The debate over breastfeeding versus formula feeding can be highly polarizing. Many new mothers who choose to feed their children with newborn formula, while others breastfeed their infants. No new mother should be made to feel guilty about using formula, especially if there are personal issues that prevent her from breastfeeding in the first place. In fact, there are many benefits of formula feeding a newborn.
Please note that this post is not about taking a stand either way in breast versus formula but instead intends to highlight information about newborn formula so new or soon-to-be moms, as well as their loved ones, have all of the necessary information to decide for themselves if it’s the right choice for their newborn and their family’s lifestyle. After all, it makes sense to prepare for the new baby as much as possible.
1. Formula Feeding Can Alleviate Postpartum Stress
Firstly, choosing to use formula with your newborn can reduce stress on new mothers. Breastfeeding can be a painful and demanding activity that is sometimes be too much for couples who are in the throes of postpartum life. There is nothing shameful in choosing not to breastfeed when formula represents a nutritional alternative that is far easier on the body, and potentially the mind. Even choosing to combine breastfeeding with occasional formula use can be helpful when it all becomes too much to handle.
Formula can also remove any conditions that cause breastfeeding to be an uncomfortable experience for either the baby or the mother. For example, if breastfeeding is too painful or if your baby has poor suction ability, then formula feeding can be an effective solution.
Furthermore, you can easily get back to your pre-pregnancy “normal” when using formula. You will be able to eat and drink whatever you want, including coffee, and spicy foods, without worrying about its effect on the baby.
2. Formula is Nutritious
While formula is not the same as breast milk, being different is not necessarily a bad thing. Formula has many additional vitamins and minerals, including some that are not in breast milk. These extras include vitamin D and, in some cases, DTA fatty acids, which are both necessary for healthy development.
Also, you can customize formula feeding to your unique child. For example, if your newborn has digestive issues, you can easily find a way to make the bottle so it is easier to consume. Premature and low birth weight children can also benefit from a formula that is higher in calories than standard formulations. Best of all, with formula, there will be no mystery as to how much food your newborn is eating. Formula is easy to measure before consumption, while breastfeeding involves somewhat of a guessing game.
3. Formula Feeding Encourages Equal Parenting
If your partner can share the responsibility of feeding your child early on, this activity can create a more equal parenting dynamic within your new family. It can be a lot easier for everyone involved if nobody is the “primary caregiver” 100% of the time.
However, if you worry that not breastfeeding will leave you feeling distance from your baby, it’s important to know that formula feeding can still be a nurturing experience. You can also be sure that there is much more to being a mother or father than simply feeding your child!
Newborn Formula has a Lot to Offer
There are real, tangible benefits of formula feeding in many situations. In my opinion, new mothers are free to choose how much or how little to use formula, if at all. Without judgement for their decision. It’s about what works best for them, the baby, and the family unit. Whichever feeding method you decide, I hope you enjoy this special time with your new family.
Is this information about the benefits of formula feeding new to you? Are there other advantages not pointed out here?