Enfamil NeuroPro™ sponsored this post so I could share my true journey from breastfeeding to formula feeding and transitioning back to work.
First and foremost, THANK YOU to all of you amazing ladies and mamas who poured in with comments of support and your own personal stories in response to my last post about formula feeding, both here and on IG. It was a bit nerve-racking for me to share, partially because the incidents that led to our decision to formula feed early on were so traumatic for me, partially because I was worried about the potential mom shaming. But that’s the exact reason I shared, to bring light to the fact that how we feed our babies is a personal decision, and no parent should ever feel embarrassed, ashamed, or depressed about it. Lots of your stories broke my heart… some of you told me that not being able to breast feed drove you to postpartum depression, and some of you didn’t even want to share the fact that you were formula feeding with your own families for fear of what they might think. But I think it’s time we together break that stigma and celebrate the fact that there is a healthy alternative to breast milk to help our babies get all the nutrition they need, not to mention ease our lives a bit. Bottom line, no more mom shaming, fed is best.
To bring you up to speed in case you haven’t read my last post, I didn’t get my milk in soon enough after delivering so our pediatrician asked us to start feeding her formula to supplement. Then, only 3 weeks later, I was hospitalized and on heavy antibiotics for appendicitis, lost my milk supply, and chose to start formula feeding regularly. We’ve been feeding our daughter Enfamil NeuroPro since then, first as a supplement, and then exclusively at 6 weeks old. Our daughter continues to grow to be healthy and strong and I haven’t regretted our decision once.
Another great thing about formula feeding is that you can share feedings with your partner, best friend, mom, etc., which is especially great for mamas that need/want to return to work. I started jumping back into jobs about 6 weeks after delivering and can’t imagine that having been easily possible had I been full time breastfeeding still. I know many moms do it, and more power to you, but so many of you reached out to me and told me in DMs that you wish you had taken it easier on yourselves and allowed your babies to supplement with formula when you went back to work because between waking up at the crack of dawn to feed, then pump, then go to work, then pump more, come home and feed and pump for the rest of the night, you were so drained you barely felt human anymore. Babies need healthy, rested, positive mamas, and if that means making the decision to supplement a few feedings, or transition altogether to formula to support your own health, that’s a considerate choice not just for yourself, but also for your baby in the long run.
Transitioning back to work is no easy task for any mama and can be so emotionally heart wrenching. I was really worried that in me going back to work full time, Alessandra would face separation anxiety, or worse that our bond wouldn’t be as strong. I’ve been so pleasantly surprised with how well she’s adjusted and has become seemingly more independent and confident, and I think that may be much in part due to the shared feedings. I think because she’s so used to being fed by others outside of me, the adjustment wasn’t so jolting. I’m happy to see her growing to be so strong and outgoing now, and doing so well with my mom or our amazing part time nanny when I’m not with her! At first, I thought it would make me sad, but seeing her thrive on her own really helps me to know I’m doing the right thing, and helps me stay focused when working. Staying efficient at work is more important than ever now with a little one because getting my work done in a more timely manner, means more time I get to spend with her!
If you follow along on IG Stories, you know Alessandra is now on the verge of crawling, I can really see her following along and taking in what I’m reading to her during story time, and she lovessss playing with her baby friends! It’s so fun to sit them face to face and see them genuinely interacting and excited about one another!
Seeing how well she’s developing and has adjusted to me working and traveling more has really eased my mind and erased those initial concerns I had. I think the most important thing to keep in mind as mamas is that the transition back to work can be possibly even harder on us than it is on our babies. So go easy on yourself, don’t try to be a superhero and handle every household chore, social engagement and beyond, one step at a time, you and your baby are doing great!
As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read the blog and share your comments and personal stories with me too! I always appreciate the support and love hearing your feedback.