Breastfeeding or Formula?

Breast Feeding or Formula

You may of heard (a lot!) that ‘breast is best’, but ALL Mums deserve the right to choose what is the most appropriate option for them.
Many years ago, formula was being pushed on Mums, but now it’s back to breast again. It’s a see-saw and it can be very overwhelming…especially seeing it a lot on the internet and on social media.

No matter what decision you make, ‘Mummy guilt’ is sure to take over when someone shares their opinion on the matter. It’s important to think about yourself and your baby, and don’t be swayed by what you overhear. We hope this article will help you out, by looking at the facts of both options.

Formula

Most mums plan to breastfeed when they have a baby and they don’t expect to use formula. However, the reality is that many do end up using formula. Many women have big difficulties in breastfeeding and must go to the alternative. There are a lot of cases of women whose babies struggled to latch on, or they just couldn’t produce enough milk and this should not worry you. Though it is said that between one and five per cent of women can’t physically breastfeed, it can sometimes be that it’s just not right for you and baby. This is where formula is a fantastic option in ensuring your baby receives the nutrition he/she needs.
Formula feeding is also a healthy choice for babies. If you use a formula, your baby will get the best possible alternative to breast milk. Do NOT attempt to make your own formula. Research brands and ask advice from your GP.
Here are some of the pros of formula:

  • The convenience! Anyone at anytime can feed them. Which is a relief of pressure on Mum.

  • This goes on to mean that your partner can help with nightime feedings, which therefore helps create a bonding experience with your baby.

  • There is more flexibility, meaning that you don’t have to fit pumping in to your schedule. You can simply leave your chosen formula with whoever is caring for baby.

  • You don’t have to worry about what you eat. If you choose to breastfeed, babies may not be able to tolerate some foods that you eat. So formula eliminates this worry.

  • Scheduling feedings may be easier. Formula isn’t digested as quickly as breast milk, so formula-fed babies don’t need to eat as often, especially in the first few months.

  • You can have that glass of wine or gin and tonic once in a while. Alcohol is a big no for women who breastfeed because they pass on small amounts through their breastmilk to their babies.

Breastfeeding

If you choose to breastfeed, it’s important you recieve the proper support. Ask your midwife for advice and it could be useful to see a lactation specialist, who may be able to give you tips on breastfeeding. Almost 3 quarters of women breastfeed after giving birth due to it’s possible health benefits and it’s encouraged to breastfeed up to 12 months.
Here are some of the pros of breastfeeding:

  • “Human milk contains other important factors that are absent from infant formula, these include hormones, enzymes, growth factors, essential fatty acids, immunological and non-specific protective factors. The make-up of a mother’s milk changes from feed to feed, adapting to the needs of her baby as they grow and providing just the right amount for them.”- NHS

  • It’s free and available all the time! 24/7! There’s no need to spend any money or worry whether you run out.

  • It can help new mothers drop weight. An issue which can affect new mothers after pregnancy.

  • Digestion can be easier for baby with breast milk and they are often less constipated and gassy.

  • It is known to assist in brain development and help fight natural infections, which is vital in the first few months as your baby builds an immune system.

  • It’s a closer bonding experience between Mum and baby.

Overall, you should make the choice that helps you and baby in the best possible way, including lifestyle, home life, where you live, specific medical situations… these are all factors to consider. Some mothers worry that if they don’t breastfeed, they won’t have that bond with their baby. But whatever decision you make, all loving mothers will create a special bond with their children. And whether it’s breast or bottle, it is a great time to strengthen that bond.

From the Team at Window to the Womb xoxox

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