In Sunday's life section we published a story from the Associated Press about breastfeeding, which included the Centers for Disease Controls goals for 2010 -- getting 60 percent of women to breast-feed exclusively for the first three months and 25 percent through six months.
The story also talked about how many women turn to formula, citing that most do so because of it's ease of use.
Breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby. Studies show time and again how breastfed babies are sicker less often and are less likely to develop allergies.
But what if you can't breastfeed?
When Nathan was born last May I fully intended to nurse. And I tried. But after an entirely sleepless night followed by Nathan losing weight two days later, I began using the free can of Similac I was given at the hospital.
And for a month, I pumped breast milk. And barely got a thing.
Maybe I didn't pump enough, but I never had the symptoms of breasts full of milk. No engorgement, no leaking. So I fed my child formula.
I beat myself up about it for a while, until one day I was talking to my grandmother. Once she told me she couldn't breastfeed and my mother and her three siblings (who are all healthy as horses) were formula fed, the guilt fell away.
The story from the Associated Press reminded me again that the most important thing we do as mothers (and fathers) is do what is best for our children. And for me that choice was to ensure my child was getting something nutritious to eat.
I don't think feeding your child formula is the worst thing you can (and there are some out there who truly believe it is.) I could be doing much worse - like giving him sodas and tons of sugar. Or worse still, not feeding him at all.
Did anyone else face this dilemma as a new mom? I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to leave your comments, or if you like, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.