During my last visit to the polyclinic, I overheard a conversation between a mother and a healthcare provider. The mother was asked the standard set of questions which included this – “are you breastfeeding or giving infant formula?”. She replied that she was giving her baby formula milk and went on to give a few reasons why, which I felt was totally unnecessary. She should not feel pressured to explain this to anyone.
Recently, my husband and I decided to feed my 5 and a half month baby formula milk (FM) instead of breast milk (BM) for his last feed of the day. I must say, it is one of the best decisions we made. After the switch, he now sleeps at least 8 to 9 consecutive hours. On nights that he wakes up in the wee hours (rarely though), i will still latch him just so he goes back to sleep quickly. With the baby sleeping longer hours, this also means I get to spend time with my elder child or just get some me time. As a result, I am less tired, less impatient and thus, can care for my two kids better.
While many people will say breast is best, I personally think breast is best only if the mother’s well being is not compromised. No one should feel ashamed of themselves for choosing to give their child FM over BM regardless of the reason. If giving my child BM causes me to be physically and emotionally drained, then I would rather give him something that is good enough – FM. As long as I know my child is well fed and well cared for, nothing else matters.