It is really hard to describe my feeling during the day my child was born. Happy because i have gone through the tough 9 months and it is finally the day i manage to see her the first sight in the labor room. Anxious and nervous because i have no idea what to be done next. Being a first time mom, first challenge i faced was how and what to feed my newborn baby? Is breastfeeding better than formula feeding?
Every women will eventually face a common issue, to decide breastfeeding or formula feeding. There is no right or wrong feeding method. Not every mom is able to breastfeed her child, for some reasons, formula is still the best alternative. Of course, exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months and better not to top up with formula but it is solely your own choice and what you think is best for your baby.
I am both breastfeeding and formula feeding mom. My breast milk does not provide enough milk to my baby. Therefore, I used formula to compensate the need of my child. Let me share with you about my experience as breastfeeding and formula feeding mom.
Breastfeeding pros and cons
After my baby was born, not long after, nurse brought me the baby and taught me how to breastfeed my baby. Unfortunately it is not possible as my nipple is much bigger than the baby’s mouth. I was so nervous as I couldn’t find a way to let my child latch on it. To avoid she stayed hungry, I made my decision to let the nurse fed her with formula. My breast milk only start kicked in on day 3.
I started breastfeeding my child on day 3. I love the skin to skin contact with my newborn. The feeling is amazing to have good bonding with my child -transpiring the motherly love to the child. Doctor said it is better to breastfeed no matter more or less. It is the best nutrition source for baby which cannot be duplicated by factory. It strengthens the immune system, prevent bloated tummy due to indigestion and gas. Well, from my experience, my baby is hardly fallen sick. ( touch wood!) The first time she caught a fever was after she had taken a vaccination when she was about one year old.
Breastfeeding burns calories and shrink the uterus. At least 400-500 calories per day. It is believed that nursing mom will get back to her original weight faster and also reduce the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer. If you are 100% breastfeeding mom, there is no need to wash bottles, nipples and get them sterilized. Breast milk is just the right temperature whenever your baby is hungry and feed her at any time at any place. You can save cost because you do not have to spend money on formula milk as it is quite costly especially infant formula.
When my child reach almost two years old, she ever had mild food poisoning. She vomited whatever she had. She refused to have anything including the formula because she will throw up not long after taking it. Amazingly she can tolerate breast milk, no vomiting after breastfeeding.
My newborn get hungry very fast – about two hours she will cry for milk. Breast milk is easier to digest than formula milk. I have to breast feed and formula feed alternately. It was very tiring. If breastfeeding, basically no one is able to help the mother feed the baby unless she pumped it out. Nursing mom has less rest time. Most of the time she is busy doing the pumping and breastfeeding. God knows how painful it is when the breast is engorged.
Can you imagine when your baby biting your nipple and started to giggle when she heard you shout in pain? Aww!! You have to stop breastfeeding for a while due to unbearable excruciating pain on your breast. By the way, you may apply your breast milk on the area and it helps to reduce the pain.
As a nursing mom, you may not be able to eat freely. Chocolate, citrus fruits such as orange, lime, lemon, pineapple, spices such as garlic, curry, chili pepper, “gassy” food like onion and cabbage, alcohol, smoking cigarettes and taking drugs are totally prohibited.
For mom who wish to go back to her work station, breastfeeding is still possible but it depends very much on individual determination and courage. You may need to carry breast pump to work place or breastfeed during lunch break. However, most women will just wean off her baby if they have decided to go back to work.
Formula feeding pros and cons
Formula feeding has its benefit too. If you are too tired to get up breastfeed, or you do not breastfeed at all due to some health reason, you may ask your husband or other care taker to help feed the child. You will have plenty of time to rest and get faster recovery after the labor. You can go back to your work station easily as your caretaker can assist on feeding the child. Don’t worry about not getting bonding as the bonding is built naturally due to close connection between mother and child. Babies will still be growing strong with the formula so do not feel upset or disappointed if you are unable to breastfeed.
Be more cautious when you choose the right formula to your baby. Each baby is different. Some babies are lactose intolerant so you have to try finding the right one for you little one. I used to monitor the poop and change the formula. I remember I bought quite a number of different brand of formula just to find a right one for her.
I spend money on feeding bottles too. Do choose bottles which is BPA (bis phenol A) free and It has a feature of internal vent system to avoid colic, spit-up and gas. I have a few bottles at the same time so that I do not need to do washing and sterilization so frequently. I can do it at one go when I am free.
As a conclusion
Breastfeeding or formula feeding are equally good depends on your lifestyle, mother’s health condition and your support from your love ones. If mother’s health permitted, breastfeeding your baby at least for the first 6 months. Let’s cherish the precious moment with your newborn. Believe me, it is a wonderful experience every mother should have once in a lifetime.
Do share with us your experience about your breastfeeding journey and what are the obstacles that stop you from breastfeeding. Drop me a message in the comment box below. I would love to hear from you.