Everywhere that baby food is sold and even at the hospital when you give birth, you are going to see some sort of advertising for baby formula. There are many reasons that baby formula exists and in some cases, it is absolutely necessary. In those cases a baby could become sick or even die if they did not receive safe, sterile infant formula.
However, it’s not what is best for most healthy women and their babies. Most infant formula comes from cows’ milk, with some coming from goats’ milk or soy beans. Breast milk is always available, always the right temperature never needs to be washed or sanitized at 2 AM with a hungry, cranky baby waiting for it and it is free. You will need to follow an appropriate diet, avoid alcohol and caffeine, as well as stay hydrated…but by committing to nursing your child you’ll provide the best possible start for your baby.
Breastfeeding is by far, superior to baby formula and better for your baby in every way. There are a few pieces of information that people do not always tell an expectant or brand-new mother about breastfeeding and it seems like they are often a well-kept secret. Nursing a baby is beautiful, natural and a gift of love for the new baby, but getting started isn’t always easy. It can take some time for you and your baby to have a successful breastfeeding relationship.
In addition, even with the correct positioning and nursing on demand, which is often necessary for your supply of breast milk to be adequate, nursing can be a painful experience for the first few weeks. Some nursing babies nurse for a few minutes, every hour, around the clock and eventually you may get sore. There are breastfeeding pads and creams that can help with the sore nipples and even moms with inverted nipples are usually able to nurse with the use of nipple covers.
Unfortunately, this is often the time when moms are tempted to give up, especially if they don’t have much of a support system for breastfeeding or if they feel like they “can’t” nurse.. Even adoptive moms are able to nurse their new babies. It takes a prescription from your doctor, frequent use of a breast pump and a lot of patience, but adoptive mothers have been known to provide up to 100% of what their child needs.
Attending a support group, asking your doctor and speaking with women you know who have breastfed their children are all great ways for you to maintain your breastfeeding relationship with your child. Don’t give up until you want to! Breastfeeding is an amazing experience and is one that can have life-long benefits for both of you. Studies suggest that children who received breast milk as babies do better in school and women who have nursed for even a few weeks may lower their risk of developing breast cancer.