Before I had my first baby, Audrey, I was certain I would do everything right. I would have a non-induced vaginal birth, I would never put my baby to sleep on her stomach, I would use all-natural soaps and detergents and I would for SURE breastfeed until she was at least year old.
Well, right off the bat I ended up with an emergency C-section. I should have known right then to scrap all my carefully-laid plans, but I clung to the rest of them. I truly wanted what was best for my baby, and I was determined to make it happen!
Within the first few weeks of Audrey's life, it became very apparent that my daughter wasn't tolerating my breast milk at all. Each time I would feed her, it would only be about 15 - 20 minutes before she would start screaming her head off in pain. She also threw up a LOT. I mean, Exorcist-style projectile vomiting every day. I couldn't keep up with it all.
In addition to the cracked, bleeding nipples and latching trouble that accompany newborn nursing, I was also recovering from a C-section and couldn't easily hold Audrey in the traditional cradle hold. That little problem further complicated things for us. She seemed to only want to eat from a bottle, so I started pumping a lot and this reduced my milk supply. Plus, she was still crying and throwing up frequently.
All these issues led to crying spells, exhaustion and immense guilt on my part. So, it wasn't long before we decided to switch Audrey to a non-lactose formula. As soon as Dillon and I made this choice for our daughter, things started looking up. My baby was suddenly happy and stopped upchucking every drop of milk she ate. She slept better and cried a lot less. And we all began to bond so well! It was clearly the right decision for us. And although I did breastfeed my next two children (and I LOVE breastfeeding), I am so glad baby formula allowed Audrey to thrive.
Since that experience, I have made a point never to make a mother feel guilty for choosing to formula-feed. It turns out, sometimes breast isn't best.
Of course, in theory it is. According to this WebMD article, breast milk contains "a nearly perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat -- everything your baby needs to grow." La Leche League International's Web site also asserts that breast milk is full of antibodies which allows it to support a baby's developing immune system. The human body is a living miracle!
But for some families, breastfeeding is either too difficult on the mother and/or the baby, or it's not possible due to food allergies, adoption, low milk production and a host of other factors. Thankfully, scientists have developed a solution to these problems -- baby formula! It really is a healthy alternative to breastfeeding and nothing to be ashamed about. (Also, science is cool, am I right?)
Today, there exists a wide array of baby formulas for a variety of needs. I remember staring at the massive wall of baby formula at the grocery store and having no clue where to start. It's always a good idea to consult with a pediatrician on matters like this, but Diapers.com is also a very thorough resource for helping you select the best baby formula for your child.
Speaking of Diapers.com, they're giving away a $50 gift card to their Web site, which you can use to purchase diapers (duh) as well as just about any other baby-related doo-dads! Serious when I say they have everything. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me your favorite part of parenthood or taking care of babies. It's that simple! You can also earn an additional entry by sharing this post on Twitter. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below! The giveaway starts TODAY and ends in one week, on February 24 at midnight!