When our first son was born (he’s now 2.5), he went into the NICU right away. I had a bit of a fever during delivery, so they took him as a precaution. The downfall was they did formula and pacifiers right away. As an adopted kid, I had no problems with formula since I was raised on it, but I wanted to try breastfeeding. We weren’t able to get much skin-to-skin time, and he was so far away in the NICU!
Needless to say, when I did try to breastfeed, we didn’t have much luck. By that point, he was used to a free-flowing bottle, and I of course didn’t offer that. He had a hard time latching well, and I’m a huge wimp, so it was super painful. I know–it gets better, right? But I’m such a wimp that I simply couldn’t take it. I had decided to pump exclusively instead. That way, he would still get breast milk, but I didn’t have to be in pain.
We ended up having to mix formula and breast milk for the first few days, but when my supply came in after several days, it went well. Everything was great until POOF–week 6 came, and I just stopped producing. Looking back, I did nothing right. I wasn’t pumping often enough, I didn’t drink enough fluids, and I didn’t try any of the helpful supplements. From then on, we mixed what little I had stashed away in the freezer with formula, and it wasn’t long before we switched completely to formula.
Again, let me say: I have NO problem with formula, but dang it’s expensive! When he got to 11 months old, I purchased my last tub of formula. I remember coming home and posting an excited update on Facebook: “We just won the lottery. I bought our last tub of formula!” All jokes aside, I was ready to save the money and start switching to cow’s milk.
Rewind to my followup with my OB at six weeks. By the time we went to that appointment, I’d stopped producing for several days. When she asked how pumping was going, I told her I was done. She told me I should’ve said something sooner; there was a prescription she could’ve given me. Who knew?! Obviously, I didn’t. Well shoot.
Looking back, I have absolutely no regrets. Our son is perfectly healthy, and formula is not the poison some people might lead you to believe. Do I think breast is best? No. I think fed is best. Breast milk is ideal, yes, but formula is great too. And if you’re getting through each day, taking care of yourself and your little one, and feeding that little creation you just cooked up inside you, you’re doing great!