I was blessed to be able to breastfeed all three of my daughters, despite some initial frustrations with starting to nurse Sunshine and Lily. I remember crying the night after Sunshine was born as I tried and tried to get her latched. My husband even suggested finding a lactation consultant, but thankfully we eventually figured it out on our own. (If you are having difficulties, I’d recommend consulting with your healthcare provider.) With Lily, I had terrible engorgement, which caused really bad back pain. Again, though, it resolved itself in a few weeks and she nursed past two years old.
Unfortunately, several of my friends have had different experiences. Despite their plans and desires to breastfeed, they’ve been unable to. For these friends, I’m glad that infant formula is readily available and offers baby a variety of benefits.
One of my good university friends recently had her first baby. She’s dealt with chronic fatigue for quite a few years, and knows that drugs don’t generally agree with her, so she planned to give birth naturally. However, after a 40-hour labour, she ended up with an emergency C-section. Her chronic fatigue, her exhaustion from labour, and her body’s efforts to heal from the C-section (and the ensuing infection), meant she had little energy left.
After labour and delivery, she tried for several days to pump and nurse, but her son was still hungry. Switching to formula helped provide the baby with nourishment while she had time to heal, especially when Grandma was able to stay for the first month to do the nighttime feedings so my friend could get a full night’s rest. Recovery has been slow for her, but her son is thriving on his bottle of formula (and now Daddy often does the nighttime feedings).
Other friends of ours on the Island adopted their second daughter a year ago. She arrived at their home when she was a month old, and my friend spent several weeks learning how to mix up formula and sterilize bottles, while her circle of friends scrambled to help find everything she needed for the baby.
While my friend complained about how hard it was to go out with everything they needed for the baby, I thought about the fact that bottle-feeding the baby let Daddy and Big Sister help out too, making baby’s feeding time a bonding time for the whole family. That baby is celebrating her first birthday this month, and is an adorable little girl trying to crawl and taste new foods, who still enjoys her formula.
As moms, we all have dreams about just how motherhood will look. (My dreams included having Sunshine sleeping peacefully in her bassinet while I wrote a best-selling novel.) Often, though, motherhood looks very different than what we’d expected. We have to make decisions we never thought we’d encounter, about what’s best for baby and us.
My husband and I talk about the fact that parenting is not a one-size-fits-all; what works for us (or for our baby) might not work for you or your baby. Sure, breastfeeding is the optimal choice for infant nutrition; but sometimes, other health concerns mean that formula feeding is what’s best for both baby and mom.
Nestle Good Start infant formula offers baby a variety of benefits, including probiotics, small proteins for small tummies, and Omega 3 & 6 to support development. My university friend commented that not all formulas are the same, so take the time to research formulas for your baby. Nestle has quite a bit of information about their formula available on their website, making it easy for parents to learn more about the formula and how to feed baby.
This post is sponsored by Nestlé Canada. The opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect Nestlé Canada. Please consult your healthcare professional before introducing infant formula.