Feeling guilty about wanting to choose formula over breastmilk

  • here's my dilema: I am due in 3 weeks, I was initially on board 100% w/ breastfeeding, but after reading so many articles, I'm worried I will be tied down, get frustrated, and be so tired ( i only have 6 weeks maternity leave from my job). I want to give my baby the benefits of breastfeeding, but don't want to deal w/ the added stress. Any ideas on how to get over the guilt? 

  • I chose formula with my first and will be doing the same with my second child due in March. I decided on formula for many of the reasons you listed. I also wanted my husband actively involved in feedings to take burden off of me. Feedings are also a way for father and child to bond too. My job was also going to make pumping difficult and I didn't want the added stress of going back to work, leaving my baby, and then worrying about pumping before I leaked all over the place.

    My pedatrician was always very supportive of my choice for formula. He reiterated you need to do what is best for you. My son has no problem with the basic Similiac from birth until one year. He is a very health child 95% or higher on the growth and weight charts.

    You should not feel any guilts over making the right choice for you. I also explained to people my reasons for not breastfeeding and no one every questioned me further.  You will be fine.

  • Some people go out of their way to make you feel guilty about such things, but that just got me mad. You are permitted to raise your baby however you want to raise your baby. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

  • mcbraym-

    It sounds like you have thought things through pretty well and have made your decision based on this-i think it's great that you've done your research and that you are now looking for some support around this. It sounds like courteliz can relate to your feelings on this.  What I can tell you is that breast feeding is just one of many ways that you can care for your baby.  There are a lot of babies that are not breast fed that do well.  The one thing tht i want to encourage you to think about though is in regard to not having all or nothing thinking.  You certainly can breast feed for 2 weeks and have there be benefits from just that duration of time.  I totally support you in whatever you want to do, just make sure to notice all or nothing type thinking.


  • Thank you so much for the words of support!  you have def made me feel alot better :) It's amazing how many people can make you feel guilty about something such as how to care for your own child! 

  • Thanks! it's like one day i am 100% sure i want to bottle, then i change and decide i want to try breastfeeding in the hospital..but then it's like i don't want to start something and then stop. I feel like if i am going to commit to it i need to 100% ya know? I appreciate the kind words!

  • I encourage you to breast feed for as long as you can, even if that is only while you are in the hospital, trust me you and your baby will be so0o happy you did. Try it, if it isn't for you supplement until your milk supply goes down, you will benefit emotionally from this process!I

  • I'd say that every decision we make can have its pros and cons.  Let yourself focus on the pros of your decision.

    That being said, perhaps it would help for you to talk to someone about your specific concerns so that you can be sure that they are a real issue.  Have you talked to mothers who have successfully breasted?  I am one.  I am also a working mother who works outside the home full-time.  My daughter never had formula.  I did not feel tied down.  I did feel frustrated and tired.  I don't know a mother of a newborn (formula-feeding or breastfeeding) who didn't.

    There are strategies to balance everything.  I'd be happy to share what worked for me.  For instance.  I didn't feel tied down because I went out with my baby.  She slept quietly in a carrier while I did things like go to parties, have lunch dates, shop, etc.  I could even nurse her while carrying on with my daily activities.  I also didn't feel that tired because I didn't have to prepare bottles in the wee hours of the morning or spend time sterilizing bottle parts.  Also, my husband and I agreed that he'd do non-feeding related tasks--baths, diaper changes, etc.   Plus, he took care of me--cooking, laundry, etc.

    I don't know if your question is about guilt so much as about talking to some people who have successfully been through this.

  • I love the concept of looking at positives and negatives with every decision that we have to make. I'm wondering if you have made your lists of positives and negatives yet. I also want to remind you that you dont' have to make a decision to breast feed or not breast feed for every feed for this child's whole life. OFten we get stuck with black and white thinking-it's either one way or the other. It doesn't have to be this way at all. You can choose to breast feed for a bit, or for limited feedings. You can also choose to use formula this way. There is no perfect to this! I also want to encourage you to look through this webboard a bit as I am seeing several other posts of women sorting through this same decision. It may help to read what they have written as well. Keep us posted and let us know how we can help. hugs, Jess
  • Hey,why not give it a shot before making your decision.  I think BF for even one month is great!  Dont feel bad about formula. As long as you are nourishing your baby, who cares where is comes from!  I tried really hard, and hated pumping so I stopped before returning to work.  At least she got all the good antibodies though.  You never know you might think its great and convenient!  No bottle washing, no waiting for it to warm...etc.