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Dear Crissy - Life, blogged.

I am a Similac StrongMoms Ambassador

I was recently selected as a Similac StrongMoms Ambassador, and while I’m really excited to blog about my experience with Similac’s useful Baby Journal iPhone app, I wanted to speak to you all for a moment about my very personal breastfeeding experience. I mean, I think it’s only fitting.

Keep reading to learn more about Similac’s StrongMoms Baby Journal App!

When I was pregnant with my son, I knew two things with unwavering certainty. One, that I would deliver naturally, and two, that I would breastfeed my child. When I say that I knew, I mean that my mind was set, my heart was steady, and I really believe that every cell in my body and spark in my soul, were convinced. I was on board. I was ready to rock and roll. I had the nipple cream on standby.

Then, after months of being assured by doctors that my little breech boy would probably turn, and doing everything including standing on my head to facilitate that, I was in labor, and he was trying to come out feet first.

Certainty number one? Dashed. I had a c-section, which is a blog post chock full of disappointment and heartache for anther day. Of course, I still had certainty number two. Breastfeeding was something I could control, and I was ready to feed this kid!

You see where this is going, right? I will let you read more about why breastfeeding didn’t work for us in the original post, but I will say, there are many reasons women may not breastfeed. The reasons are varied, sometimes complicated, but always personal. There is no blogger (and I like this one), no activist, no commenter or outspoken Twitter user that can inflict a pain on me deeper or more profound than the absolute agony that I put myself through when I failed to breastfeed my child, but if you want, you can give it your best effort.

After a month of struggling, crying, pumping, and eventually waving the white flag (we made it one month, and I am very proud of that), I decided something pretty important.

I decided that, in fact, while breastfeeding wasn’t working, my son still needed to eat.

I am still on board with breastfeeding. I view it as the first, best, and most obvious choice. I mean, duh, right? Duh. When I have another baby, I will use the knowledge and experience that I gained the first time around, and do my best to make breastfeeding successful. I think that mothers who breastfeed are amazingly wonderful and beautiful, and I envy all of you. I still have hope that we can make it work longer, next time.

That said? I am pretty sure my Similac-fed kid is going to be OK. I mean, if you consider off-the-chart growth and crazy-smart, OK. I call it freaking awesome, but that’s just me. Having Similac Isomil cans stacked in the cupboard was a part of my parenting reality for 12 months. Do you know what that makes me? It just makes me Crissy. A mom who tried to breastfeed, and ended up bottle feeding. A regular mom, trying as hard as she can to raise a good, healthy kid. A woman, who felt certain, but encountered bumps. Listen, I’m just trying to do my best, like you.

More About the Similac StrongMoms Baby Journal

Now, back to my original purpose here. I’m really (believe it or not!) here to tell you about Similac’s StrongMoms Baby Journal iPhone App. Whether you breastfeed, or bottle feed, this application is an extraordinarily intuitive and useful way to track important information about your newborn.

Similac StrongMoms iPhone App

Do you remember after having your first baby, being told by your nurse that keeping a journal of feedings, diapers, and sleep habits was a good idea? I was a nervous wreck when I brought Evan home from the hospital, because as a rookie mom, I had no idea how much he should be eating, how many times a day he needed to be wetting and dirtying diapers, and how much sleep was normal.

For some moms (and at the instruction of many doctors, and nurses) tracking and journaling after bringing baby home is a very valid and helpful way to have an overview of what’s going on with this new person, this new life. For moms who are anti-schedule, or don’t believe journals are a useful way to learn, well, you’re one up on me. Heck, maybe you’re two or three up on me, but that’s one of the beautiful perks of being a grown woman. We can make choices that we feel are going to work best in our particular situation. Can I get three cheers for parenting the way I see fit? A high-five? How about an Amen?

I tried to be diligent about keeping that paper journal when I brought him home, but I was so exhausted after having Evan, that I really sort of flunked out early on this task. If I would have had the Similac StrongMoms Baby Journal App, I am sure that I would have used it much more, and much longer.

For those of you who breastfeed, check out this wonderful breastfeeding journal. You can easily set a timer to track feeding times and breast used.

One thing that I would suggest to Similac for improvement, is the addition of a clock showing the current time that can easily be accessed without having to close the application.

I also really love the growth tracker, and generally, being able to have an overview of your baby’s trends thanks to easy to understand visual graphs is really amazing.

I will definitely be recommending this app to my friends who are new moms, and want to keep a journal of their baby’s schedule. I think that it is a great tool, and one that I will certainly use if I have another baby.

Disclosure: I was compensated to provide my honest thoughts on Similac’s Baby Journal App, and for participation in subsequent projects as part of a campaign through Collective Bias. It’s funny, I write a lot of these disclosures, and this is the first time I’ve ever felt compelled to become conversational. This topic, and this company specifically, have been key in my early experience of motherhood, even though neither were in the plan.

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  1. February 24, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

    What an awesome app! I sucked at remembering which breast I nursed from previously. LOL

    I had a similar experience with breastfeeding. Unfortunately, both times. I have PCOS and my babies just wouldn’t grow on breastmilk alone. My hormones are so messed up that it just wouldn’t work out. Not for lack of trying though. (I did make more milk the second time though. They say you produce more with each child)

    You know what though? If I do have a third child, I will still attempt breastfeeding. I do not regret either attempt at breastfeeding, and in fact I treasure the memories of our (short) nursing relationships. The intimacy of nursing is something that I think every mother should experience. Breastfeeding is best, so I think all moms should give it a shot.

    However, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. A happy mom and baby is more important than a baby with failure to thrive and a mom who is miserable. Formula is a valid alternative. Not rat poison, not even necessarily inferior. Breast is best, but formula isn’t the end of the world. Feeding my children formula made them grow big, strong and smart.

    Thanks for sharing your experience Crissy.

  2. February 24, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

    I am sad when I hear that ANY mother has felt disappointment, frustration, inadequacy, or shame because of the way they either CHOSE to or HAD to delver/feed/raise their babies. Love comes first, and there is love in feeding a baby a bottle, just as much as there is in feeding a baby breast milk.

    • February 24, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

      I’ve been a nursing mother and a bottle feeding mother and no matter what it seems people will try to tell you that what you are doing is wrong, judge you, and say not so nice things by way of ‘advice’. The problem I think comes from how we feel internally, like Crissy said-the pain you inflict on yourself is the worst.

      The only way around it is through it, and thankfully the more kids I’ve had, the easier it has become to ignore the judging. Of course I wouldn’t recommend that path to everyone. ;)

      • February 26, 2011 @ 9:33 am

        Kelly, you know, experience must be the key to ignoring the judging, because I have gotten stronger even over the past 18 months. I know that it will all be so much easier with number 2! Thanks for commenting.

  3. February 24, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    First son…..both as he was a preemie and had no suck…he was tube fed for a few weeks and onto breast milk in a bottle….learned to nurse and when I returned to work and began pumping ,it was so so for a bit and onto a bottle

    Second son, sole nursed and went to cup at 6 months and finished nursing at 12 months. I left him for 8 hrs to bottle feed with my mom and he would not do it…..

    They are not almost 16 and 13

  4. February 24, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    As I’ve stated in another post, my children were both formula fed without shame. Breastfeeding was not for me. That said, I bought the very best soy formula I could find for my kiddos which just happened to be Similac.

    My heart breaks for you, but you know what? You are still an awesome mom…whether you breastfed or not. We all are.

  5. February 24, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    I think it is great that you are able to be able to open up and share such a personal experience. I am on my fifth month of breastfeeding and the beginning was absolute torture. I was glad to have some Similac in the cupboard because she did end up having a few bottles and has had some since. :)

  6. February 24, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    Really heartfelt post, Crissy. You don’t have to feel that you need to justify your actions. We all enter into motherhood with the best of intentions but you know what? Sometimes my kids eat mac ‘n cheese from a box (organic, obv). Other times they eat cookies – TWICE in ONE day!!! (call the parenting police!!) Point is, we do our best and when our best laid plans don’t work out, we figure it out. I’m a big proponent of doing what works, because forcing something that’s just not happening leads to disaster.

  7. February 24, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    Well said. I also tried to breastfeed but ultimately went to formula. No application or “evil formula company” made me quit – in the end, it was me that made me quit. Nothing else. Me. My 1 year old was formula fed from 3 weeks to 10 months (whole milk after that) and she is absolutely fine.

  8. February 24, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

    Crissy you are amazing! You gave it your best shot and you have a very healthy little boy because of it! I don’t get why people harp on women who can’t breastfeed when there are women out there who are starving their children! It’s such a sad world we live in.

  9. February 24, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

    I had to bottle feed my daughter. My issues were very similar to yours expect my daughter was not breach (I didn’t dilate past 1 cm). Also my daughter has PKU so it was impossible for the doctors to monitor how much she was taking in as well as what was in the breast milk. Also she was 4 weeks early and we had issues with latching on. It was devastating to me, at the time, but now it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that my daughter is happy and healthy. And she is pretty damn smart too!

    On a side note I was one of those pregnant women that judged other women for not breastfeeding and I am so ashamed of myself for it. You just never know what the universe is going to throw at you! I even wrote about it. http://www.randomblogette.com/?p=1340

  10. February 24, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

    The politics of breast or bottle aside, every mother has a responsibility to give her baby the best of what she is able to provide. Some mothers overcome extraordinary circumstances to breastfeed their baby. Other mothers overcome extraordinary circumstances and formula feed their babies. While we all know that breast is best and it should be our first option, we also know that life isn’t perfect. Fortunately, we live in a time when alternative options are available, and our babies aren’t dying from hunger. We as mothers should unite over the fact that we want the best for our babies and our families, no matter what we choose. Isn’t that the only unifying, unchanging factor there is, after all?

  11. February 24, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

    There is absolutely no reason you should beat yourself up about feeding your child with formula. Society, and especially all the other self-righteous moms out there, makes judgments on everyone no matter what choices we make. Society also holds moms especially to unrealistic expectations. We all need to do what is best for ourselves and our child.I never wanted to breastfeed and you couldn’t’ get me to try. I wanted my body back and i wanted the ability to feel like a singular humanbeing again. We do not live in the third world where formula is nonexistent or possibly tainted so that breastfeeding is really the only healthy alternative for our children. You are entitled to make choices for your child throughout their lives without feeling guilty or being belittled. The irony of all of this is that suddenly when women are becoming more independent and more productive members of society outside the sphere of the home, somehow society found a way to tether us to a breastmilk pump to prove that just because we are intelligent and educated somehow we can still be “real” mothers.

  12. February 24, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

    I tried to breastfeed, but when I was younger I had breast tissue removed from under my arms – very strange, but when my breasts filled up with milk so would under my arms and it became unbearble…so unfortunately I could not – I pumped for 1 month and then jsut couldn’t stand the pain. My babies are formula fed – strong, healthy and smart! ♥

  13. February 24, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

    That’s a really cool app! I hope that they come out w/ an Android version before we have our eventual next kid.

  14. February 24, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

    Can I just say how jealous I am of the technology that is available now? I wish I had apps and an iPhone when I had my babies!

    Having our kids at a birth center meant we had classes to tell us what we should be monitoring after the baby came home (a mere 4-6 hours after birth). I really wish more hospitals and care providers would offer that info-it was definitely scary with out first, but knowing the birth center staff and nurse were a phone call away helped.

    I personally wouldn’t use this particular app, because there are other apps not tied to a formula company available, but that’s my personal choice. I would rather not be marketed to by formula companies. If you need formula for your infant (as my 2nd child did due to a genetic disorder) you can easily find it, and we never bought name brand since the store bought brand was the same (only cheaper). ;)

  15. February 24, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

    IMHO, a baby needs to eat wether that be breast or bottle. I cannot STAND when a mother who BF her child looks down on a mother who is bottle FF her child. I mean really?? It is each to their own when it comes down to it. We are all mothers and we do what we need to do for our babies. They HAVE to eat. That being said, I was able to breatfeed (and still am) but if I couldn’t then what else are you to do? I can honestly say that after 2 weeks I was ready to give up. I couldn’t handle ALWAYS being the one who had to get up at 2am to feed or wasn’t able to do something cause I knew that baby would need to eat again.(I was a very lousy pumper – never really liked it anyways) but after another attempt we both got the hang of it. I’m all for BF but if you are unable or choose not to then that’s your choice. No one should ever make you feel bad about your decision, nor should you feel like you failed. Crissy you did what you needed to do for your handsom little guy. Like you said, he’s a happy and healthy, what more could you ask for? :)


  16. February 24, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

    I didn’t breastfeed my first but with my second I had my heart set on it and I did it. We did it!

    • February 26, 2011 @ 9:33 am

      Thanks for commenting, Kristin. Hope my second go around works out like it did for you!

  17. February 24, 2011 @ 2:26 pm
    Becky Shattuck

    I nursed my son for fourteen months. I agree that breast milk is the best, but it is not worth the stress and frustration for mom and baby if it doesn’t work out.

    There were big advantages and disadvantages to nursing. One, when he woke up at night, the milk was instantly ready and available. There was no sterilizing or mixing or heating. Two, I never had to carry a diaper bag with me (I’d just stick a couple diapers and a bag of wipes in my purse). Travel was SO MUCH easier and convienent. Of course, the bonding is indescribable, and the nutrition and immunity is excellent.

    There were disadvantages, too, though. My son would NOT take a bottle. We tried desperately for a long time, and it was very difficult for me. I had to be there for every single feeding. At three months, he was still nursing every two hours, so I couldn’t step away from my son for more than two hours at a time. Sometimes, the stress of that caused me to cry. It was difficult to know that I could never go to a movie with my friends or just get away for an afternoon. At six months, he was nursing every 3 hours. By eight months, I’d taught him to drink from a cup. It was a miracle the first time my husband and I could go out on a date night!!!! He continued to wake up at night for a nursing until he was 13 months old, so there were no nights with grandparents or anything like that. He was NOT easily weaned. At 14 months old, he still wanted to nurse every 3-4 hours. I’d push him to wait with other food and drink and distractions, but he only wanted to nurse. Finally, I decided the only way to “wean” him was to stop cold turkey. That was two months ago, and I feel a bit relieved to not have him nursing, but I plan on nursing our next baby.

  18. February 24, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

    Interesting app. My kids are older now, but if I had babies still I’d probably use that. My first daughter was 10 weeks early. She was in the NICU for 6-1/2 weeks. I pumped the whole time she was in the NICU & brought my milk to them to use. By the time she got home, she was so used to a bottle that she wouldn’t switch to the breast & it was too stressful to try to pump while she was hungry, so we switched to formula around 7 weeks old. I lasted about 2-1/2 – 3 months with our second daughter. She kept getting really gassy with my milk no matter what I ate, so I gave up with her & switched to formula right around 3 months if I remember right. I wish I had more patience to do both of them longer, but I’m glad I was able to do at least something with breast milk for both of them.

  19. February 24, 2011 @ 2:41 pm
    January B

    I wasn’t able to breastfeed, although I, too had my heart set on it. My little boy just wouldn’t latch. We tried and tried for 2 days in the hospital, and I became so frustrated and upset! I didn’t have the money for a breast pump, so my son grew up on Similac. He’s very smart, very strong, very healthy, and very happy.

  20. February 24, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

    if you have any contacts within similac, see if they have a timeframe for an android port of this application, perhaps with support for twins and easy sync’ing of the data between two phones.

  21. February 24, 2011 @ 2:48 pm
    Melissa Avey

    I breastfed my first for 2 years and am currently breastfeeding my 2nd who is a month old. My first didn’t really have any bottles ( formula or pumped ) but my second was in the hospital for awhile and had pumped breastmilk. He is breastfeeding now but when we came home we made the mistake of giving the extra pumped bottles and I wasn’t pumping enough so my supply went down. We wound up giving him a few bottles of formula but my milk supply is back after letting him nurse constantly for a few days. I would always try my best to breastfeed but I don’t judge anyone elses choice so long they feed their child!

  22. February 24, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

    Hey Crissy.

    My wife had to have a c-section after the baby became at risk during extended labor. As such my role in feeding became much greater than it already would have been. I’m a very hands on dad (except for cutting finger nails… scares the heck out of me).

    We met with the lactation consultant at the birth hospital, and then about a month later my wife and I later consulted with lactation consultants at a hospital nearer our house concerning difficulty with latch-on and pumping and such.

    That helped a lot and allowed her to continue breastfeeding for more than a year. I did many of the feedings, especially during the night using frozen pumped milk. Breastmilk is the best option, but clearly not always possible for everyone.

    And if it had not been possible for us to work this out, we’d have had to research the best alternatives, e.g. Similac. Nothing wrong with that. Thanks for sharing your story. We did use an app similar to the one you referenced… very helpful tool.



  23. February 24, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

    Crissy I know exactly how you feel. I had to give up breastfeeding a child after months of pumping as he was ill and in the PICU for so long. I hate that us as moms feel like we have to give “explanations” as to why we didn’t or had to stop breastfeeding. It’s not fair. We LOVE our children no matter what way we feed them. This post really hit home to me, and was truly heartfelt. You are an amazing mom, and woman. This app sounds wonderful!

  24. February 24, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

    Just wanted to give you a big AMEN for your post. I had a very similar experience. Thank you for your post!!

  25. February 24, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

    Crissy, I’m sorry that you were unable to breastfeed. I refuse to Monday Morning Quarterback your breastfeeding experience. I have no clue what went wrong, but I love that you have a positive attitude and that you will try again to breastfeed if you have another baby.

    That said, I have a HUGE problem with this app. I have looked through the screen grabs and the breastfeeding information contained in there is not only inaccurate but dangerous. Like, the kind of thing that could derail a mom who wanted to breastfeed. A mom like you, who really wanted things to work out. It’s one thing if your body won’t cooperate, it’s a whole ‘nother thing to get sabotaged by a formula company with this seemingly innocuous app. As a Certified Lactation Counselor, breastfeeding blogger and nursing mom, I can tell you that I would discourage any friend from using the breastfeeding section of this app. And while I think some of this might be very useful for a mom who is bottle-feeding, it has the potential to ruin a mom’s nursing relationship with her child. Similac has proven again and again that they are an unethical company with predatory marketing practices. This is just the latest.

  26. February 24, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

    Thank you! Thank you! You just made my day with this post! I went through the EXACT thing, Chrissy and the bottom line is this: We do the best that we can for the love of our children. Countless times I found myself in tears during the early days of failed breastfeeding attempts. Looking back (he’s 20mos now), I know in my heart that I did all that I could and it’s OKAY.
    Thank you again for your honesty—needed to hear this! : )

  27. February 24, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

    I tried breast feeding and due to factors in my life I was not producing. I had to switch to formula. On top of that my son was lactose intolerant for the first 2 years so had to buy the expensive lactose free which yes was by similac.

    Like I said in my rant the other day on my blog. All that matters is the child is being fed and is healthy and growing. Ends of story. Whether or not it is breast milk or formula is up to each individual parent and it is not our place to judge or question why they do it.

  28. February 24, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

    Sounds like a great app! Do they have this for Blackberry? If not, then I guess I need to include an iPhone for my next baby IF we get pregnant.

  29. February 24, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

    I’ll tell you… I am not a fan of the formula companies but they provide a perfectly acceptable product to nourish our children and in the end that is what we all strive to do… and I admit… I was searching for apps when I first started nursing my second as a way to help keep track of the hours (not wanting to put her on a schedule but for my own need to keep track) and could not find one. This actually seems like a great tool and kudos for linking to the breastfeeding blog hop to help another mom find a tool that may help them. :)

  30. February 24, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

    So have been there. I tried with all 3 kids- it just wasn’t happening. After breaking down into sobbing tears & getting to the point of bleeding & dreading the next feeding time because of the excruciating pain- I decided to pump. Fortunately it worked for me- & I was then married to my pump for the next year- every 4 hours- day & night. I was lucky that my schedule allowed me to be able to do that. I totally understand why it’s not for everyone. In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to feel we have to justify our decisions to other moms. I just know that everyone’s lives pose different challenges & we should support each other. Great post!!!!!

    Love the photo – absolutely precious!!!!!!

  31. February 24, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

    Well put Crissy! We all have our struggles, and I’m glad you shared your experience. Thanks so much for linking up to this week’s Breastfeeding Blog Hop (http://www.lifewithlevi.com/2011/02/bfing-blog-hop-week-8-milestones/). A month is still a milestone, and I think it’s wonderful that you have such a positive attitude towards breastfeeding even though it didn’t work out for you.

    Feeding your child (or any other parenting choice) doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can mix and match and figure out what works for you.

  32. February 24, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

    Like you…natural delivery was not an option for either of my pregnancies. Actually, both of my pregnancies were very difficult. I was hospitalized for 13 weeks while pregnant with Logan (I entered the hospital at 25 weeks and didn’t leave until 3 days after the c-section). I was only in the hospital for 3 weeks with Kira (I say only because 3 weeks was a breeze compared to 13 weeks). I was a breastfeeding mama with both of my kids…and I feel very lucky that I was able to breastfeed them. Logan was a boob man…Kira struggled, but she wanted breast over bottle. In the hospital they told me I need to give Kira a bottle (because she wasn’t nursing well)…but Kira flat out refused. Both kids are healthy and I love that I got a chance to breastfeed them.

  33. February 24, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

    Dear Crissy,

    I am not sure why you linked to my blog in particular, I’m kind of honored because I adore your blog and am impressed with your success but also kind of saddened that you might feel that I’m out to make you, or any formula-feeding mom, feel bad about not succeeding with breastfeeding. It’s the last thing on my mind.

    I started my blog BECAUSE breastfeeding wasn’t easy for me but I was able to get the help I needed and I wanted to pass that information and additional resources on to other moms. I kept running into moms who felt so guilty and defeated for not being able to breastfeed their baby and I don’t want more moms to feel like that.

    I sincerely only want to help with encouragement and support because breastfeeding was hard for me, as it is for most moms. I’m not a lactation specialist, but I know where to find one for you if you need help with breastfeeding. Being able to facilitate a mom succeeding with breastfeeding or doing it longer is one of my greatest joys.

    This is not a debate about breastfeeding versus formula feeding and my post wasn’t about that. I maintain that every mom has to make the right choice for her situation and if you use formula that is only your business. We all want the best for our children and have to make choices. I might not like another mom’s choice but I have to and will respect it. I’m the last person who wants to add more guilt for a mom — our job is hard enough. I only have a problem with Similac making it appear as if they are really interested in helping moms to succeed with breastfeeding. Reading that the app suggest a feeding schedule makes me cringe. I think this app will hinder new moms really bonding with their baby and learning to breastfeed.

    If moms find this app helpful, that’s great, I just would caution moms interested in succeeding at breastfeeding that this app might sabotage that.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog; I would have loved to have you write more about what you thought about my post. :)

    All my best,
    Dagmar’s momsense

  34. February 24, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

    I kept the paper journal for the first month – it helped reassure me that my daughter was getting enough to eat, especially after experiencing some latching issues.

    Keeping track was SO helpful especially while at the doctor’s. I would feel awful if I stammered, trying to remember off the top of my head, things like number of stools or how often she was eating.

    I think just about every choice we have to make about our little ones is personal and often full of thought, emotion, and/or even conflicted. Unfortunately, we hurt others – even if unintentionally – when we are passionate about our own choices.

    Granted, some people do take it to the extreme and look down on others or come up with unrealistic ideas (i.e. Gisele’s bf law).

    I hope I don’t make anyone uncomfortable with my yay! breastfeeding and yay! cloth diapering. I celebrate doing them because I enjoy it, want to be a resource if someone needs it, and I’ve had to do my share of defending my choices.

    No matter what we choose, we seem to have to defend it!

    Loved your conversational disclosure too..and I’m done now with my mini post (oops!)

  35. February 24, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

    I really appreciate you sharing part of your parenting journey in your post. It is important for all mothers to share our stories – especially when it comes to how we feed our babies.

    This Similac App has spurred a lot of attention, and I’m one of the people who has been driving that conversation. I have significant concerns about the app – It’s more than just mom’s being capable of making wise parenting decisions, it’s also about having the right (safe, healthy) tools that provide the correct education and help we need.

    To just choose one example, this app doesn’t accommodate moms who supplement. If you have to choose breastfeeding or bottlefeeding, there’s no room for a middle ground – which is where a lot of moms live when it comes to breastfeeding and formula feeding – it’s not always one or the other. I don’t mind the fact that Similac made a app that tracks feedings – but I do mind the fact that they are trying to “help” breastfeeding moms (who don’t formula feed) and appear to be marketing this tool through breastfeeding bloggers to normalize the fact that they are a — formula company marketing to breastfeeding women — .

    There are PLENTY of breastfeeding apps on the market who offer these features for breastfeeding moms. Unfortunately there are some pretty big problems with both the app itself and the ethics of how they are marketing it.

    • February 24, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

      Interesting point! I guess it’s kinda like the free diaper bag you get from the clinic when you are pregnant. I said I was breastfeeding so I got the “breastfeeding” diaper bag. It had a ton of great info about breastfeeding but it also had a free sample of formula and TONS of coupons for it too!

      • February 25, 2011 @ 8:20 am

        Jamie – You are exactly right – it’s JUST like the “breastfeeding” diaper bags that are sponsored by formula companies. Did you know those are controversial? My health care system that I work for (that has 11 hospitals and more than 100 clinics) recently made a decision to STOP handing out the “diaper bag promos” from the formula companies. Many other hospitals and clinics are doing the same thing. It’s not about mom’s being entitled to a free can of formula, it’s about providing education and not biasing them towards feeding their baby one way or the other. Formula companies have a long history of providing misleading “breastfeeding” information to women. From an objective standpoint, one can only reason that it’s because they want to convert more women into buying their products.

      • February 25, 2011 @ 8:57 am

        “Providing education and not biasing them towards feeding their baby one way or the other”? Really? The hospital where I gave birth basically said straight up, “you need to breastfeed, it’s best, we support it, here are 500 documents about it, look at the posters on the walls, here is a lactation consultant, and here is a help line.”

        I don’t think that giving a woman a goody bag with some Similac pamphlets and a pack of diapers (should they stop giving away disposable diapers, too?) is really going to bend, or warp any minds, however, I think maybe I have a lot more faith in the reasoning abilities of adult women than some people.

      • February 25, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

        Crissy – thanks for the follow up comment. That’s awesome you received so much breastfeeding education and support at the hospital. Unfortunately that’s not true for many moms. If you are interested in learning more about why some people are concerned about formula-sponsored bags, check out http://www.banthebags.org. Granted, it’s the “extreme” end of the spectrum, but you can learn the points of why people have a problem with it. Thanks again.

  36. February 24, 2011 @ 8:26 pm

    Thanks for this Crissy. Breastfeeding is such a loaded issue, I appreciate hearing from women who have struggled like I have. The past two days I’ve gotten fairly riled up by posts from people who dislike the Similac App and think it’s out to sabotage breastfeeding. I just don’t see it. This is a tech-y version of what they sent home with me from the hospital. I totally would have used this in the early day- if only to act as a reminder that- hey, you’ve been nursing him on the left side for the past 75 minutes…maybe you should get up and take a break!

    I wonder if we’ll ever get to a point where women are free to feed their kids without judgement? I know, everyone says they have nothing against mothers who formula feed…it’s just the formula companies….you can’t have one without the other.

    Thanks for joining the hop!

  37. February 24, 2011 @ 9:29 pm
    Maria Malaveci

    Oh my goodness this is amazing! Where was this when I had my babies?? I breastfed both mine. I would have loved to go a year, but I went 5 1/2 months with my son and 6 months with my daughter. I just couldn’t produce enough milk in the end, and I was pumping constantly at work.

  38. February 24, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

    I hate how controversial and hostile this topic has become. I have many friends who, like you, had their hearts set on breastfeeding. They gave it their all, tried everything the various experts recommended (and they consulted a lot of experts), struggled and suffered and it simply did not work. And then they were devastated and felt like bad moms. I get all kinds of riled up when I hear people bashing them because they fed their babies formula.

    I was able to breastfeed, and I support all moms who do. I also support moms who either couldn’t or chose not to. It is not for everyone. And it doesn’t mean a woman is a bad mom. It is a personal decision, and every woman has the right to make the best choice for herself and her family.

  39. February 24, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

    Hi Crissy,

    Great article and congrats on being a Similac StrongMom! You know what makes me sad, though, is that you even had to explain your position…but I know you did, because I know there are moms out there who are VERY critical of moms who don’t breastfeed. I did breastfeed for 3 months and when I went back to work FT, my baby would only take the bottle–so I pumped exclusively for 6 more months. But I have plenty of friends who CHOSE not to BF, and who am I to judge? As women we should be supporting one another and lifting each other up. So, I applaud you. Congrats on the new gig and thanks for sharing your story and your lovely pics. Best~

  40. February 24, 2011 @ 10:32 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience…Similac is LUCKY to have an amabassador like you:) I couldn’t breastfeed and so, having a formula like Similac was essentially a lifesaver for both of my kids and if I’d had an APP too.. HOLY COW!!

  41. February 24, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

    I was able to BF my first three kids, but #4 and #5 didn’t get enough..and I too had to decide my kids had to eat and I just couldn’t provide it…You have to do what is right for YOU and your baby. :)

  42. February 25, 2011 @ 2:22 am

    Just wanted to say that this is a great post. At first I did not understand this app at all, but now that I know more about it, it is helpful for moms. HUGS.

  43. February 25, 2011 @ 8:26 am

    Each pregnancy, each birth, each baby and each MOM – are ALL DIFFERENT. You do what works best for you. There is no right or wrong as long as your baby is growing and healthy. Do what’s best for you, your baby, your sleep schedule, your life…

  44. February 25, 2011 @ 11:34 am

    THANK YOU for this post!!!!

  45. February 25, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

    What I would have given to have an app like this when my babies were babies.

    I can sympathize with the breast/bottle issues. My youngest, now 9yr, was an emergency c-section preemie. The only way we could get him to gain weight was with the bottle and his colic was so bad he ended up on Nutramigen.

    Good Luck with all. Is this a hint that you are getting ready for baby # 2??

  46. February 25, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

    I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate that you even HAVE to explain yourself, and yet you do, because all you have to do is say “formula feeding” and the judgy mommy brigade shows up en masse to berate.

    A miserable mommy does no baby any good. And I breast feed like I was born to do it- I can feed a baby to bursting and then produce enough excess milk for an 8 ounce bottle. It’s easy for me.

    that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy for anyone else. I’m not even going to go through the comments, because I’ve no doubt at least one will make me question my faith in woman kind. We should support each other no matter what. Motherhood needs sisterhood.

  47. February 25, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

    Well you tried, that’s what matters. I also had my heart set on natural birth and breastfeeding, thankfully that all worked out, but that doesn’t make me a better mom or anything! The breastfeeding part was agony for a couple of months, I wanted to stick with it and I’m still breastfeeding at 24 months.

  48. February 25, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

    I am a formula-feeding mom, and I even use Similac. But… I probably won’t be using the app. I can see how it could be mildly helpful, but I just feel like moms these days are too concerned about scheduling, staying organized, being supermom, et cetera. I try my best to go with the natural maternal flow of things and don’t let all this time-tracking and such get to me. It feels like I’m more of a mother and less of a child’s personal assistant. Ya know?

    • February 25, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

      Totally get that, I wish I could be that relaxed about things, and maybe I will be more with number two, but I know this would have been useful for my paranoia the first go around :) Thanks for commenting.

  49. February 25, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story Crissy.

    I was like you and determined to nurse. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I had to stop at 6 months when I went into the hospital to have gallbladder surgery and was pretty upset.

    But like you said, my Formula Fed kid is doing pretty awesome.

    I’ll try and breastfeed Baby #2 and you know what? I’ll use this app.

    I used a notebook for Hayden and tried to keep track because I wasn’t like those “other mothers” who could pick up on cues. Actually Hayden didn’t want to eat because he had jaundice and his doctor and my LC told me I had to wake him up and force him to eat.

    I remember sobbing in the middle of the night once and putting formula on my breast trying to get him to want to eat.

    As long as a child is getting fed–whether it is formula or breast milk, I’m happy. Because the child is eating!

    • February 26, 2011 @ 9:30 am

      It’s amazing, we’re so full of emotion after having the baby, and then when things don’t go perfectly with breastfeeding it can be so devastating. I hope it works out easier for both of us next time!

  50. February 26, 2011 @ 1:10 am

    Thank you for this fantastic post! It makes me wonder how many people out there had the sames exact experiences, because I did. Scary similar. My son was also breech, which caused a c-section instead of natural birth. He’s a happy healthy two-year-old now, and I’m extremely thankful for that, but there is still a part of me that feels incomplete because I didn’t get to “have” my baby. I’ve been told that I’m ridiculous for feeling that way (mostly by women who did get to deliver their children), but I truly hope that I’m able to have a VBAC with #2 someday.

    I also had a hell of a time with breastfeeding. I read books, took the classes, reviewed my notes, and consulted all my friends that had done it themselves (less than I would have thought)… but I still failed, miserably. I had an over-production issue that caused my son to choke at every feeding. Even though I followed my lactation consultant’s instructions to a T, I had to “throw in the white flag” at 6 weeks. Day in and day out, I pumped, fed, then pumped again. I had enough breast milk to feed the needy! I had blocked milk ducts, then mastitis. I soaked in Epsom salt, put cabbage leaves in my bra, you name it. I just couldn’t understand why my body was fighting me on what was supposed to be the most natural thing in the world.

    I hope to have a natural birth one day, and breastfeed with ease, but I know now that they are both out of my control. And that if I never “succeed” with either, it doesn’t make me less of a mother.

  51. February 26, 2011 @ 11:10 pm

    Aw of course he will be okay! Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t and he’s such a cute baby. He will be fantastic.

  52. February 27, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

    My first daughter had a difficult latch (over-eager and it was a precursor of her personality) and it took over a month to get her trained. I had a barrette clipped on my bra strap to remember which side to start on. Then my milk stopped because my thyroid was overactive. Breastmilk is best but formula is necessary, no matter what the situation.

    My second daughter could not nurse, my milk never came in, then we found out she had digestive issues. Without hypoallergenic formula, she would not be here 6-and-a-half years later drooling on me.

  53. February 27, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    Wow, the app looks great! I could have really used one like this for my Blackberry when my LO was small…

  54. March 1, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

    Crissy, wow. As a blogger that wrote a post speaking out against this same app I want to say how much I admire your heart. Thank you for sharing with such vulnerability your past and experience feeding your child. I have said it before, formula is not evil, it is very much a godsend to mothers that need it. You are right, breastfeeding is the best and formula is not the worst.

    You can read my original post but I just gotta say something here – this entire campaign that Similac is running with this app is going to be so controversial. My main frustration with this app is how they offer “feeding experts” ready to help breastfeeding moms with breastfeeding questions. If they could stop offering help to breastfeeding moms that would be wonderful.

    But otherwise, yes, it is a great app. I like all the features you mentioned and I know you will be a great rep for them.

  55. March 16, 2011 @ 8:19 pm
    Sara @ Mom Endeavors

    Just wanted to thank you again for sharing what you did in the beginning of this post. It helped spur me to do a series on my blog: “When breastfeeding doesn’t work”. In fact, I quoted part of this post (& included a link back) in the final entry.

  56. March 17, 2011 @ 11:10 pm

    I was unable to breastfeed, but I knew that from the very start so I wasn’t upset when it was time to bottlefeed. (I have a seizure disorder and had to stop my medicine for the duration of pregnancy but needed to start right away after delivery.) There were some moms who gave me sad eyes like they pitied me. I seriously doubt my 5 year old doesn’t love me any less because of it :)


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