This Blog is Not About Baby Formula but…

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This blog is not about baby formula but… I was a formula feeding mom. It wasn’t what I had planned to do. It wasn’t something I’d even considered being an issue.

It was an emotionally draining journey from breastfeeding to formula.

I didn’t go gracefully. I didn’t go without a fight.

Formula Feeding Mom

I was a Formula Feeding Mom

I spent money on lactation consultations, supplements and more supplements, and equipment beyond my pump. I spent hours with my pump. I cried. My husband fed my son. I cried. I finger fed my baby because I was terrified of nipple confusion in the early weeks. I cried.

It took weeks for the logic of the bottom line to sink in.

My baby had to eat.

Babies have to eat.

I was a Formula Feeding Mom

My family supported my efforts although they also offered to support supplementing. I am pretty sure they were worried about me. But one day reality managed to overcome my new mom emotions.

My son was combination fed for the first four months of his life. He had my milk, milk donated from my sister-in-law, and formula. He spent the next eight months growing and thriving on baby formula.

Formula Feeding Mom at

Guess what?

My son is awesome.

He’s a healthy, growing toddler who is learning and amazing me each and every day.

Formula Feeding Mom: My Son

Are you a formula feeding mom? Are you a breastfeeding mom? Do you mix it up with a bit of both?

I have one thing I want you to know.

I support you. You are awesome.

Moms who feed their babies are awesome.

No matter how you do it.

Moms, you are amazing!


  1. says

    Tears sprung to my eyes when I read this post as I remembered my own journey. I was so committed to breastfeeding to the point of actually being hospitalized for exhaustion with my first babe (now 8 years old) because as much as I wanted SO badly to breastfeed, I was one of the women to whom it did NOT come at all easily, one who struggled in vain, tried everything, supplements, lactation consultants, pumping, etc etc etc and the supply was just not there. I was surrounded by people at the time who made me feel like CRAP for “giving up” and that’s the problem with adopting dogmas instead of connecting with people and empathizing with their struggle.

    Maybe I needed the lesson. I myself was quite judgmental toward formula feeding moms before I had my children because I am an activist for breastfeeding — but I judge NO ONE now. Even those who choose from birth to formula feed. It’s not my business and it’s not my place and I have such an empathy for those who HAVE tried, or do nurse for a while and decide for whatever personal reason to switch.

    Like your babe, my two children (who were both nursed, but primarily formula fed due to low supply issues) are THRIVING — they have no allergies, are not obese, have high IQs, and have bucked every other formula fear tactic thrown at me.

    Breast is ideal. We all know it’s God and nature’s perfect food and no one debates the health benefits. That said, we can’t get into dogma and judgments and think we can put ourselves in another mom’s shoes or position because they make a choice to formula feed. We need to uplift and support each other and keep an open dialogue so we can all understand each other and love one another.

    At the end of the day, we are on this journey as moms together and we’re all stronger when we stand TOGETHER.

    THANK YOU for sharing. @HillHouseRock

    • Mariah says

      Thank you for sharing your story Tara! I love to hear stories from others because we are not alone! Not matter how we feed our children, we all need to know that we are not alone!

      While I can agree that breast feeding is ideal, the focus that is sometimes put on it these days blows my mind. After having W and coming to the realization that he had to eat and he would be okay, I only have one thing I tell my friends after they have babies if they are struggling with breastfeeding. I simply tell them, “It’s okay. Feed your baby. Love your baby. Be happy.”

      Life is too short.

      No need to judge. Just to support! You are so right about that!

      Thank you again for sharing with me! I appreciate it!

  2. says

    YOU. Yes YOU and all the moms reading this are awesome moms! In the end, yes, our babies just need to eat and we shouldn’t be judged for however we feed them. Whether it’s formula or breastfeeding (in public) or however it happens. They need to eat! Thank you my dear friend, for sharing your story.
    Kerri (TheMaven) recently posted..Care packages for College Students

    • Mariah says

      Yep, it’s true. They need to eat and no one is any better of a mom than another as long as they are taking care of their child’s needs! Moms really need to come together more and more rather than feel divided by something as basic as loving and taking care of our children.

  3. says

    With both children I was able to breastfeed. And I’m currently still breastfeeding my 2 1/2 year old daughter. But when my son was a newborn we had to supplement with formula because he was jaundiced and my milk hadn’t come in yet. So he’s gotten both formula and breastmilk. I think the fact that he had bottles at such a young age helped the transition to breastmilk bottles when I was working because my daughter on the other hand, didn’t have her first bottle until over a month old and refused to drink from it. We went through every.single.nipple and bottle there was on the market with no luck :(

    I’m a breastfeeding mom and I support any mom who feeds their kid 😉
    Danielle recently posted..Register for the Sharp Women’s Health Conference San Diego 2013

    • Mariah says

      Congratulations on extended breastfeeding! Guess what? I support that too! I’m actually in awe about that because I cannot imagine doing it with my 40 pound toddler now. Although I suppose it wouldn’t be a big deal because we certainly put in a ton of super-close cuddle time each day!

      I’m glad you had such success breastfeeding and that you also had an option to help your son get off to a good start at life! :)

  4. says

    Love it! I breastfed all 4 of my girls, but could not with my son. After 6 weeks I had to move to formula. Just like W, he is growing and thriving and doing well. In the end I had that same struggle… my son had to eat. You ARE awesome! As are every woman out there simply caring for their child. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do. :)
    Staci recently posted..39 Years Worth of Me : Birthday Post

  5. Darlin says

    Thank you sooo sooo much for this post! I too am a formula mom not by choice but by issues starting with my son not wanting to latch on, then tongue tied (which was eventually ruled out) then to inverted nipples (who knew that was possible) then to nipple confusion, then to no milk supply. I tried for months but after 4 months I just was more stresses about that then enjoying my baby! I get a big “how could you” and “breast feeding is way better” and even to the point of embarrassed to say I gave my child formula because I would get the “look” from breast feeding moms about how I didn’t breast feed. It honestly was horrific! Being looked down at, made me feel like a bad mother for not breast feeding my child. Well it came down to yes my child is eating and I tried and I mean tried and if it didn’t work them sorry but at least I tried! My son is 2 crazy wild healthy and above his grown in age group. I did as parents are suppose to do and Feed my child in the only way I could, and though yes breasts feeding is the best, it’s not like I didn’t try

  6. says

    This post is AWESOME! I can’t even tell you how many people said to stop bf-ing my daughter before we stopped at 16months and I can’t tell you how many dirty looks I got with my son when I would supplement one bottle a day so I could sleep longer than 45 minutes each night. Babies need food, and you just gotta feed them however you can!
    Leanne recently posted..Tabtor Math personalized in-home iPad learning system for grades K-6 {$50 Visa giveaway}

  7. says

    I think with our first we have so many ideas of how we think it will happen and it always doesn’t. I also learned the hard way with my first. He was in the NICU since he was born at almost 34 weeks and lost so much weight. We were breastfeeding and I was pumping to help my supply come in but he kept loosing and had jaundice. I was given the choice to give him a prescription formula with a bottle or they would use a feeding tube. I was worried about nipple confusion but wouldn’t consider using a feeding tube to prevent it. After using a prescription formula every other feeding for the first month, I was able to breastfeed exclusively until he was 18 months old.

    As Mothers, we have to do what we have to do which is taking care of our little ones, no matter what. You have such a great outlook on it now! I hope your new arrival goes smoother but this time you will have a seasoned perspective knowing if she is here, fed and snuggled, all is good! <3
    Amanda recently posted..Baby! Oh, Baby! How should we wear?

  8. says

    This touches so close to home that tears still spring into my eyes. I was too naive and young to really focus on breastfeeding with my first and while I did breastfeed my second, I became selfish (work and personal reasons) and stopped at 4 months. Every day I regret not going longer. And with #3 it really was such an emotional rollercoaster. It’s upsetting that I couldn’t breastfeed her, but in the end – she needed to eat and I really needed to keep myself above the horrible emotional turmoil I was going through. I fully support any mom who feeds their baby! It’s more important than judging one another!
    Leila recently posted..My List of Must Have WordPress Plug Ins

  9. says

    I remember leaving the hospital completely frustrated with breast feeding. I had three different lactation consultants tell me different things and when my daughter was admitted to the children’s hospital two days later with jaundice, I blamed myself for not being able to feed her properly. I started supplementing with formula at that point and then a month later was formula exclusive. Do I wish I could have BF her longer, of course. BUT, more important for me was making sure she had the proper nutrition, no matter where it came from.
    Sarah BB @ East9thStreet recently posted..A Good Night with GoodNites Bedtime Underwear

  10. Jennifer Young says

    I agree, all moms are awesome! :)

    I breastfed my 2 girls the full year+ and loved every minute of it! We are planning on adopting child #3 internationally and the only thing I get caught up on is how I really wish I could breastfeed again. However, with the adoption plan we have, the child will most likely be 1-2 years old before we are able to bring him/her home so that’s not in the cards.

  11. shelly peterson says

    I chose not to breastfeed any of my four children and they all have grown to be healthy, active, smart children. Breastfeeding is great if thats what you choose and it works out for you, if not formula works just fine too.

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