Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding
As a woman, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of breastfeeding even before you became pregnant. The benefits of breastfeeding are well established and it is expected that it is the recommended way to feed a newborn. But there comes a time when circumstances force you to formula feed your newborn.
The choice between breastfeeding and formula feeding can be difficult one mainly because of the guilt a mom feels for not breastfeeding their baby. But when there is no other way, what choice to do you have?
Breastfeeding is the recommended way because breast milk contains the right balance of nutrients for your baby. It boosts your baby’s immune system and no wonder it is considered the gold standard for infant nutrition.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months after birth. It has been proven that babies who were exclusively breastfed had better immunity and were less likely to fall sick as children and even as adolescents in years to come.
When it comes to any additional nutrition requirements for exclusive breastfeeding, some doctors will ask you to give your baby vitamin D supplements since breast milk might not provide enough vitamin D. the vitamin is important because it helps your baby absorb phosphorous and calcium which are necessary for strong bones.
In order to promote successful breastfeeding, you must eat a healthy diet and drink lots of fluids. Getting enough rest is also important.
Breastfeeding provides an opportunity for a mom to emotionally connect with her baby. It’s not just about the nutrients the baby is receiving. Breastfeeding can get overwhelming sometimes. If you feel that way, then ask for help from family and friends.
There are many reasons that a mom would opt to formula feed their baby like:
- Job-related concerns
- The sickness of the mom which affects the production of breast milk
- Psychological conditions which may be causing the mom to struggle with breastfeeding
These are just some reasons for formula feeding. When it comes to formula feeding, your baby does not get any immunity-boosting elements as those found in breast milk. Commercial baby formulas take a longer time for the baby to digest which keeps the baby fuller for longer, unlike breast milk.
The good thing about baby formula is that when it is prepared as directed, it supports healthy babies who have typical dietary needs. There are also special formulas for babies with special nutritional needs.
Formula feeding is not wrong. It has no harmful effects on your baby. Still, the formula is incomparable to breast milk in terms of nutrition and immunity. But before you consider formula-feeding, do your research in order to make an informed decision.
The decision to choose between formula feeding and breastfeeding is really up to you. The most important person to consider in this decision is your baby and what’s best for them. When you have the opportunity to breastfeed your baby, you should definitely go for it. Where you are unable to and formula feeding is the only alternative, then go for it and learn to manage the resulting emotions.