A few months before the birth of my now 4mo son I got into an argument with someone about Breast vs Bottle. This started about an article that this person shared, in fact when reading the “article” it was more along the lines of an opinion piece and in this it likens the effects of formula is the same as the effects of smoking. At the time I was struggling with the decision as to weather I should breast feed or bottle feed our new baby and seeing pieces like this made me feel guitly for even thinking about what i was going to do. when i explained this to the person in question the result was a big arguement from me saying that no one should be made to feel guilty about their decisions or that sometimes a Mother does need to put her own welfare before a childs to the other person saying that there are free milk banks which should be used before formula and that it is selfish for a mother to think of herself before the child.
It didnt matter what I said or what had happened in the past this person would not listen and was convinced her opinion was the correct one. Even when i used the situation with my now 3yo as an example of my argument.
Pretty much from birth my eldest would have reflux. Every feed without fail she vomit it back up and the 3mins later she would be crying again as she was hungry. She would constantly want to be on my breast. eventually it stopped being a “cry” and turned into a blood curdling, horror movie type of scream so loud that our neighbours would come knock on our door to make sure that everything was ok. Each time she would feed, then vomit, then scream (the scream was because the vomit was burning her throat). She would not sleep during the day and would take forever to settle at night due to her being in constant pain. I felt like all I was doing was comforting her or feeding her. we spoke to doctors, peadatrictions etc and I brought up that maybe she could have an allergy or intolerance to milk as I am Lactose Intolerant myself but everytime I was met with “well eliminate that from your diet and see what happens” even though i was already doing that. there was just something inside me that told me that theres was still something wrong but no one was listening. I had added pressure form extended family members telling me that i was being silly and to keep breast feeding as its what is best and why waste such a good supply. I fell into a deep PND and would only pay attention to my daughter if she needed something. I would cry constantly and felt so alone at times and that I had made so many wrong decisions when it came to her. I felt isolated and alone and felt like it was all my fault.
I sort help for this and even had a new GP who had just moved to the area advise me to switch to a bottle as sometimes a mothers needs would come first and that if I am not well then my child is not so at 6mo I switched to bottle feeding, my daughter went to day care and I returned to work. Formula seemed to have a better effect on her,she would still vomit her feeds up and they would hurt but no where near as badly as what breastmilk was.
The biggest turning point was when she had a reaction to egg when she was 1 so we took her to an Immunologist, we then found out that she had a severe egg allergy and whilst we were discussing it all I mention my food intolerances and what our daughter was like with her feeding and it was at that point we discovered that she has the same allergies as i do and that i was right by listening to my instincts. he said to switch her to a soy diet and within a week we had a completly different child. so much happier and sleeping better.
So when I was pregnant with my 2nd I had alot of feelings come to the surface and didnt know what to do. after speaking to the same GP who helped me through my PND she suggested mix feeding and also speaking to a Lactation Consultant and they both helped me through my anxiety of making the same mistakes the 2nd time round. My son had a little bif of reflux with breast milk but would settle better with formula to the point where I switched to formula feeding completly by 2mo.
There is so much debate about breast vs bottle and I think unless a person has gone through a bad experience with either then there is really no need for the argument as no mother should have to feel guilty for their decisions. My daughter is still on a soy diet to this day and is a happy healty little girl and Im hoping my Son will grow into the same bubbling happy little child that she is and i know that I have made the right decision this time around with him and would do it again if I can (hopefully) talk my fiance into having a 3rd child.
Posted anonymously, 15th October 2014