A father’s response to bottle feeding formula to his son

My wife was pretty certain that we would stick to exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first 6 months. We had read up a lot of documents on the immense benefits of breast milk and both me and my wife were on the same page. But soon after my child’s birth, I saw both my wife and my son struggling during feeds. When the nursing staff fed him formula milk, we both knew it was just a rare occurrence. After all I had taken two-month work from home to help my wife. I wanted us both to be together in this.

Our struggle with feeding continued long after we came back home from the hospital. My son would not sleep at a stretch nor would he soothe down easily. We got a breast pump and I saw my wife practically pumping the whole day. Yet, the milk wasn’t enough and the doctor now insisted that we should add formula milk to the routine. We wondered what happened to ‘breast is best’ argument we heard everywhere. We were not fully convinced, yet we thought of going ahead with it.

We were scared that giving formula milk could make him prone to infections and allergies but we were left with no choice. But little did I know that this unwanted twist will end up turning my parenthood journey all around.

I often helped prepare the bottle for my son and gave it to my wife for feeding but one day my son was crying and my wife was in the shower. I prepared the bottle quickly, nestled my son in my forearm and gave him the bottle. He instantly began sucking and kept going on. A strong feeling overtook me. The calm on my son’s face who’d mostly cry out of hunger was overwhelming. The fact that he was looking straight into my eyes made me realise the pleasure of feeding my child, an experience that I was missing out on. It was a wonderful gift, something that would stay with me forever.

To ensure our son was getting a healthy alternative, we spoke to a lot of health experts to arrive at the conclusion that while breast milk is a wonderful health tonic, formula milk isn’t bad either.

I heard that when mothers feed their babies, their body releases endorphins, which gave them a profound sense of connection with the child. Interestingly, as weeks passed by, my relationship with my son got deeper. I could see my son had started responding better to my touch. In fact, every time my son cried, instinctively I reached out to him and my wife was no more the ONLY first responder to his cries. I was more in sync with his rhythms. I am thankful to formula for bringing me closer to my son.

My son made it through the first year without many allergies or flu. Even when we stopped using the bottle, my son looked at me for assistance and I can’t thank formula enough for that…

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