Before you get on me, please hear me out. Throughout my entire pregnancy, my dream was to breastfeed my son. I read about the healthy components that come with breastfeeding, as well as the incredible bonding experience that you get to share with your baby. I also knew that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastmilk as the best nutrition for infants and that babies should be breastfed exclusively for the first six months. However, from the time he was born until he was almost 2 months old, it just wouldn’t work. He refused to latch and would become incredibly frustrated.
And as a result, I became frustrated, as well as depressed about not being able to provide nutrition for my child the way I wanted to. So, you may ask, “Well why didn’t you just pump?” Believe me, I tried my hardest to pump but my supply was just so low, and he required so much (my baby was a 9-pounder out the womb haha) that I was not able to keep up with the demand.
Thus, I had to turn to formula. I already felt like a failure. The one thing I could give my son naturally and it just simply did not work out for either one of us. Then I had to deal with the stigma of not giving my son the best nutritious option. It was hurtful, but I did and am still doing what I have to do to make sure that my son continues to grow and develop.
So, to every mama that just can’t or would rather not breastfeed, let me ease your mind. I’m going to debunk 5 myths related to formula-fed babies.
Myth #1: You’ll Lose the Mother-to-Baby Bond
While you may not be able to feed baby from the breast, you most certainly can take part in the special bonding moments with skin-to-skin contact. This is something that my husband and I love to do with our son, even while bottle-feeding him. And because he currently eats every 3 hours, there’s plenty of time for me to partake in this type of bonding moment. There’s nothing like feeding your baby and having them gaze back at you with those sweet eyes. So yes, you are still able to bond with your baby even if you don’t breastfeed.
Myth #2: Formula Is Nutritionally Inferior to Breastmilk
By default, there are distinctions between formula and breastmilk, however they have little to do with a child getting the appropriate amount of nutrition. The protein, energy, vitamins and mineral content of formulas has been closely regulated since the 1980s. Any formula sold is required to meet the same nutritional requirements to meet the needs of growing babies. And, of course, breastfeeding does provide immune support that can’t be replicated with baby formula, which is why pediatricians say that breastfeeding is best for babies. But that doesn’t mean that formula is a bad choice.
Myth #3: Formula Leads to Obesity
I do realize that there have been studies that link the risk of obesity in children to formula. However, the link is not to the formula itself, but rather the opportunity for parents to potentially overfeed their baby. Again, the link to obesity does not have anything to do with the formula itself. We, as parents, just have to practice cautious feeding habits and work with our pediatrician to make sure we’re on track with baby’s needs.
Myth #4: You Must Buy the Organic Formula
I know it sounds awesome to say that your baby is drinking “organic” formula. And this is partly because it’s advertised to be closer to breastmilk. However, know that it’s not necessary. If you decide to use the cheapest option available, that is totally ok. Choose the formula that works best with your baby’s tummy and stick to it. Switching formulas frequently may cause issues for a baby who is already comfortable with the experience of a specific formula. Trust me, I’ve done it with my colicky baby. If you feel that a change is needed, work with your pediatrician to select the best choice.
Myth #5: You’re Just Being Lazy
Remember, the choice to formula-feed or breastfeed your baby is absolutely yours. Just feel confident in your decision and never let anyone make you feel guilty about your choice. The goal is to have a fed baby. And the fact that you took the time to read post, shows that you love your baby and want to do what’s best. You’re doing a great job and your baby will thrive!