This post is sponsored by Enfamil Enspire
Formula or breast milk? That is a complicated question that inspires endless conversation. But really, you don't have to choose one or the other: you can choose both. Here is our family's story about why we decided to supplement with formula to feed our baby.
We got off to a very rocky start feeding our first child. I had planned on breastfeeding, but things didn't quite work out. My son's first attempt at nursing was extremely painful. Unfortunately, I assumed the pain was part of the deal and I let him nurse through the night.
When the hospital lactation consultant popped in the next day, I told her I had, well, some concerns about my bruised and bleeding nipples. After taking a peek at the damage, she explained that my sweet newborn had latched improperly, and had likely not gotten any milk.
While that explained why my hungry baby seemed just as miserable as I was, I was devastated, as well as a little embarrassed. I thought breastfeeding would be this beautiful, natural thing…I assumed my child and I would spend our first hours gazing at each other and feeling a magical connection. Instead, we had both cried all night.
And so we started formula right away in the hospital, allowing time for my breasts to heal before we tried again. As it turned out, my milk supply never came in very well, so we continued to supplement with formula.
When our second son, Beckham, was born, I felt more confident at the outset of our breastfeeding journey. I reached out to the lactation consultants to make sure we didn't make the same mistakes as last time. Beckham nursed wonderfully, and we left the hospital with a plan.
Of course, as any parent will tell you, things never go as planned when you have kids. At our first trip to the pediatrician, we discovered Beckham had jaundice. Jaundice occurs when there is too much bilirubin in the blood. After a follow-up visit confirmed our baby had lost a significant amount of weight, our pediatrician suggested supplementing with formula.
So, despite my plan to exclusively breastfeed my second child, I chose to supplement my breastfeeding again. Because a healthy, happy baby is what matters most.
Choosing a Formula
There are several formula types to choose from, and your pediatrician can help you figure out which is best for your baby. We chose Enfamil® Enspire™ because it's a milk-based infant formula with everything babies need to support growth, brain and eye development, immune system function, and gut health.
It's the only commercially available infant formula in the U.S. that has lactoferrin added as an ingredient. Lactoferrin is also found in breast milk and colostrum, and supports the immune system. Enfamil Enspire also has MFGM and DHA, a fat-protein blend previously only found in breast milk, which supports cognitive development.
Enfamil Enspire also has prebiotics that promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria to support the immune system.
Talk to your pediatrician about what baby formula is best for your child.
Combining Breastfeeding and Formula-Feeding
We've settled into a great feeding routine since we started supplementing. Beckham transitions easily from bottle to breast. He likes to nurse in the morning and in the evening, and he often wakes up at night for a short dream feed. During the day, we nurse as it fits our schedule, and we feed him formula in between. If we are on the go, I can make a bottle and not worry about trying to find a place to nurse him and get him comfortable so he'll latch.
When we were considering having a second child, my biggest concern was how it would impact my firstborn. My husband works a lot, and I wasn't sure how I would manage caring for a newborn while keeping up with a 5-year-old. Breastfeeding is a job in itself; it requires a significant amount of time.
When we did have our second, those worries turned out to be real; I struggled with feeding Beckham every few hours in addition to getting his older brother to school, soccer, and swim lessons. Trying to do it all quickly became overwhelming, and I was definitely stressed out.
Thankfully, my husband and my doctor both reminded me that a fed baby is best, and a happy mommy is just as important as a happy baby. Supplementing with formula gave me a chance to let my husband help out so I could get some sleep. It let me feed my hungry baby and not worry about whether my milk supply was low or if he was getting the nutrition he needed. And it let me enjoy my growing family without feeling like I had failed at being a mom when my older child needed me too.
This post is sponsored by Enfamil in partnership with BabyCenter. All opinions are truthful and my own.