Parenting—Should I Breastfeed or Formula Feed?

Posted December 21, 2021 by in Lifestyle

Every new mother has to decide if they will breastfeed or formula feed. There are pros and cons to both options, and there is a lot of confusing information out there. Additionally, there are women, mothers, healthcare providers, and other people who are very passionate about their opinions on the topic and will sometimes shame new mothers for not making the “right” decision.

Here are a few factors to consider when making this often difficult decision:

Woman breastfeeding her baby on a grey couch.

Nutrition and Safety

Breast milk naturally contains all the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs to thrive. The more a mother breastfeeds, the more milk they will produce, so their baby will have everything they need as they grow. If you decide to breastfeed, you will not have to worry about your baby’s nutrition or safety. While there are many good formulas on the market that provide the nutrition and safety your baby needs, you need to research brands and ingredients to ensure that. For example, babies that have been given formula made with cow’s milk are susceptible to a condition called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which can be dangerous.

There are currently lawsuits over NEC formula options, as many mothers were given this type of formula in the hospital or NICU without knowing the risks. If you have a baby who has been diagnosed with NEC, you should look into the formula they’ve been given. Likewise, if you choose to formula feed, it is critical to research the formula you use to ensure your baby is not being put at risk.

Ability

Many moms choose to formula feed because they have difficulty breastfeeding or are worried they can’t breastfeed. If you have concerns about your ability, how much milk you produce, your breastmilk, or anything else, you can get help from qualified lactation consultants. They can help you with breastfeeding and how to utilize a breast pump. They can also help you choose the best equipment to buy, like the Haakaa breast pump. They can teach you about your milk supply, how to preserve and store your oversupply, how to keep your ducts healthy, and everything you need to know about breastfeeding accessories like nursing pads. You can also try some lactation cookies from Majka to increase your milk supply.

Work Schedule

With a breast pump, you can work breastfeeding into your normal daily schedule so you can go back to work when the time comes. You don’t have to choose between working and breastfeeding. Some women are uncomfortable with the idea of pumping milk at work and will choose to switch to formula once they return to work.

Childcare

Utilizing childcare should not directly impact your decision to breastfeed or formula feed. Whether your child will be with family members or in a daycare setting, if you are using childcare, you will need to go over your feeding plan with the people caring for your child. If you are feeding with breast milk, they will just need to know the proper way to prepare the bottle and store the breastmilk to ensure it stays good and safe for your child to consume. If you choose formula feed, they will need to know how to make a bottle with the correct amount of formula and water.

Woman making milk with baby formula for her baby

Deciding how to feed your new baby is a significant decision that needs to be made between you and the other parent. While you may be surrounded by people who insist on how you should feed, it is ultimately up to you and what you are most comfortable with. Neither decision makes you any less of a mother. Additionally, if you start with breastfeeding and then change your mind, you can switch to formula feeding at any time. Just make sure you opt for the highest quality, golden standard and organic certified baby formula – such as HIPP UK STAGE 1.