From the moment your little one is in your arms, you want the best for their nutrition. Breast milk is the first choice, and for many, it is the only choice. Pediatricians strongly recommend that your baby is nursed for the first six months in order to get all of the benefits of breast milk. This includes vitamins, minerals, as well as antibodies and immunity boosters that are not available in baby formula.
The decision to supplement or even switch from breast milk to baby formula is stressful for the mother. In some cases, there are feelings of guilt even though the baby is still getting everything they need to grow and develop. More than anything, you want to be confident in your decision. While there is no specific time when you should supplement with formula, there are opportunities in which it is the right time for you and your baby.
Breastfeeding can occur as soon as your baby is born. With the help of your doctor and nurses, you can help your baby latch on and encourage their natural instinct to root and suck. The first milk that you will produce is called colostrum. While it has all of the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats that your baby needs, the most important part of the colostrum are the antibodies. This protects your baby as early as possible against bacteria and viruses. It is like immunization without the needle.
For some mothers, they are not able to nurse right away. They may be recovering from surgery, pregnancy-related illnesses such as preeclampsia, or they even have an infection that they cannot risk transferring to the baby. Mothers have reported on social media how it took them as much as 48 hours before they were able to start pumping to express their milk for their baby. Since your baby cannot go 48 hours without any sustenance, your baby needs to supplement with formula.
Even while you are nursing and pumping, it may take time to increase your milk supply. Your baby will thrive with a combination of breast milk and baby formula.
Many mothers have to go back to work after they have spent their maternity leave taking care of their little one. They have been able to nurse on demand, but they may have been able to express milk and freeze it for when they return to work. Mothers have coordinated their nursing and pumping schedule so that they can continue providing milk for their baby in the care of a sitter or another family member.
Even though your supply may be good, you may want to consider supplementing baby formula during the time that you are away from your baby. You can try to keep up with the demand, but there is the chance that you will run short on ounces as your baby needs more and more. You may have thought of breastfeeding exclusively, but any breast milk is better for your baby.
There are many mothers who drink a lot of fluids, nurse and pump when they can, yet their supply does not seem to meet the demands of their hungry baby. It can take a few weeks for your supply to meet those demands, so supplementing with baby formula can meet that need while you express in between feedings. Your baby will still bond with you because you are taking care of them and keeping them nourished. Since your baby comes first, you can be at ease knowing that you gave them everything they need.
If your baby is not growing enough on breast milk, your pediatrician will talk to you about options. Some indicators include:
Breast milk is the most natural food for your baby. You have many options when it comes to baby food, but organic baby formula is also natural goodness for your little one. Sustainable farming techniques, quality ingredients, and food that has no artificial additives, preservatives, or toxins are good enough for your baby as well. Just like you have a choice to nurse or formula-feed, you have a choice in what formula you feed your baby. Organic baby formula can give you more confidence in what you choose your baby to have.
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