Breastfeeding is a beautiful bonding experience for moms and also breast milk is highly recommended for your newborn baby due to its tremendously beneficial qualities. Breast milk gives the best nutrition to your baby and there is absolutely no doubt about this.
However, breastfeeding is not easy on every mom, it has its own set of challenges which might give moms a second thought of starting formula. Whereas for some moms it is the most motherly and bonding
Not everyone is the same, there are exceptions to everything, and everyone. Every woman is different from another one and every baby is different from another baby, so and so forth.
However, with all those exceptions, there are women who have to struggle a lot with producing enough milk for their babies, or there may be some babies who just don’t want to latch regardless, no matter how hard mom is going to try.
Although breastfeeding in public gets uncomfortable for some moms, similarly, people get pretty judgmental when they see moms breastfeeding in public. Even if you feed formula or breastmilk in a bottle, you will be bombarded with questions and judged on baby’s nutrition. This will certainly increase mom guilt and stress that could have a negative impact on this hormonal stage of motherhood.
No matter what method you choose if your baby is well fed, active, healthy and happy, that is all that matters.
Right after delivery many moms struggle with milk supply and their babies start losing more weight than considered normal, at that time they are supplemented to meet baby’s nutritional needs and moms continue to nurse in order to have a supply.
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Breastfeeding Vs Formula feeding
Breastfeeding seems tough to new moms whereas formula is supposed to be more convenient. Although breastfeeding is considered more healthy and nutritious, still there are parents who want to formula feed due to reasonable reasons and it is challenging for them too.
If you are a new mom and struggling with breastfeeding, read these 40+ breastfeeding tips to get a hang of it.
Reasons why Babies do not want to latch
There could be plenty of reasons babies don’t want to latch
- Due to small nipple size, or nipple confusion. Using the Nipple shield has helped many moms with this issue.
- Due to nursing position probably your baby is slightly uncomfortable. As a new mom, you do not know how to hold a baby in the
rightnursing position which is comfortable for mom and the baby. Ideally,you should sit in a nursing chair, place a pillow in your lap to level up your baby so you don’t have to bend. For C- section moms, wearing a belly belt would help with pain and support, and placing a pillow in the lap would help tremendously.
Always make sure you are in the right posture, keep your baby close instead you being close to baby.
- Due to some physical issues, like something could be stuck in her mouth which could be a hindrance in latching. It is always a good practice to monitor closely inside the baby’s mouth if your baby is not latching.
- One of the reasons is she might not know how to latch. Not every baby knows that. Some babies have great suckle reflux since birth whereas others learn with time.
Breastfeeding is all about demand and supply. The more you nurse, the more supply you are going to have.
Breastfeeding could make moms anxious
Besides all those benefits breastfeeding has, some women are not comfortable even with the idea of breastfeeding. They seem to have anxiety and stress as they start thinking about breastfeeding.
Let me tell you honestly. Breastfeeding is the toughest part of motherhood, in my opinion, it is beautiful, it gives you happiness within that you are feeding your child with best as long as you feel happy about doing it.
However, If you don’t want to do it then it is not more than an add-on to your stressors of motherhood.
You are scared you will be judged for not giving your child the best and it makes you feel like a failure. It is very sad that women really have to be strong for not choosing to breastfeed.
The purpose of this post is not to suggest any new mom for not breastfeeding as this is the best your baby could have at this point in life.
Moreover, this post is for those moms who are stressed out with the idea of breastfeeding and they want to formula feed their babies but they are scared of being judged.
I am not a medical professional, please do not seek any medical advice from me. I am just a mom with two little ones, fed both of them with a combo feed as advised by their pediatrician.
Breastmilk and Formula feeding Combination
Let’s do some pros and cons for Breastmilk and formula feed
Breastmilk is easy on Digestion whereas formula takes time
Breastmilk is very light and easy to digest and your baby gets hungry too often in about 1.5 to 2 hours whereas formula feed can go unto 3 to 4 hours as it is heavy and takes time to digest. These numbers highly dependent on the age of your baby, body type, weight, etc.
Some babies tend to eat more and get hungry too soon. Some babies even have trouble adjusting to one particular formula, as some babies get too much gassy, some have more reflux because of the esophagus (food pipe) is not fully developed.
Breast milk is Free and Formula is not free at all
Breastmilk is free, natural and the healthiest, if only you have it. Formula milk is expensive almost $30 every big container which is good for only 30 days after opening.
Ready to feed bottles are good for one hour after opening.
So it’s going to add up.
Breastfeeding is tough in the beginning and formula is no physical pain
Breastfeeding is painful, rough and gets very tough at some points, whereas formula is no pain, except having bottles, milk, warmer, warm water everything ready.
Painful nipples are a temporary stage, after a couple of weeks you would not even believe, you never had pain (except some women, they might have it whenever they nurse). Mom can use Lanolin cream to soothe cracked nipples.
Breastfeeding is a frequent wake-up for moms and babies and the stress continues for the whole time, although things do get better with time.
How to reduce breastfeeding pain for the first few weeks and what are the other concerns that you should know about.
Breastfeeding on the go and formula feeding is tough on the go
When you are breastfeeding it is good on the go, while you are in the car, at a restaurant, you don’t have to prepare the bottle, or if you have pumped milk bottles ready, you are good to go. For me having warm water ready all the time was a task.
Sometimes you even have to pay for warm water too.
Pumping breastmilk or feeding on demand
Well, I have never been into pumping, the thought of leaky breasts with a need of pumping was a nightmare for me. Whereas some moms do it perfectly, they stash so much in their freezer and they don’t have to worry about it.
I always fed my babies on-demand with a combination of formula feed, my top preference had been feeding them what is best, and even if I couldn’t due to low supply or some other reasons I would formula feed, as it was recommended by the doctor.
What you can do if you want to breastfeed and you are scared
We face anxiety sometimes when we fear to do something, or we are scared of facing the situation. It could have many other reasons, but ideally, you have to try to get over with stressed-out feelings.
Let me tell you, stress is the number one killer of milk supply, the more stressed out you are the lesser will be the supply.
Every Mom should try to nurse her baby so she would not have any regret of not trying.
There are chances that you might like the natural way of feeding your baby, and after that, if you are not comfortable and feel more stressed and upset due to all that hardwood, pain, middle of the night frequent waking, so and so forth, you can switch to formula.
Well, there are chances your baby might not like the bottle even.
Reasons why you should consider supplementing with formula
1. When the formula feed is the only option as you do not have enough supply yet
Babies tend to lose birth weight as it takes about 3 to 5 days for moms to have a healthy supply for newborns. Until then moms have a natural pre-milk Colostrum that has potential health benefits for babies that could last for a lifetime.
During this struggle, some babies lose weight more than the normal range, so they need to be fed on formula as they should not get to the starvation level. Try not to be too rigid on exclusively breastfeeding that it could cost you your baby’s health.
If you need to supplement even for the time being do not show rigidness in consulting with your pediatrician. It is certainly understandable that as a mom you want the best nutrition for your baby and nothing beats mom’s milk. Right now just think “fed is the best”.
Read this post on moms regrets on their motherhood journey. In this post, a mom advised new moms not to be too rigid about exclusively breastfeeding when there is not enough supply and your baby is losing more of her birth weight.
Always seek professional advice if you want to consider supplementing.
Read more about mommy mistakes with newborn babies.
2. When your baby is always hungry and crying
While there are other reasons why your baby might be crying, hunger is the top of the list. Crying babies could be stressful for both parents and caretakers, it makes them frustrated and exhausted. Somehow even if you are nursing every 2 hours or on demand and your baby seems to be always hungry then it could be a sign that you NEED to supplement as you are not producing enough.
Talk to your pediatrician about it and make sure your baby is having enough wet and dirty diapers a day.
Read more about what are newborn essentials for sick and uncomfortable days.
3. When breastfeeding makes you more stressed out or anxious than normal
If you are overthinking about breastfeeding and it gives you more stress and you feel you can’t do that for a long time, try at least for 6 months. The only thing that haunted me with my second pregnancy was breastfeeding. Despite all those painful beginnings, I chose to nurse for about one a half year with just a little bit of supplementing. You can read about my biggest regret for not supplementing when I was not having enough milk supply.
4. When you feel you are not emotionally, physically or mentally ready
Everyone at the hospital wants to impose their decision on you, as they want the best feed for the newborn and encourage moms to nurse more and more and to have skin to skin which would help with milk supply. The earlier you start nursing the quicker will be the supply.
Unfortunately, for some moms, it takes a lot to start over something for which they don’t seem to be ready and adding on the social pressure would make it worse.
Its the mom who has to take care of the baby and if she is not mentally ready for something, she shouldn’t be forced to do that. Although breastfeeding is known to have reduced the risk of postpartum depression as it would help moms to have a bonding with their baby.
However, if at any point you seem not ready or it is costing you your health, you should talk to your pediatrician about supplementing.
5. When you just do not want to do that with your 100% consent
There are moms who just do not want to nurse due to their very own reasons and they have a complete right to decide for their baby. So if you do not want to do it, just do your research and have a talk with your doctor about the
Seek help or advice from a Lactation Consultant
Hospitals offer lactation consulting to help new moms to learn the process of breastfeeding. It may seem easy and learn by doing the process, however, you are underestimating the power of lactation consultants. They are professional and they do offer help for new moms to make it easy on your self and babies. I had to take a lactation class at the hospital as it was not as easy as it seemed. She actually knew how to help in a positive way.
Unfortunately, due to all those hormonal changes post-delivery, makes it even harder for moms. Some moms do not have a good experience as they are stressed out and they have to get a job done too. Thus making it hard and stressful for new moms.
While discharging at the hospital nurses are going to guide you with lactation consulting services if you need any in the
Other Issues you might have to face
If you have pain latching, you can try electric pumps.
If you are a working mom, you can either pump or also use a combo feed.
Those who are having less milk supply and want to breastfeed, they can increase milk supply with these supplements. They are made up of fenugreek which is a very helpful ingredient for boosting milk supply.
Read more about How to increase breast milk supply with food.
My pediatrician even advised me to even mix breastmilk and top feed in a feeding bottle.
Despite whatever you choose, breastfeeding is a natural and healthy option for moms too. It will help them shed baby weight in a few months postpartum, also helps uterus shrink within a few weeks.
You are a mom and you know what is best for your child. If you want to choose formula over breastmilk, it would not make you any less of a mom. If your mental and physical health is taking a toll over breastfeeding, you could seriously consider quitting breastfeeding. A healthy mom can take care of a baby in