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Breastfeeding is an extremely controversial subject sometimes. I’ve read and heard many hurtful and snarky remarks about breastfeeding.
I am a big supporter of women breastfeeding their baby. I truly feel that it is the best option out there for feeding your baby, hands down.
I really wish that when it comes to this subject that women would be more supportive of each other and trust that they know what is best for them and their baby. I try not to be judgmental when it comes to breastfeeding because to be honest I have had it pretty easy. Plus I usually have no idea what is really going on in their lives.
I’m also a big supporter of eating a whole food, nutrient-dense diet while you’re breastfeeding as well so your breast milk has the best nutrition for your baby. Of course people argue that a mother’s diet doesn’t affect her nutritional make up of her breast milk. That does not make any sense to me whatsoever. If that were true I feel like what you eat shouldn’t affect your baby at all (e.g. pepperoni gives my baby BAD gas!)
There are also people who feel the need to be crazy about breastfeeding in public. I for one really don’t care when people breastfeed in public. I would totally breastfeed in public simply because it’s easier and sometimes SUPER annoying to stop what you’re doing and find some secluded private place to do it. Many public places I have found, at least here in Utah, do their best to provide places JUST for breastfeeding, which I really appreciate.
However, for a whole slew of reasons, breastfeeding in public makes some people very uncomfortable. Unfortunately that is how our society is. It probably isn’t going to change anytime soon and I’m not one to rock the boat unless my family or religion is being compromised. Hats off to people who do rock the boat! Many good things have come about from people rocking the boat.
I digress . . .
This post is actually about women who want to breastfeed their beautiful babies but for whatever reason(s) they are not able to. I kind of know what it feels like not to be able to breast feed.
When my little Ryker was born, my milk did not come in for about 3-4 days and we fed him what the hospital provided. I had taken a breastfeeding class and done lots of research and feeding him formula was NOT a long-term option for me.
It KILLED me having to feed him commercial soy based formula those first days. Not to mention he was c-section (that kid’s head is MASSIVE! Like off the charts massive . . . thanks Dad and Grandpas!) and had been given several doses of antibiotics. This is NOT what I pictured his first days of life would be like.
Fast forward 3 weeks and little man is STILL NOT breastfeeding! That little punk fell in love with the bottle and, to be honest, I was not the best at teaching him how to breastfeed every meal. For me, it was too stressful sometimes to try and breastfeed when all he would do was SCREAM bloody murder in combo with me being sleep deprived and recovering from surgery.
There were several times when Cameron had to come take him because I just broke down in tears. I felt like I wasn’t a good mother because I couldn’t even feed my child normally and I felt rejected. Seriously, sleep deprivation does BAD stuff to you!
But I kept trying and trying and he FINALLY decided that breastfeeding wasn’t so bad! Now, he has to be coaxed to take a bottle.
Towards the end of those first couple of weeks, I was starting to think about doing something else besides this non-stop cycle of pumping, feeding, and cleaning out bottles ALL day long. Let me tell ya, this baby is a chunkster and loves to eat!
After looking at many different formulas I decided that buying a commercial formula from Walmart was not an option. Even organic formula isn’t the best option for babies, which I explain later. What in the world is a parent to do?
If I were unable to breastfeed my baby here are my top 3 alternatives to baby formula:
1. Milk Share
Not gonna lie, when I first heard about milk sharing I thought it was weird. But then I thought why is that weird? Shouldn’t it be weird that we drink milk from a cow or give babies dried, processed powder mixed with water?
Plenty of women have A TON of breast milk, most of which is probably just going to go down the drain. When Ryker doesn’t finish his bottle (I give him cod liver once a day now) and I have to dump it down the drain, a little part of me dies inside. My body worked hard to make that stuff! Shoot!
Of course there are risks involved with milk sharing. You obviously have to make sure that the person you’re getting your milk from doesn’t have any communicable diseases, their diet is adequate, and they are preserving their milk properly. You could ask for medical screenings and blood work results. You can also heat treat the donated milk, but destroys some of the nutritional aspects.
Hopefully you have a good friend to get donations from so you don’t have to worry about that stuff.
Milk donators don’t usually get paid to donate their milk and some consider it unethical to ask for donations. But as a recipient, you can help them out with paying for supplies and shipping.
There are several milk sharing websites out there that have lots of information and resources for you to use. Some of the more popular sites are:
2. Make Homemade Formula
You can make formula at home?! Yes ma’am (or sir)!
If you haven’t noticed, we subscribe to a real food, nutrient dense diet. Being able to make formula at home makes it so I know everything that is going into my formula. Knowing that it is free of nasty chemicals and preservatives would give me peace of mind.
There is a very in depth article about everything you need to know about making your own formula at home. In this article there are the actual recipes, a how-to video, price comparisons, and nutrient comparisons. Plus there’s a place where you can buy the formula in a kit!
I LOVE that there are people out there who make this stuff so readily available!
3. Organic Formula
I know I said before that organic formula still has questionable ingredients, BUT it is still better than the non-organic formula. Organic formula comes from healthy cows that weren’t given antibiotics or fed GMO feed, and the sweeteners and oils weren’t grown with nasty pesticides.
Food Babe has an in-depth article about several different organic formulas and what they all have in them. I recommend reading that to help you make a good decision about which formula you want to buy.