When Things Don’t Go As Planned


When I became pregnant for the first time I knew right away that I wanted to breast feed. I wanted the bonding experience, I heard the expert recommendations, I took pride knowing that I would be sustaining her little life and providing her all the nutrients she needed at the time. Lucky for me my big 10lb 8oz baby girl came ready to eat. She nursed right away and we never had any issues. I take that back – I had mastitis right after my milk came in and it was awful – but it was a small set back on our year-long feeding journey. I weaned her on her first birthday exactly. It just worked out that I would be returning to work the following week, but I never had plans to nurse her longer anyway. She was well onto solid foods, too busy for nursing, and no longer nursed to fall sleep.

So when I became pregnant again almost six years later, I just assumed things would go exactly as they did my first time around. Wrong. Another healthy, large baby (this time 9lb 2oz) she latched on right away as well, but by the time we left the hospital I knew things weren’t right. The biggest indication that something wasn’t right was how painful it was nursing her. I talked to the lactation consultants there, and hey – I had done this before, so I knew it was not supposed to hurt like that. They taught me some different positions to try, and assured me we just needed to get the right latch from the get go. We were discharged and sent on our way. Within a few days I was sobbing at every feeding, not only from the unbearable physical pain, but also because I felt like such a failure that I just wasn’t doing something right. I scoured the internet, talked to Mommy friends, and just kept trying to push through hoping things would get better. Finally it was time for our one week check-up. At our appointment we learned that I had developed a staph infection that would need serious antibiotics, and Sophia was losing weight and had developed thrush. I was devastated. After consulting with my husband and our pediatrician we decided the best route at this point to get everyone back on track would be to switch to formula.

It was so hard for me to make that first bottle. I had to let go of my idea of how things were “supposed” to go. I had to accept the fact that breast is best unless it’s not. Once I got over that, it was smooth sailing. Sophia began to gain weight, I was healing, and finally free to enjoy the bonding of snuggling with my baby girl while she ate. Even better, this change allowed Dad to get in on the action as well. (All the better when that was 2am).

bottle feeding what I've learned

There was a definite learning curve, as it definitely wasn’t what I was used to. Always remembering to take a bottle with us if we were leaving the house. Worrying about temperature, air bubbles, or which brand of formula and bottles to buy. Breast feeding takes all the guess-work out for you – it’s always ready to go at the perfect temperature.

We started with Enfamil newborn and transitioned to Enfamil AR after a few epic spit-ups. After making the switch she had no problems. We use the Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow, not just because they’re pink ,but that didn’t hurt either. Sophia actually got thrush one more time and this time because we were over-washing our bottles. I thought I was doing a great job being thorough, but our pediatrician explained how important it is to wash out all of the soap residue and thoroughly rinse after washing. Apparently the residual soap can kill the good bacteria in baby’s mouth and allow the bad bacteria to grow (thrush).

So if you find yourself making the decision between breast-feeding or bottle feeding – my encouragement would be to talk to your support team: your spouse or partner, doctor, mom, mommy friends, and us! The Tarrant County Breast Feeding Coalition has a lot of great information and resources on their site. I also highly recommend finding a lactation consultant that you like and feel comfortable with. Part of me feels like that would have made a difference in our situation and prevented things from getting so bad by the one week check. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you want to breast feed but are unable to, don’t let the guilt or disappointment of not being able to upset you. Remember that happy mommies make happy babies. Regardless what feeding method you choose, be an encouragement to other mothers and don’t judge them for their choice. The important thing is doing what is best for you and your little one – be it breast or bottle!


  1. Supporting each other as mommies is SO important. As important as the breast/bottle debate is, each year we start dealing with more and more debates and decisions (preschool, public v. private schools, when do we let them get their driver’s license, etc) and we need the encouragement that we are all doing the best we can for our babies! Thank you for the reminder!


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