No Apologies Necessary
- Put yourself first
- Formula feeding allows for a more flexible lifestyle
- Mom’s diet and medications won’t affect the baby
- Breastfeeding may interfere with romantic moments
- Fashion and modesty are no longer factors
Which is better? Coffee or tea. Bottled water or tap water. Butter or margarine. So too you ask, breast milk or formula. Last time I checked, babies were growing and developing quite well on both. Whether the choice is practical, personal or one of default, feel comfortable in knowing there is no wrong answer. In fact, there is definitely a right answer for you. Let’s explore.
- Most Persuasive Reasons to Formula Feed. After all this work to have a baby, I’m here to tell you that you need to think about yourself first. Whether it’s comfort, convenience, or simply not liking the notion of a baby on your breast, your decision should be based on what feels best for you. Perhaps you wish to escape often and want a caretaker to step in to feed your baby. Maybe the demands of life are so great that a little extra sleep and down time are worth the trade. Concerns about a drug or medication you ingest, what you eat and drink or excessive dieting and exercise may prompt you to avoid breastfeeding.
- Moderately Persuasive Reasons to Formula Feed. Modesty and fashion may play a role in your decision. Perhaps one wishes to dress (or must dress) in a fashion that makes breastfeeding difficult. A bottle-feeding mother can dress as she pleases. Perhaps you are a very shy, private person who doesn’t want the daily headache of searching for secluded places to breastfeed. These are personal choices dictated by circumstances unique to your sensibilities. So too is the method of birth control you choose. Some methods, especially estrogen-based pills, are not compatible with breastfeeding. Or maybe you are worried that there is nothing sexy about having sex while lactating. A romantic, candlelit dinner loses that special feeling when your nipples are leaking and your vagina is very dry. Although these reasons may not be the most compelling to select formula for your baby, such concerns may resonate with you.
- Other Reasons to Formula Feed. It is easier to know if your baby is getting enough to eat when feeding formula with a bottle. Your baby may also stay calm and content for slightly longer periods of time between feedings when offered formula. Also, it’s harder for dad and older-siblings to participate in the joys of feeding a newborn. All of these are reasons, but none very strong in my book. Weight gain and wet diapers are clues to your babies intake. There are plenty of calming methods without food being a pacifier. If you are worried about others who are not able to take part in the joys of feeding, while guess what? They just aren’t built for it. Besides, you can always pump and have dad introduce the baby to a bottle of breast milk.
For every reason I have listed for formula, there is a reasonable counterargument for breastfeeding. The benefits of breastfeeding are powerful and should be considered, but they are not absolute. Formula is a reasonable choice too. Ultimately, the decision is personal and must work well for you. In the meantime, pass the butter because I’m not switching to margarine.