Should I Give Baby Formula Before Milk Comes In?
Do you worry that you will not provide your baby with enough breast milk? Should you supplement while you wait?
One of a new mother's big concern is that she cannot provide enough breast milk for her baby from the beginning. While it takes time to produce a lot of milk, baby formula is always ready to go. It all comes down to answering what works best for you.
Why You Should Breastfeed
Breastfeeding is nature's way of taking care of babies. It is something that mammals can do for little ones. It has also been around longer than baby formula, which has only been commercially available for a few hundred years at the most. Mother's milk is the perfect balance of fat, protein, carbohydrates, and sweetness.
Your baby benefits from breastfeeding because it contains immunity boosters that help protect them from illnesses sooner than any other method. This is found in the colostrum that your body has been getting ready to produce. So while you are nursing your baby for the first few days, your baby is getting a big boost when it comes to vitamins, minerals, and antibodies. Colostrum is only available for the first few days.
Breastfeeding is also good for you. As you are nursing and bonding with your newborn, your body is producing oxytocin. This hormone has a number of positive effects on your body. It creates the contractions in your body during labor, and it also helps contract your uterus to its pre-pregnancy size sooner. Oxytocin is also important to mother's mental health regarding postpartum depression. Breastfeeding is also connected to lowering the risk of other diseases that are more long-term such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.
Giving Your Baby Breast Milk Over Baby Formula
If you have made the decision to breast feed exclusively for the first six months as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, then you are among many mothers with the same idea. About 8 out of ten mothers start nursing upon birth, and 50% of them are still nursing by the time their little one reaches their six-month milestone. What makes them successful? A good latch, perseverance, and a good amount of support. This can be from family members, friends, nurses in the hospital, and lactation consultants.
If you want to nurse your baby for as long as possible, you need to persevere in the process. In the first two weeks, you may feel like your baby is attached to your chest throughout the day. This is a good thing. When you feed on demand, you are increasing your milk production. Keep in mind that your newborn baby's tummy is the size of a marble or cherry at birth, and only grows to the size of a ping-pong ball by 10 days old. If you think that they are eating constantly because you are not producing enough, there is a better chance that you are. You are benefiting your baby and yourself with each and every feeding.
Supplementing with Baby Formula
Unless you and your doctor feel that your baby is not growing on track or show signs that your breastfed baby is not getting enough nourishment, try to hold off on the idea of baby formula for now. Your milk will come in through nursing and pumping. When you add formula to the feeding schedule, you may risk affecting your milk production even more and cause painful engorgement to yourself.
When your baby needs more nourishment that your body cannot provide on demand, or you and your baby are ready to transition to great organic baby formulas, you know you can find the next best thing here that your baby needs to grow, develop, and thrive.