Why “Fed is Best” is Better Than “Breast is Best”
The breast is best ideology is so ubiquitous, so sneakily persuasive, that even those determined to remain open-minded to feeding options are overcome ...
FED IS BEST
FED IS BEST
FED IS BEST
I know I might sound like a bit of a hypocrite saying this, as I’m deep into 10 months of exclusively breast feeding my daughter, but my GOD you guys, breast feeding is such a racket.
SUCH A RACKET.
Feed your baby. Feed your baby with your boob, or with formula, or with a combination. Do not feel insufficient if you are not making enough milk in the early days, or ever. I supplemented, because as our pediatrician very wisely told me, our baby was just too hungry to eat. We topped her off with half an ounce or so of formula at feedings over a few days, and then my milk fully came in and she grew fat like a little suckling pig.
I was FREAKED OUT by it. I did not want to do it. But I did, bc what I wanted even more than to breastfeed was to have a baby that was strong and healthy. And it freaked me out that she was not gaining weight. She was fine, and we fixed it, but we fixed it with formula. And from then on, breastfeeding was easy for us.
But let me say this: if it’s hard next time, I will just go to formula. Knowing everything I know now, with almost a year of breastfeeding under my belt, I am MORE confident that I am not 100% committed to it next time.
Formula is not lesser. It is a complete food that will grow a healthy baby, period. There are pros and cons to each– breastfeeding is free, and a wonderful relationship, and so easy in a pinch, but pumping is THE WORST (and definitely NOT free, esp if you feel your time has value), and no one can help feed her at bedtime or in the middle of the night– I haven’t had a 7pm in 8 months. Formula is expensive, and less natural than breastmilk, but can help your baby develop deeper relationships with her dad, and allows more uninterrupted sleep for mom. Both are good. Neither is wholly better. And Fed is Best.
Please, please, please new moms, do not beat yourself up about using formula, either partially or wholly.
And as I always say, nary a drop of breastmilk ever passed my infant lips, and I am a perfect human specimen. And that was crappy 80′s formula!
Be kind to yourself, help your baby grow, and remember that FED is best.