Monday, January 12, 2009

Formula Feeding Vs Nursing

My mind is full of all things baby right now. Most of the time I am thinking about trying to keep my breakfast down, but that’s ok.

Since I have been expecting I have heard about so many other blessed mamas who are expecting also, it is very exciting!

One thing I have been thinking about is the decision to nurse or formula feed this new baby.

Here is some background; No women in my family nursed. The only people I knew who nursed were my great-grandmothers and that was because they were poor. I have never seen a baby nursed in real life until I was in my 20’s and met a friend who nursed, but she was a hippy.

No friends of mine have ever nursed their babies; it is just known around my circle that you formula-feed your children.

Now I have some new friends who all nurse and love doing so. I think it is wonderful that they can give their babies that, I am not sure if it is for me though.

I checked out some books on nursing from the library and read them all. I have searched the Internet and mommy sites that talk about breast-feeding. Some were very informative, but I learned that there is a battle between mothers who nurse and mothers who formula feed. I had no idea such hostility existed.

I for one would never tell a mother how she should nourish her child. I have formula fed all my children and they are quite happy, secure, and loved.

I know all the pros of nursing and I think it can be a beautiful bonding experience, if the mother is comfortable and confident with it.

To judge another mother about how she feeds her baby is just well, crazy to me. This kind of thing is all over these mommy sites and it is very ugly.

I have not come to any conclusion on what I am going to do, nurse or formula feed. I am leaning toward the formula because it is what I know and I am comfortable with it. I may try nursing, who knows. I do know that I would never make a mother feel bad about the way she feeds her child.

I will keep thinking about it and whatever decision I make will be the one best for the new little one and me, and that is all that matters.


Jamie said...

Wow, I didn't know there was such hostility either. I think like you do. I was never around anyone, not even my grandmothers did not breastfeed!

I do breastfeed though. I have very large breasts and just figure God gave me these for some reason! I do, love breastfeeding. BUT it is hard at first. I only had one good sucker out of 4 so far. The others I had to work at it a little bit and it gets frustrating.

If you do try, pray about it. There's a prayer book called "Mothers Manual" Maybe you have it, but there are prayers to our Blessed Mother asking help in "nourishing your child" through breastfeeding. (or being able to)

Looking back, I remember when my little sister was born, we are 8 years apart and I remember helping with everything and was able to help with so much because my mom did not breastfeed.

I think there are ups and downs of both. Do what YOU feel comfortable doing.

That really is too bad that people have to argue about such a silly thing.

+JMJ+ said...

No one in my family breast fed either, but all my friends did and so I was helped by them and grew in confidence with each child.

Sort of like Jamie said, God gave us breasts and uniquely designed us to feed our children with human milk. Mary breastfed so I wondered why question God?

What other organ or part of my anatomy would I randomly discredit God's design. Tee hee, like, "O, I am uncomfortable with my bladder, I not going to use it in the elimination process!" :)

And I read all the medical studies linked in this and I wanted to give my baby the best.

I think you CAN do it, but I understand how hard it is to overcome the support issue.

Perhaps Pray to Our Lady, she is the woman God wants us to be most like.

Soul Pockets said...

I will defiantly be praying. Thank you for the book and link recommendations as well. I think support will be my biggest challenge. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words.

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh when I read your post as I also never knew that there were two "sides" conserning this subject. My Mom nursed all of her children in the 70's-80's when nursing was out of popularity. She was a nurse though and felt it best for the kid's health. I have nursed my three as well and am happy that I did because with the research coming out about the various diseases that it prevents in children and Mom's - it turns out that many of them run in my family (especially breast cancer, lymphomic cancers, Celic disease) and hopefully we can avoid some of that.

Oh, do you know of Our Lady of Le Leche? She is, I believe, the oldest Marian Shrine in the United States. The picture is wonderful as it shows Mary nursing baby Jesus. That just blows me away to think of how special it would be for Mary to be Our Lords first source of nurishment.

Oh, and I found (I think that is the spelling?:) an excellent resource for nursing as well. Whatever you choose will be fine - Good Luck.

Chris said...

I am really learning what a debate this is between formula feeding moms and nursing moms. I am glad those days are done for me. I only nursed the boys the first 6 weeks then they were both formula fed. It just wasn't for me. Good luck with your decision. Maybe you could give it a try and if you don't like it you could always stop.

Kyra said...

I liked your post. My sister, two of my cousins and I were all pregnant at the same time. One of my cousins and I exclusively formula fed while my sister exclusively breastfed. The other cousin wanted to breastfeed but found it pretty painful and ultimately decided to formula feed.
I have had personal experience with people being on the extremes of the issue, discussions which have made me pretty uncomfortable. Where I notice some tension (especially in regard to Catholic or religious moms) is that I was made to feel by some breastfeeding moms that:
1) Formula feeding is tantamount to poisoning my child, as bad as drinking or smoking while pregnant
2) Formula feeding moms are somehow more selfish and less "religious" because they aren't willing to "make the sacrifices" required for breastfeeding..even if those sacrifices include constant physical pain, an underweight child, total sleep deprivation, disappearance of any sex life, etc.

To me I think it's great that technology has provided an option for mothers who physically can't breastfeed, are unsuccessful, or simply don't want to. Why turn something into a moral issue that really has nothing to do with morality? I think as long as you are feeding and loving your child you're a good mother and shouldn't be judged.

beautifulmidnight said...

I loved your post. I too am expecting and have noticed the divide. I do plan to breastfeed, but the only reason I really plan on doing so is because my husband has pretty bad allergies to a lot of food, and we'd hate for our child to develop them too.

However, that being said, I find it pretty insulting to see people to state formula feeding is 'poisoning' your child. Mostly because my mother formula fed my brother and I, and we're healthier than most people we know. We don't have allergies. We've never had an ear infection in our lives. We're not overweight. We're not diabetic. We're intelligent and quite well well-functioning. I really don't think it's anyone else's business how ANYONE decides to feed their child, as long as their child is fed.

Best of luck to you in whatever you choose to do.