You want to breast feed, but you have so many reasons to look into baby formula. Is it the right choice for you and your baby?
When you exclusively breast feed, you are the source of nutrition. It is recommended by pediatricians to nurse for six months, if not more. But many women struggle with breastfeeding for one reason or another.
It is ok to breast feed and formula feed at the same time because you are making sure that your baby is getting the best nutrition and enough of it. You may be surprised how many other mothers have the same situation that you are facing and have been satisfied with the decision they ultimately made to offer both.
Once you get past latching, you may find that your baby is hungry shortly after nursing. Though nursing stimulates milk production, some women still find it challenging to make enough milk. It can be a physical problem or even a late start because of complications at birth. It can be disheartening to think that you are not enough for your baby's needs.
You can continue nursing or pumping so that your baby gets all of the antibodies and nutritional benefits that come from any amount of breast milk. At the same time, you can offer baby formula to supplement their diet. Be sure to offer breast milk first before formula.
If you are a working mother, you have to go back to work. The stress and challenges of pumping at the work site may not allow you to produce enough while you are gone for the day. Instead of wondering whether your baby is getting enough to eat, you can arrange with your caregiver to offer baby formula. When you get home as well as before you go to work, you can continue nursing and bonding with your baby.
Mothers who nurse are excited about the bond and nurturing moments they share with their baby, but the nighttime feedings can be exhausting. The loss of sleep can do a number on mental health and happiness. Also, your partner wants to be able to contribute and give you a rest. A bottle of baby formula at night can give you the rest you need and the shared moments your partner wants to have with your little one as well.
By six months, you have reached the milestone that pediatricians recommended when it comes to exclusive breast feeding. When you are ready to wean and your baby is not ready for whole milk, you can combine breast milk and formula as part of the transition from breast to bottle. It is not uncommon and you can be sure that your baby will still get the nutrition they need, even if it does not come directly from you.