You are just out of delivery and you are exhausted and tired. All you want to do is sleep and rest. But you have this little bundle of joy that is completely dependent on you. Your baby needs your milk every 2 hrs or so and this can get really tiring and taxing when you just want to rest. Sometimes you will get tempted to take the easy path and ask the nurse in the hospital to feed the baby i.e. formula milk. (This happens when the mother has been through a C-section). But your parents, in-laws, doctors, nurses etc. will keep telling you to feed the baby breast milk. And if you are a new mother you will sometimes wonder, why only breast milk? If you ask your doctor this question they will say feeding top milk is DANGEROUS or “your baby can get Infection” and it is best to feed your baby breast milk. So here I try to solve the riddle and answer some queries that could run through any new mom’s mind.
Which milk is better?
Undoubtedly breast milk is ideal for your baby. It is packed with all the essential nutrients plus antibodies. Formula milk also contains all the essential nutrients minus the antibodies. So if you want your baby to have a good immunity, breast milk is important. However, you must note, breast milk will keep strengthening your baby’s immunity only till he/she is 5-6 months. Thereafter, you will need to provide iron rich foods to build the babies immunity. Breast milk does not provide immunity in the child for a lifetime.
But I am not producing enough milk!
There are some harsh facts that most women face nowadays. Not getting enough milk!! This is the prime reason as to why mothers succumb to feeding their babies formula milk. Not because they have no will to put in the extra effort to feed their child, but apparently most doctors and in-laws think on those lines.
How to Improve Breast milk production?
Breast milk production depends on 2 things primarily, what you eat and how much do you feed your baby. The more you feed the baby the more milk will get produced. If you aren’t producing enough milk then please ask your doctor for some medicines to help boost milk production. People claim that eating fenugreek/methi helps in milk production…so maybe you can give it a try.
Why are bottle-feeds dangerous?
It isn’t dangerous. Your doctor only says that to frighten you so that you give it up completely. The consequence with bottle feeding your baby along with breast feeding is that your baby may develop a preference towards formula milk and may start rejecting your milk and also it could create nipple confusion in some babies. With regards to infection, there is no reason why an infection should occur, if the bottles are washed and sterilized properly.
What about combination feeding?
Personally, Avishi was always on both breast and formula milk. Now she is completely on formula milk. As I said, the consequence with this is your baby will develop a preference or create nipple confusion. The sucking technique on the bottle and breast are very different and some babies will take to bottle because it is easier. That is why it is better to put that extra effort and breast feed your baby. In my case I lost my appetite after my delivery and therefore not enough milk was being produced. Later when I tried it was too late and I was left with no choice but to continue with breast and bottle.
Feed top milk with spoon and not bottle – What should I do?
Seriously when the doctor told me this, I wanted to laugh. How can a small baby drink milk with a spoon? Babies are born with the ability to suck. Feeding with a spoon only poses choking hazards. The reason, why they make this suggestion is that bottle feeding would result in infections. So please wash the bottles and sterilize them properly.
These were some questions and doubts that bothered me in my initial days of motherhood, I only wish if someone could have directed me properly with proper reasoning and logic. Therefore, I have put down these points to help people make a choice. Ultimately it is your call and you should decide on the method of feeding your baby.