I’m Not a Bad Mom Because I Switched From Breastfeeding to Formula

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Please welcome Kendra to the blog today for the newly relaunched I’m Not a Bad Mom Series. This series will run weekly on Thursdays and if you’d like to submit a piece, please see details here

KendraKantor
My son was born in April of 2012. When I was pregnant, I was determined to do everything “right”. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and I knew I wasn’t always going to do everything how I wanted but there were a few things I was very determined to do.

One was breastfeeding. I was so gung-ho about breastfeeding at least 1 year, and as long as 2 if my son didn’t naturally wean himself when we started food.

But as I developed PPD on top of pre-exisiting depression and anxiety, my days of breastfeeding became numbered. I tried the top anti-depressants that were safe for breastfeeding because I wanted to hold on as long as I could. In the end, none of them were good enough and I had to seriously consider switching to formula.

Is it more important to sacrifice my health for his health? That was what I asked myself for about 2 months as I tried to make the decision. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to breastfeed for the year+ that I wanted, but I hoped to make it to 6 months at least We made it about 7 and a half before he was completely weaned.

For the longest time, I tried to reconcile with myself that the decision I made was okay. That it was a good decision, the right decision. I knew that formula was going to be enough for my son but I felt scared as a mother that I was sacrificing what I thought of as “perfect nutrition” just so I could go on medication.

In the end, I’m not a bad mom because I switched to formula. I am a better mom because of it. My mental health was more important that breastfeeding when there was a perfectly suitable replacement. My ability to watch my son alone and not have panic attacks every day was more important than a societal notion that “breast is best”.

I’m not a bad mom because I switched to formula, I’m a good mom for making the right decisions for me, for myself and for my family.

Kendra Kantor is a Wellness Mentor and Guide for creative women looking to embrace their self discovery and improve their mental health wellness. She is a Chicago-area stay at home mama to her 2 year old, and splits her days between running her business and cuddling and playing with her rambunctious boy. 

 

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About Cristi Comes

Warrior Mom. Wife. Writer. Advocate for mental health, suicide prevention, self care, self image and style. Technology and social media lover. Board of Directors, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Washington State Chapter. Editorial Team Postpartum Progress.

Comments

  1. Good for you for figuring out what was best for you and your baby! I nursed and pumped and turned myself inside out for two months–during which I also gave my daughter formula–before giving up on breastfeeding entirely. It just didn’t work for me, and I knew it was more important that I hold her and play with her. Beating myself up wasn’t helping either of us.
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