As I've mentioned, formula-feeding moms can often feel guilty or second rate as care givers. Even breastfeeding moms may lament having to pump and feed their baby expressed breast milk, because lets face it, a bottle isn't the real deal. The pressure women have on themselves (self-imposed and otherwise) is outrageous and in the field of Motherhood, where the steaks are paramount, it's all the more true.
So I've compiled a list to celebrate my current reality as a bottle-feeding mom.
This is not an anti-breastfeeding post. Many of the moms I know who use bottles often have breast milk in them! It's just a bottle feeding mom's attempt at looking on the bright side :)
I can't change it, so I might as well appreciate the hand I've been dealt.
My conclusion: I love bottle feeding!
- I can see how much my babies have drank
- I can more easily estimate how long a feed will last
- I can measure growth spurts by milk consumed
- My husband can take the night shift (hello!)
- I can involve Lily in the feeding process. Just this week she started wanting to hold the bottle for Oli and it melts.my.heart.
- I know when my babies are actually eating and when they're just "non-nutritive sucking"
- I can feed Lily and Oli at the same time
- I don't have to have Oli in my lap to feed him (last week Oli was in his carseat and I was in the driver's seat waiting for a friend and reached back and fed Oli without leaving my seat)
- I can feed my babies anywhere without worrying about modesty (take this from someone who has breastfed at Atwater metro by a crowd of homeless onlookers. It's not my cup of tea)
- I can be away from my baby for more than a couple of hours. (this was hugely important when I was really ill this week and friends took care of Oli for two days)
- Family members can bond with my babies in a similar way (I think we'd all agree, giving a baby their feeding is very intimate and amazing, no matter how it's administered!)
- I can accept outside help with feedings. (when I was breastfeeding I was often frustrated when people would offer to help, thinking "sure, can you breastfeed!?", as it was the largest area of "help" I felt I needed)
- Bottles are really portable (light, small)
- Formula can be made in seconds
- There's still an art to it - when I was breastfeeding there was a sense of importance that I felt knowing I was the only one who could do what I was doing, for my baby. Even with bottle feeding part of that's still true. Last weekend my mom, aunt, and grandma were visiting and they all tried to feed a cranky Olivier. They all tried and concluded that "he's not hungry", but as soon as he was in my arms, he guzzled down his milk quickly and peacefully. He still knows his mama's milk :)