A few weeks before my due date, my mom and I were strolling the baby store aisles, when we stopped short before shelves of breast pumps. That's when my mother declared -- loudly -- that she didn't know a thing about nursing, so yep, I was all on my own. "Honey, maybe you should buy some formula," -- the route she took with me -- "just in case?"
No surprise there for most new moms, I guess. The breastfeeding vs. formula debate's fraught with highly emotional Mommy Wars-esque screeds on both sides -- and I'm not here to add to it.
I liked nursing my daughter, Roxane, exclusively for her first 4 months. As editor of Mama Bite, I know the health and eco benefits of nursing, and the convenience aspect can't be beat. Got a boob? You're good to go. No refrigeration, no containers. Plus the fact that all your baby weight vanishes as a result is, well, delicious.
That said, I despised pumping -- and between the stress, a full-time workload, and lack of sleep, my body couldn't manage breastfeeding anymore and I had to make the switch to formula. Plenty of land mines there too. Formula may be one of the most highly regulated products in the world, but it's still a man-made experiment compared to breastmilk, which in the case of my newborn daughter, kinda rankled my green sensibilities.
But I got over it. I rejected the SuperMom guilt, stopped worrying (much) about chemicals, and bought organic formula and BPA-free bottles. And I reminded myself (as my mom did too) that I grew up on formula and somehow turned into a well-adjusted person -- for the most part.
Plus, it's really nice to tip back an extra glass of Malbec and not have to worry about "my supply." Roxane, now 8 months, is a happily bottle-fed baby who's thriving on organic formula... and lots of love.