The Enemy

Joshua was switched to formula at 11 weeks due to his sensitive tummy and colic-like behavior.  I had cried for weeks and weeks over this decision.  I wanted so badly to breastfeed my son.  BUT it is a decision I do not regret for one second because the day I switched to formula (Similac Sensitive) is the day Joshua turned into a different baby–happy and content.  I made the switch cold turkey.  Just stopped breastfeeding, stopped pumping, and gave Joshua formula.  It was a very easy transition.  He wasn’t fussy, the formula didn’t seem to bother his system, and he wasn’t ever constipated.

I still had a bag full of expressed breastmilk in the deep freeze.  I had hoped that he would still be able to drink it when he got a little older and his digestive system developed a little more.  So, last night I mixed 2 oz of breastmilk with Joshua’s rice cereal.  He wasn’t sure about the taste at first.  I’m sure this was because breastmilk is a lot sweeter than formula (so I’ve read.)  But he ate it nonetheless.

4 hours later it was like a flashback.  Joshua woke up screaming after I put him to bed.  He had breastmilk flying out his nose and running from his mouth down his chin.  His eyes were watering and he was not a happy baby.  I comforted him and got him back to sleep to awake 30 minutes later crying again.  This went on until around midnight.  Joshua woke up crying every 20-30 minutes.  The breastmilk still didn’t settle with his stomach.  So, I threw every single drop of it in the dumpster.

Yes, it makes me really sad that breastmilk isn’t the liquid gold for my son that it is said to be.  But it also makes me a little angry.  Angry that formula is given such a bad rep!  Is breastmilk full of essential nutrients for baby?  Of course it is!  However, it is not the answer for every baby.  At Joshua’s last doctor’s appointment Dr. Amborson said that he looks perfectly healthy and told me to continue doing exactly what I’m doing because he looks great.  Joshua has yet to get sick (which I know will happen eventually that dreaded first cold or ear infection but he has managed to make it 5 months without it and that is good for me) and is happy and content.  So, I really wish that everything I read would stop talking about formula like it is the enemy or a cop out for the lazy parent when the reality in the Tumelson household is that breastmilk is the enemy.

Like my doctor said, “Do I agree that mothers should breastfeed their babies if they are able to?  Absolutely.  But if giving your baby formula causes the child to loose brain cells I’d sure like to know which ones.”  So I will not feel guilty for my decision.  Hopefully with the next baby I will be able to breastfeed for much longer but if not that’s okay.  Joshua still reaches up and touches my face while I hold him close and snuggle him with his bottle. 🙂

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