STRICTLY FORMULA FEEDING FROM BIRTH IS AN OPTION!
Did you know that Dr. Young from @BabyFormulaExpert has a “How to Choose Confidently Choose a Formula for Your Unique Angel” course? It goes over everything – ingredients and how to choose the right formula (think gassiness, milk intolerance, digestive issues – maybe you need to make a change!). Click here and use code BUMBLE for discount.
There are various reasons for choosing to formula feed – from personal opinion, to previous low breastmilk supply (or oversupply!) issues, breast surgeries, adoption, or so you can take medication postpartum. WHATEVER your reason, this is YOUR reason, and you don’t need to justify it to anyone!
Questions about which formula to use or how to choose a formula?Check out my formula post here.
With the “baby friendly” hospital initiative on postpartum units and mother/baby units, there is a push for breastfeeding in the first days postpartum. Unfortunately, this has led to extreme guilt in moms, underfed infants, and breastfeeding failure associated with mom guilt, PPD and more. My hospital even gave me a hard time about PUMPING let alone formula.
With the push to breastfeed in the recent years in the media and social media, extreme guilt is associated with formula feeding. Moms and parents are shamed (WTF?) for using/choosing formula. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE!
Whatever your reason for choosing formula, using these tips can help you in the postpartum days – in the hospital and beyond.
DO YOUR RESEARCH AHEAD OF TIME
See my “all of your formula questions answered” post. So much info here!
Picking a formula can be confusing – there are SO many out there. You may have to experiment as not every formula will work for every baby. Pick 2-3 factors that are important to you – whether that is mainstream formula, convenience and availability, European, whatever! There’s not a formula that covers it all.
HAVE A FEW FORMULAS + BOTTLES ON HAND
Just in case baby reacts negatively to a certain formula, it’s good to have a few on hand. Buy a few Ready To Feed bottles (RTF, the formula that’s sold premade). See what the possible reactions could be in my formula post.
Buy 1-2 brands of bottles (1-2 bottles each) to see what baby will take. KEEP IT SIMPLE AND CHEAP!!!
You’re going to misplace, lose, and break bottles all the time. So don’t spend too much!
TALK TO YOUR PROVIDER BEFORE YOU DELIVER
Make your OBGYN, midwife, doula, pediatrician etc. aware that your plans are to STRICTLY formula feed. Stand firm with them, this is YOUR choice as a parent. You don’t need to justify this to anyone! Having them aware ahead of time will help with unnecessary questions after birth.
Make your delivery and postpartum nurses aware on delivery day. Ask that no lactation consultants come in the room after birth and be firm that you do not want to “try” breastfeeding or pumping – your decision is YOURS alone!
*You can still do plenty of skin to skin postpartum!
TIPS FOR WHEN YOUR MILK COMES IN
Your breastmilk will still come in postpartum, even if you never breastfeed or pumped. This will peak about 3 days postpartum for most moms and can be extremely uncomfortable.
THIS MAY MAKE YOU FEEL GUILTY. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. Easier said than done, I know. BUT this is a decision you made for you and your family and it’s one you will stick to!
Icepacks (put these gel icepacks right in your bra), tight bras, and cold, cabbage leaves to your breasts will be your friend. Take pain relievers to help with the engorgement pain – Motrin or Extra Strength Tylenol (alternate if needed). This should subside within 6-7 days.
Watch for infection and mastitis. You can still get it even though you are not breastfeeding or pumping! See my mastitis post for more info.
BONDING WITH BABY
Skin to skin doesn’t have to involve breastfeeding! Moms, dads, and grandparents can all do skin to skin with baby. This helps with transfer of good bacteria from one another, and helps you and baby bond!
MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER
Formula prepping once a day with a formula pitcher will save you so much time! Premixed formula is good for 24 hours when refrigerated – so prepping once a day in the morning or at night, pour, warm and serve is a great option. Formula is also good in room temp for 1-4 hours depending, so if you take out 1 hour before the feeding to bring to room temp, no need to spend time warming.
The Baby Brezza is also the new rage! It’s a Keurig for formula. Warms and prepares for you! **CAUTION with the product as some have found the mixture of formula to water to be off – meaning the mixed formula from the Brezza was too watery or too concentrated – which can be dangerous to baby.
Have some Ready to Feed (RTF) formula available. You can buy in bigger jugs and then refrigerate (only good for 24 hours after opening and in fridge!). RTF is more expensive than powder, just FYI.
Have gallons of non-fluoride nursery water on hand. You can also boil water if you prefer. Follow the instructions on the back of your formula when boiling.
Feed baby room temperature bottles from the beginning (not cold!) so you don’t have to always warm the bottle!
KEEPING IT AFFORDABLE
- Discount brands (check labels!) are often just the same as name brands – but always check the ingredients. BabyFormulaExpert has a lot of good info on this here.
- Try the generic brand of the formula first to see if baby will tolerate. This can save money in the long run.
- LOTS of brands offer coupons for formula! Check your brand’s website.
- WIC provides 10 free formula cans for the first 6 months of life, and then 7 cans for the rest of the first year. Ask your provider to fill out a WIC form for you (OB can do it before discharge) to receive formula.
- Sign up for Amazon subscriptions! This will save over time.
- Buy directly from the formula brand’s site – this can save you money!
- Let your provider know what brand you’re using and ask if they have coupons or samples.
NEVER water down formula to save money.
Formula is made specifically to fit baby’s electrolyte and calorie needs – watering down is extremely dangerous and can cause complications, hospitalizations, and even death.
This is where I get Roey’s formula from!
I have all of my favorite Formula Essentials listed on my Amazon page.
- Baby’s Brew Portable warmer
- On-the-go formula storage
- Some RTF (ready to feed) bottles
- Bottle sterilizer (you can also dish wash top rack)
- Bottle basket for dishwasher
- PackIt cooler bag
- Formula mixing pitcher – this is a must for making formula in bulk ahead of time and it saves you so much TIME!
- Bottle brush – I like this one because it stands straight up to dry
- Puracy Natural Baby Dish Soap – I like this one because there are NO harsh chemicals
- Baby Brezza bottle warmer
- Large and absorbent burp cloths – these Copper Pearl one’s are the best and they hold up really well after many washes!
- Drying rack for bottles at home (and get this twig to hang nipples and pacifiers on it)
DO. NOT. FEEL. GUILTY.
I REPEAT. DO. NOT. FEEL. GUILTY.
Whatever your reason, it’s YOUR reason, and no one else needs to know why. Stay strong, you’re making a GOOD CHOICE for your family, and that’s ALL that matters!
Have more questions? Schedule a text or video chat consult with Kate, Lauren or Natalie (NICU RNs) and they can help answer any questions that you have!
Other helpful webinars and e-guides:
- Helpful formula posts Instagram Guide
- Baby formula expert course – Dr. Bridget Young’s step-by-step method to finding the right baby formula with confidence! Use code BUMBLE for discount
- Understanding baby formula webinar – Dr. Bridget young, a formula specialist, explains the differences and components in formula to help you choose the best one for your baby.
Other helpful blog posts:
- How to supplement with formula
- 5 ways to skin to skin without breastfeeding
- How to correctly bottle feed
- Transitioning from formula to milk
- everything you need to know about formula
**This post is educational and not meant to take the place of your provider. Bumblebaby makes a small commission on some of the items listed above.