Less pressure to breastfeed with baby #3
For her third baby, Laura has given herself the gift of acceptance. Breastfeeding was a major priority for baby #1 and baby #2, yet this time around formula plays a starring role in her feeding journey. Without the guilt, she gushes over her happy, healthy, thriving baby boy. We asked Jacqueline Winkelmann, MD, FAAP and Bobbie Medical Advisor, to give her thoughts surrounding Laura’s pre-partum plan and ultimately her switch to formula feeding.
Dr Jacq: Just as the pregnancy and birth experiences can be radically different from one to another, so are the feeding journeys. I agree that trying to have a rigid agenda or plan can set women up to fail, or to feel ashamed or guilty if their “dream scenario” doesn’t become a reality. However, I do believe that, just like having a FLEXIBLE birth plan can be helpful, for a feeding plan, having the attitude (as Laura did) of “let’s see how it goes” is best. Knowing that whether it’s exclusive breastfeeding, combo feeding or strictly formula feeding, your child will grow, thrive and feel loved is extremely important, whether it’s your first or fourth baby.
When my first kid was seven months old, I was still so worried about her every bottle, her every nutrition— still concerned that I didn’t breastfeed her long enough that there would be an impact.Laura
Dr Jacq: I recommend exploring all feeding journeys ahead of time, to avoid the 3am internet search on how or what formula to feed your baby because you never thought during pregnancy you would need to use formula to feed your baby (and you are NOT alone, studies show most moms do not plan for formula feeding but find themselves needing to or choosing to formula feed sooner than they had anticipated).
Having 2 toddlers and a newborn can be overwhelming for anyone. Moms need to feel OK about asking for help, and that help may come in the form of formula supplementation or full formula feeding, and it is 100% OK!
I’m looking at my thriving beautiful baby boy, and just have the peace of mind that he’s getting all of the love and attention that I can give to him now, not having to worry about every ounce he’s consuming.Laura
Dr Jacq: Supplementing parents, you are not alone! Two things to mention here: 1) recent reports show that up to 83% of parents use some formula in their baby’s first year of life 2) newer studies show that early limited supplementation with formula can actually help moms who want to continue breastfeeding.
As health care providers (ob/gyn, pediatricians, family medicine specialists), I believe our PRE-PARTUM job is to discuss ALL feeding journeys with expecting parents, reassure them that they are ALL acceptable, and that there are many opportunities for bonding and caring for a baby besides breastfeeding.
To support you through your feeding journey (and to drown out the sound of the pump), we’re bringing parents a first of its kind guided meditation with our partners at Mindful Mamas. If Laura’s story resonates with you, we suggest listening to ‘What’s Natural Isn’t Always Easy’. Open the app below: Click Guided > Feeding Baby > What’s Natural Isn’t Always Easy. This content is brought to you free by the team at Bobbie through November 30th, 2021.