I always thought I would be a breastfeeding mom. After all, almost everyone I knew breastfed their babies exclusively. Then I had my first baby and couldn't make enough breast milk. So I switched to formula, thinking that was my only option. It wasn't until I had my second child that I learned that combo-feeding — using breast milk and formula to feed your baby — was a thing. I also learned there are more than a few reasons why a combo-feeding mom is the BFF everyone needs.
I'm serious, you guys. You see, when I decided to combo-feed, I felt stuck in a weird limbo between infant-feeding cultures, even though most moms use formula to some degree. Many of my breastfeeding friends low-key shamed me for using formula, constantly asked me if I had "tried everything" to make more milk, and even kicked me out of a La Leche League meeting when I brought out a bottle because I wasn't a "real" breastfeeding mom. It was mortifying and heartbreaking. My formula-feeding friends didn't understand why I continued breastfeeding when I didn't make enough breast milk, and were confused when I didn't switch to formula full-time. They made comments about it and asked me when I planned on stopping.
The truth, of course, was that I liked breastfeeding and formula-feeding. I enjoyed feeling like I got the best of both worlds, and I wanted to continue as long as it was working for me and my baby. It wasn't until I made other combo-feeding friends that I felt supported in feeding my baby, was able to obtain realistic advice on how to do it, and was able to confidently whip out a bottle or boob in public without feeling like a crappy mom. Every new mom needs a friend who she can be herself with, and for me, that was definitely a combo-feeding mom.