A breastfeeding mom goes to formula

The past couple of months have been an adventure I admittedly did not spend a heck of a lot of time, thought or energy upon, but yet remains one that still has me scratching my head.

I gave my baby Jade formula.

Yes, me. The rah-rah-breastfeeding mom who loved the convenience and cost-efficiency of breastfeeding.

The worst part is that I have yet to even feel bad about it.

Jade has always been a happy baby. Social, cheerful, generally pleasant as far as babies go. But this summer she became, well, a mama’s girl. I figured it was because I was on summer break. I was with her all day. I was spoiling her. Of course she was going to reject people. Of course she was always going to take advantage and would want to nurse frequently. She obviously had turned into a pampered mama’s girl.

Her 6 month checkup changed the situation.

My husband took her in, being all set up for taking small children into the doctor’s office. He then reported that upon weighing, Jade had lost over a pound.

Suddenly the naughtiness of the summer took on a new meaning. Our baby may have been just about starving.

Though I took pride in the quantity of the milk I pumped, something wasn’t going quite right. For one reason or another, Jade was losing weight. Jade was not getting the nutrition she needed.

Here’s where fate led us, to that dreaded moment scorned on all the mommy/breastfeeding forums: The doctor recommended formula.

So… we pulled out the box I had received from Amazon Vine. We pulled out the sample can from the hospital. And, by golly, we gave our baby formula. And when those supplies ran out, we went to the store and bought formula.

My one sadness during this? Formula is sure freakin’ expensive. I mean, wow, you either have to be super-rich or able to receive WIC to afford formula. Luckily, we do have the money and Jade is eating solids. I also continued to breastfeed her whenever she wanted it.

The Interweb, however, almost seems to deem me a failure without be even turning to it. I gave my baby formula. I should be ashamed of myself, or mourning the misfortune that led to this moment.

But Jade gained weight. She became a happy baby again. And a few weeks’ short of a year, we’re slipping her the much-cheaper cow’s milk.

And I’ve yet to feel any sorrow. I know what the Interweb says I should be feeling, but it’s not there. Maybe it’s because I still consider myself a breastfeeding mom, just one doing it for comfort and supply upkeep rather than to fully nourish my child. I’ll make that lovely one-year mark and I’ll keep going if we wish to.

I just have one lingering question… why is using formula such a big deal?

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