Why I Switched from Breastfeeding to Formula Feeding


formula feeding

As I stood in the kitchen in the middle of the night, sobbing as I carefully measured scoops of formula to dump into a bottle, I couldn’t shake the overwhelming feeling that I was failing my child.

What is wrong with me that I can’t figure out breastfeeding?

Why does it hurt so bad? Everyone says if you’re doing it right it shouldn’t hurt.

Why can’t I get comfortable?

Why can’t I do this?

I’m a failure.

I’m a horrible mom.

Crying a river of tears onto my hangry newborn’s head, I reluctantly gave him a bottle. With emotions at an all-time high, I had mentally convinced myself I might as well have been feeding him poison, after all, the moms’ groups I’d joined to prepare for this journey repeatedly reminded me that “breast is best!”

After a couple of trips to the lactation consultant, several sleepless nights, a constant hormonal fog, and self-deprecating internal dialogues, I finally landed in the acceptance phase. Yes, the decision to throw in the towel on breastfeeding and switch to formula took me on a rollercoaster ride through all the stages of grief. A non-stop thrill ride, let me tell ya.

Accepting Formula Feeding

Once I arrived at my final destination, the formula aisle at my local grocer, it was like a huge weight was lifted. After settling into our new routine as a formula-feeding family, I was finally able to enjoy the newborn phase. I didn’t realize up until that point all my energy was focused on doing the “right” thing when it came to feeding. I wasn’t taking the time to appreciate the tiny toes, the weight of his little body on my chest, or stare into the most beautiful little eyes. The guilt and second-guessing had been all-consuming and the time in between feedings was filled with anxiety and dread. 

I fell victim (and I know I’m not alone here) to the expectations and teachings of strangers on the internet. But allowing myself the grace to choose the path that worked best for us finally brought me to a place where I could be the best mom I could be, and I think that’s the most important takeaway.

You do you and allow yourself to:

  • Leave the Facebook group that is making you feel like a trash parent.
  • Seek out support from others who are walking the same path you’re choosing.
  • Trust your gut as a parent and listen to what it’s saying.
  • Avoid the rabbit hole of google searches that make you second guess your decisions.
  • Understand that breast isn’t always best, FED is best.

But most importantly, know that the decision is YOURS and yours alone. Educate yourself and weigh your options, sure. But wherever you land, know that as long as your baby is fed and the method you’ve chosen allows you to bond with and ENJOY your baby and parenting journey, then you’re doing the right thing. Period.

I wish I knew then what I know now.

I wish I could go back and tell that brand new mom that in the grand scheme of things bottles, formula, breastfeeding, and pumping are but a blip on the radar. Before you know it, your kid is on the move and living off a steady diet of french fries off the floor of the van and giving you premature gray hairs as the world around them becomes a giant parkour course.

Of all the things you’ll beat yourself up for as a parent, don’t let feeding be one of them.

Take a deep breath, buy the formula (if you so choose), and enjoy the baby phase.

Because if strangers on the internet get nothing else right, they’re 100% correct when they say “it all goes by too fast!”

Did you do breastfeeding or formula feeding? 

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Kinzy is a self-proclaimed “cool mom” to 3 spirited kids: Kellan (2012), Harper (2014), and Charlotte (2019). Her husband James is a Des Moines Firefighter whose only real downfall is his wholehearted participation in “Movember.” When she’s not working diligently to answer the ten thousand questions her kids ask in a day, she can be found slamming coffee, adding things to her shopping carts online knowing full well she’ll never actually checkout, and laughing at her own jokes. She spends most of her days reminiscing about when naps were still a thing, avoiding household chores, and striving to perfect the work/life balance.


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