Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to nourish your baby while you create a loving bond, and it is highly recommended to breastfeed your baby as long as possible in order to pass along great nutrition as well as antibodies that can protect your baby. There is also a sense of well-being you may experience when breastfeeding that comes from powerful hormones (prolactin and oxytocin), which create nurturing and loving sensations as you breastfeed.

If you recall from my birth story, I was highly emotional about breastfeeding and just the thought of not being able to do so would bring me to near tears. Of course, I was also experiencing a bit of the ‘baby blues‘ at the time so that may have also contributed to my emotional state, but breastfeeding does create a wonderful bond between you and baby and for those who have experienced it, there is nothing else like it.

Choosing to breast or formula feeding

For every mom, breastfeeding, choosing to supplement, or moving toward formula-feeding are highly personal decisions. Every mom needs to consider what is best for her baby’s nutritional needs and what works best for their family. There may also be extenuating circumstances that mean you have to make those decisions sooner than anticipated.

This is my third time around trying to breastfeed and with each of my children it has gotten progressively easier, however, I still have a problem keeping up enough of a supply to satisfy a growing baby’s appetite. With my first child I just don’t think I was knowledgeable enough, nor received enough guidance and support to keep me breastfeeding as long as I would have liked. Getting my son to latch was miserable and we never did figure it out, plus I was so sore after one week that I didn’t make it much longer.

With my second child, I was able to breastfeed for nearly six months with some minor supplementing before I just didn’t have enough milk anymore. This time around I’m doing the same thing, and my baby does get breastmilk as often as possible, however, I have again needed to supplement.

Breastfeeding is not always a choice

Yes, some moms choose to give formula to their babies when they don’t have any medical reason to do so, but that is a choice they have made, and hopefully, as a parent, they have weighed the pros and cons before making the decision. There are also moms, like me, who just NEED to use formula because we don’t have any other choice, and there are also moms who have to return to work and cannot keep up their supply by pumping.

For me, it was not a choice but a necessity to use baby formula. I just do not produce enough milk to exclusively breastfeed. I honestly have struggled with this fact since the first time we gave our baby some formula, and still struggle with it as I’m sitting here writing this right now. I want to breastfeed exclusively. I want to give my baby the best I can give her. I just can’t.

I don’t know why we, as moms feel so guilty about using formula. I think it is because of all the negativity other moms throw out there when they say things like, “you should only be breastfeeding” or “you are a terrible mom if you give formula.” Why do we do this? Why do people feel the need to make others feel guilt over a decision that is truly personal and their own? There may be extenuating circumstances, a medical reason, or it could just be a personal choice, but it is time to stop judging others for the parenting decisions they make.

Let go of the guilt

If you have made the decision to supplement or to exclusively use formula I know how hard of a decision that can be, but I say it is time to let go of any guilt. I know from experience that this is hard. There are so many emotions that go along with breatfeeding, and sometimes it is just not an easy decision to make. Just know that you are not alone, and many many moms out there are struggling with some of the same concerns and feelings that you are feeling. But if we want to be the best parent we can be we need to focus on our child and know that the decision we made was the best one we could make for our child.

Returning to work after baby

According to a recent survey conducted online by Harris Interactive, nearly 75 percent of American moms plan to return to work after having a baby (info provided by Perrigo Nutritionals and CoynePR). Choosing to return to work after a new baby can be an overwhelming decision, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone! According to a recent survey conducted online by Harris Interactive, nearly 75 percent of American moms plan to return to work after having a baby.

According to the survey, 42 percent of moms returning to work are stressed about feeding their baby. One way moms can help prepare for the return to the office is by putting together a feeding plan for their little one. While experts agree on the benefits of breastfeeding, some moms have found it is easier to supplement breastfeeding with baby formula when returning to the workforce. For moms who are also trying to keep costs down, Store Brand Infant Formulas can cost up to 50 percent less than the national brands; saving mom up to $600 annually!

Since I will be returning to work after baby, Perrigo Nutritionals was kind enough to send me some formula samples that I can use to help with my supplementing needs. They also sent me a copy of parenting expert Michelle LaRowe’s new book, “Working Moms 411,” and a daily planner to help keep me organized.