Well-meaning loved ones can pressure a new mother about all aspects of caring for her newborn baby. One of the biggest dilemmas can be the choice between breastfeeding and feeding the baby formula from a bottle.
Both methods of feeding can provide healthy nutrients for the newest family member. Both options also have their benefits and downsides. The mother-to-be and the baby’s father will need to consider their own personal situation in order make the best choice for their family.
Breastfeeding can offer a newborn baby the nutrients he needs in the most basic form. There are many perks when it comes to breastfeeding a baby. The process is natural and the next meal is always at the ready.
Tired new parents won’t have to get up in the night to prepare a bottle for a fussy baby. The position of the nursing baby offers a natural bonding experience as mother and child look into each other’s eyes.
Along with the positives, there are challenges to breastfeeding experience that must be considered, too. The father is excluded from the feeding process, which means the new mother needs to take care of all feeding sessions.
The father can help in this area by getting the baby from his crib, diapering him and bringing him to mom for the feeding. The father can also snuggle with mother and child as the baby eats and can burp the baby afterwards, allowing the father his own snuggle time.
Some mothers have difficulties with breastfeeding. Her milk supply might be low, her breasts might be a shape that makes breastfeeding difficult, or the baby might have problems latching on. Lactose intolerant babies also make breastfeeding impossible.
Formula Feeding Through a Bottle
Though many moms are disappointed when they discover they can’t breastfeed or they feel guilt because their choice not to breastfeed is met with resistance, the baby can receive good nutrition through formula.
There are many varieties of formula available for the expectant parents to choose from whether the baby is a preemie needing extra nutrients or is lactose intolerant and can’t digest milk.
The baby can still be held while taking a bottle during formula feeding – in this case by either parent – for a healthy bonding experience. New mothers can get extra sleep while others help with the new baby. Working mothers with a low milk supply can work in peace without stressing over the fact that she couldn’t express enough milk with a breast pump.
Tips for Well-Meaning Friends and Family
The new parents will have enough pressure without family and friends adding to the guilt by showing disapproval of the parents’ chosen method of feeding the new baby.
Don’t add to that guilt by disagreeing with their choice. If the new mother has healthy issues that prevents her from breastfeeding her baby, she might not want to broadcast that situation to the world. Respect their privacy and encourage their choices to see their baby thrive.
By setting aside the opinions of others and carefully analyzing the best situation for the new family, parents-to-be can make the best decision on how to feed their newest family member.
An open mind will help the parents tweak the feeding process as new situations present themselves. No matter which feeding method is chosen, once the decision is made the new parents can focus on the most important thing, relaxing and enjoying the new baby.