“Breast is best” is something you’ve probably heard again and again throughout your pregnancy, once the baby is born, and even before you’ve conceived! It’s automatically assumed that you’ll be breastfeeding the baby right off the bat and if you say otherwise, cue shocked faces. Not to mention, the guilt you may feel when you can’t breastfeed due to lack of milk supply, health conditions, or even if you just simply don’t want to.
Over here at MMM, we believe “fed is best” whether you are breastfeeding, exclusively pumping, mixed feeding, or formula feeding, there is no wrong or right way to feed your newborn child. Because let’s face it, a fed baby is the best kinda baby there is.
We’ve put together a list of 7 reasons as to why formula feeding is great so ditch that breastfeeding guilt and get reading!
1. You can share the feeds
Breastfeeding can take a toll on a new mum especially in the first few weeks when the baby is waking up every two hours for a feed. If you’re doing mixed or exclusively formula feeding, you can share the responsibility of the feeds with your partner, a family member, or even a friend whilst you squeeze in a longer snooze so you are well-rested. This also allows them to have their bonding time with the new baby.
2. You can return to work easily
Sure, the pandemic may have changed things in terms of going to work right now but generally speaking, returning to work is much easier if your little one is on the bottle. No more rushing around to ensure that you’ve pumped enough milk for the carer or trying to find time or the place to pump whilst at work.
This also rings true if you are working from home with a little one. Your partner can alternate the feeds with you so that you are able to make that scheduled zoom meeting on time, plus you don’t have to take time out to pump in the midst of your day, making working from home much easier.
3. Formula milk is almost as nutritious as breastmilk
It’s true, formula milk may not be able to 100% match the complexity of breast milk but they are pretty darn close in duplicating it. In fact, they are continuously changing the composition as more research is released about the role of unique ingredients in breastmilk.
Formula milk is made from cow’s milk that has been specially treated to make it suitable for babies to drink and digest. It contains all the essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, B, C, D and E, plus calcium, phosphate, and iron, to make sure the little one is receiving all of the sufficient nutrients to aid their growth and development.
They also have many alternatives to cow’s milk in the event of an allergy or intolerance.
4. Formula feeding is less demanding
Due to formula milk containing more casein protein than breastmilk, it takes the baby longer to digest the milk so they feel fuller for longer. This means there are less feeds in a day so you can rest for longer in between each feed. There is even a rumour floating around that a formula bottle before bedtime keeps them sleeping for longer – it’s worked for some and not for others so the verdict is still out!
5. You know how much baby is feeding
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell how much your baby is taking in whilst breastfeeding – is it 2oz, 5 oz, or even 10 oz? With formula, that problem disappears as you are measuring how much formula milk goes into a bottle and can tell how much they have consumed. This can be especially useful so you know how much your baby needs to feel full and can plan your schedule around this.
6. You don’t need to worry about what you’re eating or drinking.
When you’re breastfeeding, you’re told to stay away from certain foods and drinks as it passes on to the baby through your milk and can give them gas, heartburn, and even aggravate any allergies and intolerances they may have (e.g. dairy or lactose intolerance).
Depending on how bad their intolerances are, it may mean you will have to cut out certain food groups from your diet which can be quite difficult for the duration of the breastfeeding period. This even applies to any medication or treatments you may be currently taking for other health conditions.
With formula, you don’t have to worry about eating that super spicy curry, indulging in an ice cream or two, or even sneaking in that much needed coffee. They even have different formulas to suit different dietary needs of the baby like lactose-free, soy milk etc.
7. It is a less painful and more comfortable method of feeding
Breastfeeding may come hand in hand with cracked nipples, blocked ducts, and painful engorgement for some, your baby may even be a little biter. Add that on top of recovering from the birth itself and it may become a little too much. Formula feeding is a great alternative that won’t cause you any of these problems.
And there you have it, 7 reasons as to why you shouldn’t feel bad about formula feeding your baby. Of course, like any feeding method, formula feeding does come with it’s own host of problems but it is never the “wrong” way.
Do you have any formula feeding tips or experiences you’d like to share? Let us know in the comment section below.