and guess what? Their kids are fine! I was so worried that Evelyn would turn into a sickly child due to my inability to breastfeed her. Now she is two and a happy and healthy little girl who is smart and funny. I promise your baby will be fine if you don’t breastfeed. In a year or two, no one will even know the difference.

I hope some of these stories brought you hope or a reminder that you aren’t alone in all this. It really is okay to formula feed. Remember, fed is best! Leave a comment below if you also struggled with breastfeeding. It’s going to be okay mama!

Amy Motroni

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