A couple of weeks ago I talked about breastfeeding ins and outs, this week I want to look at bottle feeding (formula).
Formula first came to light in the early 20th century was seen as the new best thing as company’s like Nestle were advertising it as superior to breastmilk. By the 1970’s there was a boycott on formula and now many countries have banned formula adverts.
The biggest pro I think is that feeding can be shared, that your partner can do the night feeds or early morning feeds. That you get your body back and are not having to wake up and pump for 2 hours, breastfeed a baby, sleep for an hour and start all over again. Now they have a machine that you literally press a button twice on and your baby’s milk is ready to go in under a minute.
You have no engorged breasts and the pain from that. No leaky boobs when ANY baby cries, having that damp shirt in the middle of the supermarket because you forgot to put nursing pads on. You don’t have to revolve your schedule around feeds as formula can be given anywhere, at any time. Most importantly your baby is getting the nourishment that they need and what else can you ask for.
Formula is so expensive and if you have a baby who is sensitive the cost goes up even more. I formula fed my boys and at one stage we were going through three cans a week, one of which was sensitive milk. We spent on average £130 a month on formula. How is something that your child needs to survive for the first 6 months at least, so expensive if you can’t physically produce enough or decide to formula feed.
One of the problems with formula is that is normally bought as a powder and mixed with water; but for developing countries many parents may not have access to clean water or have a way to purify their water, leading to the child getting ill.
I think my biggest pet peeve is the stigma that comes from using formula, those stares and judgement other people give you. Hello… it’s happened to me. I have been asked why I’m not breastfeeding and then I have received negative comments back, which left me infuriated. But I done what was right for my babies and my mental health and I would never take it back. I was a mother who couldn’t produce enough milk for one baby let alone two babies. The choice to me was clear as to what I had to do.
If you are interested in formula feeding, there is a website called Fearless Formula Feeder that has a lot of relevant information and is trying to change how the world think about formula. Just remember as long as your baby is getting the nutrients they need then it does not matter whether it is bottle or breast milk.