Breast vs. Bottle

After Gus returned home from the hospital, we had some trouble getting him to feed properly. My wife was able to breast feed him, but her milk wasn’t coming in fully, so he began to loose weight. By the end of week two, he was down about a pound from his birth weight – close to the dangerous 10 per cent line. Needless to say we were stressed out about it, and due to the literature and pressure from medical practitioners, my wife felt trepidation in giving him formula.

When things looked dire, our midwife suggested we supplement the breast-milk feedings with formula, and Gus shot up in weight. Needless to say we were relieved. However, once he gained, it was suggested we cut back on the formula again, and he didn’t gain any weight for another week. It was then suggested be put him on an intensive formula diet, which we did, and again he gained weight – a pound in a week! On our last visit, it was suggested we cut the diet back a little, but we’ve decided not to for two reasons: top is his health, and the second is my wife’s mental health.

Since we are both educated people, we know the advantages of breast feeding, but I was a little disturbed at the push from health-care workers to do it “no matter what”. And from the stories I’m hearing from people at work and elsewhere, there is a real push to get women breastfeeding. To be fair, our midwifes have been fairly open minded, but we can tell they would prefer my wife breastfeed.

We are still trying, but it’s getting to point that we know he will probably need more and more formula because my wife’s milk still isn’t coming in. We are growing comfortable with our decision, but as first-time parents, we felt a little insecure about making this decision at first. For anyone else out there having the same problems, consult with your health-care provider, but if it comes down to your mental health and your babies health don’t be afraid to choose what is best for you.

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2 Responses to Breast vs. Bottle

  1. Our dudelet had both depending on how his mother was feeling. And when they both got really bored of the effort involved in breastfeeding, he went onto solids and formula. I was a 100% formula baby (and I bet most of the health workers were).

    So really, how can anyone lay down any kind of “law” about what works and doesn’t work? I really do believe that everything we do in this area needs to work for the whole family not just the smallest member…

  2. killahmullet says:

    I couldn’t agree more, and we’re coming to terms with it. It’s just as a new parent, you want to do the best for your little one, and when you keep hearing over and over again that breastfeeding equals a healthy baby, you tend to feel a little guilt when it’s not going well.

    Like you, I was formula fed and have done fairly well over the years, so there really isn’t much to worry about. Besides, the little guy is outgrowing clothes and developing a fat little belly now, so everyone is happy. And that’s the most important thing after all.

    BTW: Love the name of your blog. I think it sums up how we all feel as new dads.

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