Should I Breastfeed? It's Personal
Are you a new mom, or expecting a little one? Are you trying to figure out how you will feed your baby? You’ve probably gotten lots of unsolicited advice from others about what worked for THEM. This article is to help you figure out what is right for YOU.
First, on breastfeeding. What do experts say?
Let’s get started with the pros. Most expert guidelines recommend exclusively breastfeeding your newborn within the first hour of birth to at least six months after the child was born. Namely, we’re talking the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization.
What is exclusive breastfeeding?
Exclusive breastfeeding means the only source of nutrition the baby will obtain is breast milk. There are so many benefits to breast milk. To summarize, some benefits include: immune protection, regulation of growth, development of intestinal flora, development, and metabolism. Additionally there is a reduced risk of maternal, infant, and child illness and chronic disease. Also, it provides many benefits for the mother such as weight loss, prevention of breast and ovarian cancer.
There are many reasons why some mothers shouldn’t breastfeed
Choosing how you feed your baby is personal. However, some mom’s should not breastfeed. Some of these reasons are:
- Use of certain illicit drugs that are excreted in breastmilk
- Moms that suffer from an infectious disease: HIV, HTLV, tuberculosis, herpes on the breast
- Mom is taking certain medications or chemo agents
- Babies that have galactosemia, a metabolic condition where babies can’t break down milk
But, there are also some reasons why mom’s choose not to breastfeed
Remember, this is a completely personal decision. Why? Because, feeding an infant is hard! Sometimes formula is the best option for feeding a baby, other times breastfeeding is. For instance, some moms might not make enough milk, others have difficulty latching, and some simply choose not to breastfeed for personal reasons. Infant formula is a healthy nutritional alternative.
Further, there are benefits of formula that include: ability to involve other caregivers in feeding, no risk of transmission of certain drugs, alcohol or diseases through milk, less stressful when there are feeding challenges, and ability to know exactly how much infant is receiving. Lastly, some people argue formula fed babies also sleep more at night.
You can do both!
By the way, many moms choose to do a combination of breastfeeding and formula feeding. It does not have to be one or the other.
If you try to breastfeed, remember you are not alone
Many women need a little help getting in the breastfeeding groove. It’s especially hard in the first month! If it hurts or you just have some questions talk to a lactation consultant. Need help finding one? Check our Fooblie coaches, many have lactation credentials. We also have a free library of resources on infant feeding where you can learn a bit more about breast and formula feeding.
Bottom line: Do what is right for you
In conclusion, breast or bottle? Do what is best is for your family. At Fooblie we are a judgement free space that helps families make the decisions that are right for THEM. So do what is right for you, and feel good about making that decision!