For some women, it can be a difficult decision to bottle feed your baby rather than breastfeed. So many mothers set out to breastfeed their babies, but milk production or infections or pain or other complications end up forcing them to bottle feed. However,for other moms, formula feeding isn't a tough call at all. Not everyone is able (or willing) to breastfeed, and while breastfeeding can definitely make a mother's life easier, there are ways formula feeding can make your life so much easier, too.
We're all different, and we've all got our own unique circumstances or preferences when it comes to feeding our babies. Honestly, the only thing that really matters is that our babies are being fed, whether that's by the boob or by the bottle. So, for those that have chosen (or have been forced) to forgo breastfeeding, you may have encountered some unfair stigma around how you're feeding your kid. No one should ever be judged for formula feeding, but we don't live in a perfect world and withstanding judgment is, sadly, a pretty normal part of a mother's life.
Because of that judgment and shame and stigma, many mothers aren't aware of the benefits of formula feeding, and I'm not just talking about the nutritional aspects of it (which are great, in case you were wondering). There are several other factors to consider when opting for bottles and formula, many of which will make your life immensely easier.
So, shake off that counter-productive shade others may or may not be throwing at you, and consider the following 11 ways your life is going to get easier if you've chosen (or need) to formula feed.
Feedings Are Shared
New parent exhaustion is like nothing else you will ever experience in your life, especially if you're breastfeeding on demand. Whether you've decided to use formula exclusively or just supplement bottles at night, being able to share the duties of feeding with your partner is priceless.
New moms don't exactly sleep soundly for, well, I'm not really sure when that happens actually because I've yet to experience it, but I do know that sharing feedings at night and getting an extra 20 minutes of uninterrupted semi-sleep while your partner feeds that baby is kind of amazing.
Your Boobs Don't Have To Be Available To Someone Else All The Time
If you're formula feeding, you're able to reclaim certain parts of your anatomy that your baby had previously claimed as their own. Having complete body autonomy, something you probably haven't had since you've been pregnant, can feel like absolute freedom.
Your Partner Can Spend Time Bonding With Baby, Too
Your partner really doesn't get a ton of one-on-one time with your baby if you're breastfeeding exclusively. If you decide to formula feed though, they're able to spend a few extra minutes connecting and bonding with your baby while they feed them. Sharing the responsibility can really benefit everyone involved.
Your Boobs Stop Leaking
Hallelujah! Once your milk supply has subsided and your breasts have settled into their new normal they will stop leaking! Our bodies do amazing things when we breastfeed, but they also do some, um, weird things.
Seriously, if you're breastfeeding you've got to be very mindful of your wardrobe on public outings because something as minor as seeing or hearing another baby cry can trigger your brain to produce milk. However, if you're formula feeding you're able to wear gray t-shirts outside of your home without the burden of potential embarrassment riding on your shoulders. It's the little things...
You Know Exactly How Much Your Baby Is Eating
Women that breastfeed may find that they aren't completely sure how much their babies have had during each feeding, because they're not able to measure (unless they're pumping). For that reason, breastfed babies sometimes feed more frequently because, well, they might be eating less at each feeding.
Mamas that decide to formula feed have the added benefit of knowing exactly how much their baby is eating each time, which is not only great information to have, but definitely provides some peace of mind.
At A Certain Point, Babies Can Feed Themselves A Bottle
Once your baby gets a little older (and as early as the six month mark for some babies) they may be able to hold their own bottle while they feed. Though feedings generally don't last too long, it's still a little victory for busy moms that don't have nearly enough hours in the day to get things done or, I don't know, take care of themselves. Seriously, 20 extra minutes of having your hands free is pretty life changing.
Literally Anyone Can Feed The Baby If You Aren't Available Or Around
You don't just have to share feedings with your partner if your baby is formula fed, you can share them with pretty much anyone; grandma, grandpa, your great aunt Sue, the mailman, whoever. This might give you and your partner some much needed one-on-one time together, while someone else temporarily takes care of your little one.
Your Boobs Return To A Somewhat "Normal" State
Your boobs might bounce (no pun intended) right back into their usual state of awesomeness after you've had your baby, but for a lot of women they're never quite the same. Not that that's a bad thing because it's definitely not, but it does affect things like bras and wardrobes (screw you, button up shirts).
Once you stop breastfeeding you no longer have to worry about the daily ups and downs of your bust line, since they're no longer filling up with milk when it's time for your baby to eat. They'll eventually settle into their new normal and you'll never even have a second thought about it. Again, it's the little things.
It's Way Easier To Feed A Baby A Bottle While Out Running Errands
If you're comfortable breastfeeding in public that's incredible, but not everyone feels that way while they breastfeed. There are ways to breastfeed in public without feeling exposed, but if you're formula feeding, that's not something that you'll ever have to worry about (though you should definitely support the mamas out their soldiering through the occasional harassment while breastfeeding in public).
You Are Free To Get Other Things Done If Someone Else Is Feeding The Baby
Cooking, cleaning, working, exercising, napping, some necessary self-care; you name it.
Does this one really need an explanation? Hello, 5 o'clock!