Formula Milk and Breastfeeding

preschool singapore expert

Are you experiencing the mom's guilt for being unable to breastfeed your little ones? Read on to find out why you should STOP feeling guilty now!

An alternative to Breastfeeding

We all know the immense benefits of breastfeeding. However, we also know that not all mummies are able to breastfeed their babies, due to varied unfavourable circumstances. It is challenging enough to care for a newborn, the last thing that should weigh down on the tired mum is the guilt of not being able to provide enough breast milk for her hungry baby! We have done our research and you can be assured that formula milk is an entirely safe and nutritious alternative to breastfeeding.

Here's why:

1. Formula milk can also provide your baby with additional vitamins in a single feeding session if they are underweight or malnourished, as the ingredients are precisely measured. 

2. Breastfeeding amounts may vary throughout the day and feedings. Additionally, depending on how long babies nurse, they may receive only foremilk and not the additional filling nutrients found in hindmilk. This is why it is necessary to nurse for a minimum of ten to fifteen minutes when breastfeeding. If mum is tired, formula milk can come to the rescue.

3. Formula milk tends to be more satiating for the baby as they are able to drink more in quantity since formula milk is measured in bottles to ensure an accurate amount is provided during each feeding.  
A natural thickener, maltodextrin is also used in some organic baby formulas, making your baby feel full for a longer period of time. A good solution if you want to sleep longer at night.

Advantages of Breast Milk

Breast milk is good for your baby in many ways and the benefits are seemingly endless:

Ideal nutrition
Breast milk contains everything your baby needs for the first 6 months of their life. It has the proper proportion of nutrients that your baby needs and its composition even changes according to the baby’s changing needs, especially during the first month of life.

Contains antibodies 
Breast milk is loaded with antibodies that help your baby fight illnesses, such as ear infections and other bacteria, which is critical in their early months.

Lifelong health advantages 
Breastfeeding doesn’t just benefit your baby for the first six months. Research shows that babies who were breastfed are less likely to suffer from cancer, obesity or developing type 1 or type 2 diabetes as an adult.

Reduced risk of illnesses
Breastfeeding is good for moms, too. Research has proven that women who breastfeed have a reduced risk of breast cancer, heart disease and even ovarian cancer. 

Choosing a suitable breast pump
Some babies can’t be breastfed because they may have difficulty latching. In spite of this, you may still want your baby to have the benefits of breast milk. This is when a breast pump comes in handy. Every mom and baby has different needs and there are a huge range of breast pumps in the market. It is important to choose one that is suitable for your needs.

Advantages of Formula Milk

Formula milk is also a healthy choice for babies. For moms who cannot or do not want to breastfeed, formula feeding eliminates a huge amount of hassle and provide benefits such as:

Formula-fed babies can be fed by anyone at any time which also makes life easier for working moms as you do not have to fit pumping into your busy work schedule. Instead, you can simply leave formula for your baby’s caregiver.

Shared Responsibility 
By feeding your baby with formula, your partner or other supportive individuals are able to help out with nighttime feedings and share that bonding experience with your baby. Formula can be made by anyone. 

More time for yourself
It can be overwhelming taking care of a newborn. By using formulas, scheduling feedings is easier as formulas are filling hence babies don't need to eat as often with formulas. Especially if you plan to go on an outing, there are a lot of things to remember to bring with you such as a breastpump, bottles, a cooler, an ice pack, and a ton of other stuff. However if you are using formulas, it does not require as many things.

No diet restriction 
You do no't have to worry about what you eat. Mothers who breastfeed may have to avoid foods that their baby can't tolerate as your diet and breast milk are closely intertwined. If your baby has an allergy, breastfeeding means you have to stick to a strict diet so that it does not trigger your baby’s allergy. For moms who can't do that, formula can be a life-saver. Formulas even come in dairy and soy free versions that help babies avoid allergic reactions.

Bottles plays a part in feeding
When it comes to choosing a bottle, there are many materials, shapes, and sizes. So, how do you choose? There is no gold standard bottle, you will have to start somewhere to see which does your baby likes. Avoid stocking up on one type of bottle as your baby might not like the bottle. Instead, start out with a few in case your baby grows out of them. Remember to keep an eye on the nipples and replace them if they show signs of wear.

According to Dr. Courtney Jung, a lactation expert and professor at the University of Toronto, formula milk is a safe and nutritionally complete substitute for breast milk. 

Of course for fortunate mummies with an abundance of breastmilk for your babies, it is no doubt best to feed them with breastmilk. However, for those with limited supply, please do not be stressed up! The fact is, formula feeding is a completely safe and nutritious alternative to breastfeeding. If you want or need to feed your baby formula, do it with confidence! There’s no right or wrong way to feed your baby. The most important thing is that your baby is nourished and that’s all it matters.

Remember, happy mummy = happy baby!

This article is brought to you by Serious About Preschool.

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