Monday, June 5, 2017

Transitioning from Breastfeeding to Formula | Honest Co.

I'm joining The Honest Company in sharing my (breast)feeding story to potentially be featured on the Honestly Blog - where mother's unite to share the struggles and triumphs of feeding their babies.

Since my breastfeeding journey (read: mostly struggles) with baby #2 has been a popular post topic over the last several months, I wanted to bring it all together to where we currently stand with feeding and share how/why I transitioned from breastfeeding to formula.

The topic of feeding your baby can be a tough one to discuss considering "breast is best" is strongly encouraged by hospitals, nurses, doctors, fellow moms, and society in general. However, I, as well as The Honest Company, believe "fed is best". Spoiler alert, you CAN breast feed and formula feed! Or just formula feed! It doesn't make you any less of a wonderful mother, guaranteed.

There wasn't a doubt in my mind that I wanted to attempt breastfeeding with my second baby. I say the word attempt because let's face it... sometimes it just doesn't work out. With my first born, I lacked knowledge and patience therefore I wound up giving up on nursing and exclusively pumping for 7 months. Boy, was that a lot of work. This time, I attempted to give it 110%. It wasn't easy and I had to overcome different struggles than I did with my first experience. I learned first hand that no two babies and no two breastfeeding experiences are alike!

A little bit of history about my second experience with breastfeeding: ML exclusively nursed until he was 16 weeks old. He nursed every 1-2 hours - all day and all night. He cried during and/or after every single feeding. On top of chasing around a 16 month old, it was exhausting! I wanted to give up every day. But a sweet friend gave me the advice - never quit on a bad day. I continuously reached out to my lactation consultant and his pediatrician with doubts that something was wrong. Was he not latching correctly? Was he not getting enough milk? Was something wrong with him? Is he allergic to something I'm eating? Why is is crying every time he eats?! The only thing they could come up with was that he had severe reflux which was causing him discomfort while eating, then spitting up and eating frequent "cluster feeds". They encouraged me to continue nursing because breast milk would be easier on his reflux discomfort than formula.

Once ML began taking a bottle at 4 months old, I was able to pump and bottle feed as needed. (Hello, babysitter!) I continued to struggle with the frequent cluster feedings through the day and night until I began giving him bottles more often - which was around 6 months old. Bottle feeding did help with the cluster feedings although it didn't help with his discomfort. He continued to cry during and/or after almost every feeding. For several reasons, I decided to pump exclusively and bottle feed at this point - he was 6 months old. Due to the change from nursing to pumping my supply did decrease so I began taking a lactation supplement that I had used in the earlier stages of breast feeding. I also purchased a container of Honest Sensitive Organic Formula - which is made to mirror breast milk - to supplement feedings as needed.

Between the time of Mason being 6 months old and 8 months old, I had been in the process of seeing some doctors (5 to be exact) and trying to get to the bottom line regarding his discomfort. At this point, he was old enough where he shouldn't be suffering from reflux anymore (he rarely spit up at this point) and all along I had felt that there was something else going on with him. My Mama instincts were correct. At 7 months old, I learned that my baby had some severe food allergies - gluten, rye, corn, and eggs. He also had some small complications internally that are believed to be causing him some discomfort as well. You can read more about his diagnosis here.  As selfish as this sounds, that was when I knew it was time to wrap up breast feeding.

I transitioned from breast milk to Honest formula with my first born as well, so there wasn't a doubt in my mind to use Honest formula again. Especially because it doesn't contain any of the ingredients my son is allergic to! I set up a monthly bundle of the Sensitive Organic Formula and we began mixing breast milk with formula to begin the transition to 100% formula. Instantly, we began seeing an improvement in him! I took my time with the transition because I didn't want it to be too hard on his digestive system. I started with 2oz formula + 4oz breastmilk for two weeks. Then 3oz formula + 3oz breastmilk for one week. Then 4oz formula + 2oz breastmilk for one week. At 8 months old, he was officially transitioned to 100% formula. Additionally, I began supplementing his solid foods with the Honest multi powder dietary supplement to ensure he is getting the proper nutrients despite his food allergies and strict diet.

As a Mom, we tend to set high expectations for ourselves and we often beat ourselves up if we don't meet said expectations. I admit, when I made the decision to transition from breast milk to formula, I questioned my decision. I wondered if I should have changed my diet suitable to his allergies to be able to provide a "better" source of nutrition to him. But the reality is - transitioning to formula has been the best thing I could do for myself AND my baby. He is so much happier, he loves to eat and no longer cries during/after feedings, and I am much less stressed! I am so thankful that The Honest Company provides a premium organic, non GMO, gluten free formula!

If you'd like to give The Honest Company a try (feeding, vitamins, diapering, personal care and more) please use my referral link

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own. 



3 comments:

  1. More than anything, you should be SO PROUD of what you accomplished!! You went through a lot and never gave up, so proud of you girl!!

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  2. That picture of you both is so beautiful! Also ditto to ^^^^. You are a wonderful mama and doing a great job. I'm glad you gave yourself grace to switch to formula, and I'm so glad M seems to be going better! I hope you are less stressed too. That's important :)

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  3. You are such an amazing momma!! Love this post and picture of you and your little man!
    And I totally agree - fed is best! Thank you so much for helping me realize that too during my struggle with breast feeding <3

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