The entire time I was pregnant, I did not plan on breastfeeding. I was not breastfed, and my mom had issues breastfeeding my older sister. They tried for one month, and they both ended up in tears constantly, and my sister was not gaining weight. When my mom finally tried formula, my sister became fat and happy :-) And for me, it was formula from Day 1, and I was also a happy, fat baby. So formula worked wonders for my mom. I figured that my experience would be similar.
Furthermore, breastfeeding kind of freaked me out. To tell you the truth, it freaked me out and it grossed me out. I felt uncomfortable with the thought of having a baby on my boob, and was also terrified after reading in "What To Expect" about sore, cracked nipples, clogged ducts, engorgement, etc. And to top it all off, after 9 months of pregnancy I was looking forward to drinking wine again!
But in the back of my mind I knew that breast milk was best for baby. I told my doctor that I was completely on the fence about breastfeeding, and that I honestly did not think it was for me or my lifestyle. I graduated from law school at the same time baby was born and was immediately enrolled in a bar review course that met 5 nights a week for 4 hours. Breastfeeding seemed like too much of a time commitment.
My doctor told me, "If you are on the fence about it, just breastfeed! You can always quit. Whereas, if you start with formula and change your mind, you can't go back." So I took his advice. At the hospital, after birth I was asked if I would breastfeed. I reluctantly said, "Sure, I'll give it a whirl." Well, my baby latched on with little to no problem, and she was eating for a good 8 to 10 minutes each time. Then she had her first poop and the nurses told us it was a good breast milk poop. We were thrilled. Then I continued to breastfeed at home, and figured I would do so until the review course started.
My baby was thriving on breast milk, and gaining lots of weight, I could not bear the thought of switching. My mom told me formula babies sleep better and that it would be better for my study schedule. Well, I tried giving her formula, and she refused it. Then I tried mixing half formula and half breast milk, she drank the whole thing, but then she was awake up until her next feeding which was breast milk, and she slept through the night after that. So I was convinced that breast milk was the best thing for her, easy on her stomach, and made her sleep just as well if not better than formula.
I took my manual pump and cooler to class with me every night and pumped on our 10 minute breaks. There was always enough milk for my husband to feed her bottles while I was gone. I am also so happy with the fact that when I wake up at night or early morning to feed her, I do not have to hassle with bottles! Breastfeeding is SO easy. Of course there were ups and downs in the first 8 weeks, but it was all manageable and totally worth it.
The decision to breastfeed was one that took a while. I had no goals in mind, and no preconceived notions about breast milk vs. formula. I just tried it, and it worked for me!
Just try it, even if it is just for one day.
Mom (27) Baby (3 months)