I know that Liam is hungry. In fact, at his check-up on Monday, he had only gained 2 ounces in 2 months. I’ve tried experimenting feeding him every 2 hours, 3 hours, pumping in the middle of the night, fenugreek supplements for me, cutting back on exercising, increasing my caloric and water intake, and sleeping more. Lately, I’ve been supplementing him with some previously stored breast milk that I had in the freezer so that he sleeps better and is happier. But, I have now depleted that stock. I need to supplement him with formula, but I feel guilty.
Guilty over not providing for my child. Not being good enough for him. Could I have eaten/drinken more? Been more persistent about pumping after feeds? Not exercising as often? Not shown him the pacifier?
Guilty because of what other mothers will think of me. That I wasn’t strong enough. I didn’t work hard enough. That I am quitting too soon.
Guilty because formula isn’t as nutritional and is an added expense for my family. I do the grocery shopping and formula isn’t cheap. Shoot, they keep it behind the counter because people steal it. Being as though I don’t financially support the family, I feel guilty that I’m in control of his food supply at the moment and am having to buy what I should normally be able to provide for him for free (financially speaking).
Guilty because I’m starving my child if I don’t supplement.
It has taken a few days for me to get over this guilt and ego of mine. After talking with some fellow new mothers who are also having to supplement to make for a happier baby, it took a load off of me. I no longer feel the invisible burdon from my peers. I’ve talked to my husband, and he made it clear to me that buying formula is just something we need to do. It’s okay and feeding our child is obviously in the budget. And finally, I’ve had a good long conversation with myself and there will be many more challenging decisions to be made. I mean, come on, curfews, grades, girls, discipline, etc. We just want our baby to be happy and healthy. Supplementing is not the end of the world. It’s a necessity for us.
What do you think about supplementing? Formula feeding? Guilt?