When it comes to breastfeeding, about 80% of mothers in the U.S. are starting their babies with the best source of nutrition for them. This statistic comes from the Center of Disease Control's 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card. However, for many of these mothers, there comes a time when they have to chose when to wean their baby off the breast. Sometimes it is after the first six weeks. Sometimes baby goes straight to baby formula. The same report card stated that about half of babies are still nursing by the age of six months.
The decision to feed your little one baby formula can be an easy one or challenging one. For many parents, there is confidence in the choice to feed their babies formula based on research and referrals. Organic baby formula may not be the pediatrician's first choice, but it is the ideal choice based on organic farming practices and production standards. Other parents feel guilty when they cannot produce enough milk or need to return to work and not be able to nurse on demand.
Formula feeding does not have to be an all-or-nothing decision. If you started nursing your newborn but cannot do it exclusively, you can combine the best of both worlds.
If you are like one of the 8 out of ten mothers who start nursing as soon as your baby is born, you know that the first few days of nursing is full of nutrients and antibodies in the colostrum. They fulfill your baby's nutritional needs as well as boost their immature immune system. Studies show that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of asthma, allergies, SIDS, and other diseases. It takes weeks to boost your own supply. This is where some mothers start to get discouraged because they cannot see how much baby is taking in. Mothers can continue to nurse while working by expressing milk during the day and storing it for the caretaker since it can be refrigerated for five days or frozen for up to 12 months.
Breastfeeding is also good for the mother. It boosts mood by relaxing you with the release of the hormone oxytocin. The same hormone helps the uterus contract back to pre-pregnancy size. Breastfeeding is also linked to a lower risk of postpartum depression and certain cancers for you.
Mothers who choose baby formula know that they are not the only one who can feed their little one. They know that there is always something available when they are not around to take care of baby. It also reduces your worries about how your baby is going to get their nutrition if you are physically unable to produce enough milk to sustain your child.
Whether you nurse or bottle-feed your baby, you are still bonding with them during feeding time. Your body can still benefit from the release of oxytocin while you nurse or pump breast milk for later. Not only are you relaxed, but you know that your baby is still getting all the nutrition they need. Breast milk has the right amount of protein, fat, and carbs, and organic baby formula companies do the best they can to mimic these components with all-natural, organically-grown ingredients. Both are natural, GMO-free, and typically do not trigger allergic reactions.
If you already have bottles, nipples, and everything you need to mix baby formula, you can reduce the cost of feeding your baby by switching off feedings between breast milk and baby formula. Breastfeeding is free and the milk is easy to store, so it can reduce the expense of feeding your baby.
When you try your best to feed your baby, you can take advantage of the benefits of both methods.
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