Hi, I'm Brooke and the mom of a happy 8 week old son. I wanted to share my story and introduce myself to other FF moms. When my son was born, I started out exclusively breastfeeding, but it quickly became clear that nursing was not working. Although I produced enough milk, my son just didn't seem to be able to get back to his birth weight. Oh....and did I mention the diapers? The poor baby was having 20 dirty (that's right! 20 poopy diapers) a day. The end result was a horrible diaper rash and his skin peeling off in sheets.
I talked to a string of lactation consultations and all of their advice was to "keep trying." They had me nurse the baby and immediately afterwards pump more milk. I had milk coming out of my ears and although the baby was eating like crazy, he just couldn't gain weight. Oh...and all those diapers....yeah....that was still happening. I felt horribly guilty that I couldn't adequately feed my son and spent days crying from constantly being tied to either a breast pump or a screaming baby who felt terrible.
I eventually developed mastitis (which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy) and was on my second round of antibiotics when my son had yet another appointment with his pediatrician to check his weight. After 3 weeks of this, I'd made up my mind....the craziness was going to end. We were switching to formula. I told the nurse who was checking my son's vitals that I'd like to speak to the doctor about formula and she immediately got "the look" and said, "I'll send in the lactation consultant." I was pretty sure the lactation consultant was ready to report me to Child Protective Services for stating that I was no longer going to continue breastfeeding. She actually wanted me to try a lactose free diet in the hopes it would work in 4 - 6 weeks. After that final suggestion, it completely clicked with me. We couldn't wait 4 - 6 weeks for the hope of some relief. My son was miserable. I was miserable and on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I was driving my husband insane.
And then the pediatrician came in. And it was amazing. She actually told the lactation consultant to leave and that she supported my decision. Her words of wisdom, "When your son goes to kindergarten, no one is going to ask him if he was breastfed or formula fed. There is no entrance criteria. I've had many happy, healthy, smart children who are formula fed." Wow. Within two days of switching over to formula, the screaming angry baby with an unbelievable amount of dirty diapers was now happy, smiling, and not blasting us with poo every hour. Although I felt guilty for awhile, I'm over it. My son is happy and healthy. I can bond with him and not feel like a terrible mom. And I'm no longer driving my husband up the wall.
I know this is long winded, but I want to encourage moms that are struggling with a similar decision not to feel guilty about switching to formula. Your baby needs a happy, healthy mom and if formula helps meet that goal, hooray for you! And if you just decide to formula feed from the get-go, that's fine too. Don't let any snarky people tell you you're a bad mother. You know what's best for you and your baby. Not your next door neighbor. Not your second cousin twice removed. Not the nosy co-worker And definitely not the idiot who says, "Keep trying. You give up too easily." Ignore them. This about you and your baby.