I Don't Breastfeed, Am I a Bad Mom?

Breastfeeding is best, or so you've been told sagely by wise family members, the media, tv, medical pamphlets and yes, even the movies. Unfortunately, when swept along with all the parenting tips and changes that pregnancy brings, mothers forget that breastfeeding is a choice. And for some moms who don't breastfeed, it's not even a choice as they struggle either emotionally or physically to feed their children as Mother Nature intended.

For many Moms, choosing not to breastfeed is a cause for much stress and guilt, and yet, the progress made by companies developing quality baby formulas may leave you puzzled as to why.

Of course, breast milk contains all the required nutrients and vitamins for your baby's development, but so do many quality baby formulas! According to research focused on preterm babies, "when breast milk is insufficient or unavailable, formula milk is a good nutritional option due to its higher caloric density and protein content.

But while choosing to breastfeed or not doesn't automatically turn you into a saint or a bad mom, for that matter, knowing which is best for you can be challenging unless you have all the pros and cons to hand.

Let's take a peek at breastfeeding vs baby formula, and then it's ultimately up to you to decide.

Breastfeeding Benefits

  •  Easier: Babies can latch on quickly, and it is easy to do on the go.
  •  Cost-Effective: Breast milk is free, whereas formula costs money.
  • Nutritional Benefits: Breast milk contains the nutrients and vitamins your baby needs to grow and develop properly.
  • Immune System Boost: The antibodies in breast milk help boost your baby's immune system and protect them from illnesses and allergies.
  • Bonds with Baby: One of the most important breastfeeding benefits is that it creates a special bond between mom and baby and helps babies form emotional attachments.

Cons of Breastfeeding:

  • Time Consuming: Breastfeeding requires you to be available at all times, which can be exhausting when caring for a newborn, family and home.
  •  Difficult to Master: Breastfeeding can be difficult for some moms and babies to learn, requiring a lot of patience and practice in order to get it right.
  •  Lack of Support: Not everyone supports breastfeeding, making it hard for new moms trying to do their best for their babies.

Benefits of Baby Formula for Moms Who Dont Breastfeed:

  • Easier to Manage: Formula feeding makes it easier to manage your time since you don't have to worry about being around at all times when your baby needs food.
  • Easy Traveling: Out of all the parenting tips we can share, traveling with formula is the best, as you can easily prepare a few bottles in advance. 
  • Nutritional Benefits: Baby formula companies have worked hard to ensure their products are full of the same nutrients and vitamins that breast milk offers so your baby can stay just as healthy.
  • Bonding Opportunities for Dads: Formula feeding gives dads an opportunity to bond with their babies more easily since they can help out during feedings.

 Cons of Baby Formula:

  • Costly: Buying formula every month can add up quickly and put a dent in your wallet.
  • Difficulty in Measuring: It's easy to get the measurements wrong when preparing bottles, meaning that your baby could potentially not be getting enough or too much nutrition from their formula.
  • Variability in Quality: Different formula brands can vary widely in quality, so it's important to research and find the best option for your baby.

Helpful Parenting Tips For Breastfeeding Moms:

 If you choose to breastfeed, below are some helpful parenting tips to consider.

  • Make sure you are comfortable when nursing: Invest in a good nursing pillow and make sure you have plenty of back support when feeding.
  • Take breaks when needed: Don't be afraid to take some time away from the baby if breastfeeding is becoming overwhelming. For example, going for a walk can help put things into perspective when breastfeeding becomes overwhelming. Why not try a pair of these comfy sneakers? They're great for taking a brisk walk around the park!
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water will ensure enough milk supply for your baby.
  • Get help if needed: Talk to a lactation consultant or doctor if you have trouble breastfeeding. Breastfeeding isn't always the right decision for everyone.
  • Allow time for skin-to-skin contact: Skin-to-skin contact can help with bonding and make breastfeeding easier for you and your baby.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which option is best for you and your child regarding feeding. Don't be burdened by unnecessary guilt caused by well-meaning parenting tips; how you choose to feed your baby doesn't win you the best mother award. Instead, caring for yourself and ensuring your child gets all the nutrition they need to develop healthily while remaining happy wins you the 'Mother of the Year' award every time!

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

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