The importance of mother’s milk for the child is common knowledge and the benefits it provides are very well known. It is indeed one of the most nutritious foods that your baby can have, and doctors worldwide have recommended this, at least for the first six months of your baby’s life. From containing antibodies that your child needs to ward off infections to providing all the necessary nutrition, the pros of breastmilk are plenty, none of which can be disputed (1).
However, due to untoward circumstances, some mothers are unable to breastfeed their little ones. Reasons could range from medical and health problems to logistical problems where mothers have to be away from their babies. In such situations, the next best thing is the baby formula. Many new mothers go through the guilt of not being able to breastfeed their little one. It’s also common to be derided by others about this and being labelled as a “bad parent”. Even with genuine reasons, the inability to breastfeed keeps bothering new mothers which can lead to depression. All of this makes it further difficult for mothers to switch to baby formula. It can put a lot of pressure on you, making you wonder if you’re doing the right thing.
However, we’re here to help you understand that it is okay to opt for this choice. In fact, there are some excellent reasons to support this as well! So read on, and let’s hope that you feel better at the end of this blog!
1. The Mother’s Health Is As Important As The Child’s
First and foremost, we’d like to address the fact that the mother’s health is not something to be taken for granted. Only a healthy mother would be able to provide the best care for her little one. If breastfeeding is causing the mother too much pain and discomfort, it’s better to switch to formula till the time the mother recovers. Some women experience postpartum changes in their body. The lactating breasts might feel extra sensitive and tender for them to feed their baby comfortably. It can also be a mix of breastfeeding and formula depending on the amount of milk the mother is able to express.
New mothers who are struggling to breastfeed, should stay in consultation with their doctor or nutritionist to find ways to be able to breastfeed. Various massage techniques and breastfeeding accessories provide some added assistance which might help. If they feel unbearable pain, sticking with baby formula would be the better alternative.
2. Formula Is Healthy Too
Contrary to popular belief, there is no harm in feeding your baby formula. Baby formulas made from reliable brands are healthy, Contrary to popular belief, there is no harm in feeding your baby formula. Baby formulas made from reliable brands are healthy, nutritious, and safe. Breast milk is indeed the most nutritious food your baby can have, and nothing can replace it, but this does not mean that baby formula is toxic. Mothers worldwide have been relying solely on baby formula, and their babies have turned out just fine. It is a good substitute for breast milk, and it provides the nutrition your child requires (2). Talk to your child’s pediatrician and ask for the best formula for your baby. Ensure you opt for the ones that are FDA approved and check if it is a tested and proven brand.
3. You Can Keep Track Of Your Baby’s Intake
When you’re breastfeeding your baby, you don’t have much of an idea as to how much your baby is drinking. As a result, you might be overfeeding or underfeeding your child. This isn’t the case with baby formula. With formula, you can easily keep track of your baby’s daily intake of food.
4. Your Baby Won’t Be Running Out Of Food
A lot of mothers face an insufficient supply of breast milk. This can be due to various reasons such as hormonal issues, intake of certain medications, insufficient glandular tissues, or latching problems (3), (4). It can be overwhelming when you run out of milk supply for your little one, but this is one issue you will not have to worry about if you’ve made the switch to baby formula.
5. Others Can Help Feed Your Baby
If you’ve just had a baby, you know that you’ve barely had any time for yourself. In between all those nappy changes and feeding duties, you might be in desperate need of a breather. You can use your baby’s feeding time to do this — just ask someone else to take over. You can’t possibly have time to yourself if you’re breastfeeding, but it is possible if you are feeding your child from the bottle.
6. Give The Others A Chance To Bond
Nothing can beat the bond of a mother and child, but how about letting the others bond with your baby for a bit? The father, siblings, or grandparents can develop a beautiful bond with the newest addition to the family, and feeding is the best way to do so. When you breastfeed your child, the father doesn’t get the opportunity to bond with the baby — this can change once the dad starts feeding his little one with a bottle.
7. Anywhere, Anytime!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeding your child in public; if anything, this should be normalized. However, whether or not you want to do so is entirely up to you. Some mothers are not very comfortable with the idea of breastfeeding their children in public. This forces them to look for secluded areas where they can feed their child without people around them. In the case of baby formula, you don’t have to worry about the public eye. You can feed your child any time, anywhere!
Truth be told, there is no wrong with feeding your child formula. In fact, it’s safe to say that baby formula is an excellent alternative to breast milk. It doesn’t matter why you’ve come to this decision. At the end of the day, you want the best for your baby, and it’s your choice. So lay back, relax, and don’t worry about it. Have you been struggling with this decision lately? How has baby formula helped you so far? Let us know in the comments below!
- Review of Infant Feeding: Key Features of Breast Milk and Infant Formula
- Causes of perception of insufficient milk supply in Western Australian mothers
- The physiological basis of breastfeeding