How I Feed My Baby

I wrote this post a few months ago, but didn’t publish it until today, because Grayson’s story is featured today on another blog and I wanted to link it to that. When I wrote this, how I feed Grayson was an incredibly emotional issue for me and I was dealing with a lot of guilt and feeling like a failure because I wasn’t able to breastfeed him. Since then, we’ve moved on to other issues, both serious (his developmental and vision issues) and not as serious (but SERIOUSLY, dude, when are  you going to sleep through the night?!). I hardly ever think about breastfeeding anymore- and a few months ago there’s no way I would have believed I would ever be at that point. So I just want to say to anyone who may be struggling with any feelings of guilt and regret as to how you are feeding your baby, it DOES get better…I promise. As long as you are loving that baby with everything you have, it really doesn’t make that much difference where his food comes from.

If you know the story of Grayson’s first few weeks of life, you know he had some eating issues. Specifically, he was not getting the food he needed from me, which made him a very sick little boy. Of course, as a mother, this brought on tremendous heartache and guilt, and the first 4 weeks of Grayson’s life were probably the most physically and emotionally trying time of my life. At the end of Grayson’s fourth week, I stopped trying to breastfeed and pump. It was an extrememely difficult and emotional decision, but it was the best decision for our family.

  • I 100% agree with all the doctors, lactation people, and breastfeeders that “Breast is Best”. In a perfect world, Grayson would be breastfeeding right now. But it’s not a perfect world. And though breastmilk provides optimum nutrition, formula works pretty great too- Grayson is growing, happy, and look at these chubby cheeks!
  • When I have another baby, I will absolutely give breastfeeding another shot. I will also supplement with formula at first though- we aren’t going through this again.
  • There are some advantages to formula feeding: Daddy (and whoever else) can feed Grayson, I know EXACTLY how much food my baby is getting every feeding, I’m not strapped to a torture device pump every few hours, and I don’t have to deal with exposing myself in public.
  • Yes, formula costs money, but there are some great coupons and Grayson now eats Target brand formula, which has the exact ingredients as the name brands, but is almost half the cost. Also, for most people, breastfeeding is NOT free- breastfeeding pillows, bras, tanks, pads, creams, pumps, storage bags, lactation consultants,and prescription meds if you have a problem- all cost money.
  • FEEDING THE BABY is the whole point of well, feeding the baby. I have to remind myself of this daily.  It’s not about ME, it’s about Grayson. I have to let go my pride about this, and I am still struggling about what people think about me because I am formula feeding. It’s getting a lot easier though.

Grayson’s cousin Cooper feeding him on Christmas Eve

Controversial Old Navy onesie…I think it’s pretty cute!
I am so thankful we live in this age of technology, where there is so much support available right at our fingertips. I have found several blogs that have helped me work through my emotions about this issue. One of these blogs was started by an amazing woman to support women who choose to formula feed their babies. Most of the women who follow and contribute to this blog have similar stories as mine- they struggled with breastfeeding and ultimately chose to formula feed. I sent in my and Grayson’s story and it is featured on the blog today. Here is the link if you would like to read:


  1. Esperanza on February 12, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Oh my. I had not idea how hard G's first weeks were. That would be terrifying! I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I'm so glad he's doing so well now though. And you rock for giving your baby just what he needs to thrive. It sucks that there is so much stigma out there about what we feed our children. No one walks up to a family eating at Chucky Cheese's and yet you can give a mom a hard time about breastfeeding? For whatever reason people formula feed, it is their child and they shouldn't have to answer to anyone.I was able to breastfeed but it was never easy. At first we had oversupply and she was gaining like crazy. Then she wasn't gaining enough. Then we had thrush for TWO MONTHS. I was LIVING at Kaiser's Lactation Center. It was really, really hard. And you're right, I wasn't buying formula but I probably spent as much on My Breast Friends and nursing covers and nursing bras and nursing shirts and electric pumps and hand pumps and storage bottles and bags and all the rest of it. Anyway, I'm not saying you should have mourned not being able to breast feed, but it's not as great as some people say it is. Just saying, I was STOKED to stop after three weeks of pumping at work. I still breastfeed twice a day but I doubt she gets much. I'm thinking of stopping that too and frankly, I don't think I'll miss it much when I do. We shall see.Thank you for sharing your story. G is very lucky to have a mom who is as strong and self assured as you are.

  2. Cathy Irwin on February 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Thank you for encouraging Moms! When you want to breast feed and can't it is stressful and heart breaking. I do think women need to be kinder to themselves. Breast feeding seems like something that should come naturally, but it can be so difficult.As a Mom that tried and had to let this one go too, I appreciate your thoughts.

  3. basebell6 on February 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    congrats on getting that feature story!!! hey i've been breastfeeding with no problems [and have never even used a special bra, tank, consultant, pad, cream, medicine, or pillow] but i always say "it really doesnt matter as long as your kid is chubby and happy". it's not like the kids even know or care if they were BF or FF when they get older. i would give it up in a minute and never look back if it gave blaine or myself any problems. you are awesome for doing what is right for your child!

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