We’ve all seen photos of a baby breastfeeding – the baby’s snuggled comfortably into the chest of his mother while the mother looks down at him adoringly. These photos are a beautiful vision of the bond breastfeeding creates. But, for many mothers, breastfeeding is not always the picture of happiness represented by these photos.
For many mothers, breastfeeding can be difficult. Because of breastfeeding difficulties, many mothers consider switching to infant formula. When deciding whether or not to breastfeed, there’s no right or wrong choice. Every situation is different, and every mother must decide what’s best for her and her baby.
It’s important to note: breast milk contains nutrients that can’t be replicated in formula. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a baby’s life and continued breastfeeding with supplemental solid foods for at least 12 months.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
- Breast milk is a complete food containing a perfect combination of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins.
- Breast milk adapts to your baby’s health and nutritional needs.
- Breast milk contains antibodies (secretary IgA), which help your baby fight infection and disease.
- Breast milk is readily available, does not require mixing, and is free.
- Breast milk contains a delicate balance of protein, making it gentle on the tummy and easy to digest.
- Breastfeeding creates a special bond between you and your baby.
- Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risks of SIDS.
- Breastfeeding releases oxytocin, a hormone that helps your uterus return to its normal size and helps in the ability to bond with your little one.
- Breastfeeding helps you stay healthy. Studies have shown breastfeeding moms are more likely to lose their pregnancy weight, and less likely to develop osteoporosis, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer.
- Breastfeeding can make it difficult to be away from your baby for longer periods of time.
- Breastfeeding takes time, dedication, and in some cases, practice.
- The breast can become a “pacifier” for your baby, which can create unnecessary physical and emotional demands on you.
- Breastfeeding can cause uncomfortable and painful infections like mastitis.
- You may face backlash for breastfeeding your baby in public or face ridicule for choosing to breastfeed your baby.
- Breastfeeding can be painful at different times throughout your baby’s developmental stages (e.g. teething).
- Breastfeeding oftentimes requires you to purchase specially designed bras and clothing.
- You must be aware of the foods and liquids you consume, and how they may affect your little one’s body and stomach.
Benefits of Infant Formula
- Formula allows a lot of flexibility in your baby’s feeding schedule.
- Formula allows relatives, friends, and caregivers to participate in your little ones’ feedings.
- Formula gives you the ability to be away from your baby for extended periods of time.
- If you have a medical condition or must take medication, formula can prevent your baby from being exposed to your condition or medication.
- Formula is convenient when traveling and can be served almost anywhere and in any situation.
- Formula is more filling than breast milk and in general, keeps baby satisfied longer.
- You don’t have to worry about consuming foods or liquids that may upset baby’s tummy or affect them negatively.
Formula Feeding Cons
- Baby formula is an added expense.
- Formula can be hard for your baby to digest and can cause gastrointestinal problems.
- Formula does not contain the antibodies found in breast milk.
- Many traditional formulas contain added sugars and harmful ingredients like GMO’s, artificial flavors, synthetic colors, and toxic preservatives.
- Infant formula must be mixed prior to feedings.
- Bottles used to formula feed must be sterilized and cleaned.
- You can run out of formula.
Not all Formulas are Created Equal
If you decide to formula feed, it’s important to remember: not all baby formulas are created equal. Most traditional formulas contain unnatural and in some cases, harmful ingredients like genetically modified ingredients. Although no brand of formula can replicate breast milk exactly, organic formulas are the closest you can come to mother’s milk.
At My Organic Company, we are passionate about offering customers the safest and most natural feeding options for infants and toddlers. We hand pick every one of the formulas we offer based on a number of factors, such as quality of ingredients, manufacturing process, and organic certification. We are proud to offer one of the largest selections of European made formulas here in the states and carry a large selection of American made formulas as well.
We are here to Help!Whether you decide to feed your baby formula or breast milk or both, we are here to help. Browse our blog for tips on how to choose the right infant formula and other feeding topics.