One of the biggest decisions to make as a mom is whether to breast or bottle feed your baby. Many people have strong opinions about this topic. There are many things to consider before making your decision but remember it is YOUR decision.
Things to consider:
- your schedule
- benefits for you and your baby
- your support system
Cost: While WIC (Women Infant and Children) program does assist with formula it also will assist with breast feeding needs such as breast pumps. Today’s cost of a 16 ounce can of powder formula will run around $13. Cost and brand will depend on the Pediatrician recommendations and not all brands cost the same.
Your Schedule: Breastfeeding is big commitment. No one can breastfeed in your place. If you decide to pump and store breast milk that takes time and planning. The upside is in the middle of the night your breast milk is ready. No measuring and heating bottles. No washing bottles and nipples. When you are out visiting family or running errands you don’t have to calculate how many bottles you will need. You take the breast milk with you all the time and it is always at the perfect temperature.
Benefits: When you begin to breast feed your baby after birth this begins to cause your uterus to contract and stop bleeding. You can actually feel your uterus contracting. It isn’t painful but feels like you are doing sit ups. Another benefit to your uterus contracting is that you begin to lose weight. Also, your body develops antibodies that are passed onto your baby through the breast milk and this is why breast fed babies are generally healthier than bottle fed babies. Healthier babies means fewer trips to the doctor and less time missed from your job if you return to work. Breast fed babies spit up less and are able to digest their mother’s milk much easier than formula.
Ask yourself these questions:
Would you feed a new puppy cow’s milk? Would you feed calf human milk? Then why should we consider formula feeding normal compared to breastfeeding? When possible mothers should strive to breastfeed, even a few weeks can have great benefits for you and your baby.
Today’s formulas have all the ingredients needed for your baby to grow and be healthy and happy. Weigh the pros and cons of each choice and talk this over with your support system. Remember the choice is yours. What works best for you and your baby will ultimately be the right decision.