What to expect if you’re not planning to breastfeed

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Breastfeeding is a part of a woman’s reproductive cycle, a continuation of pregnancy and giving birth. Breastfeeding ensures the harmonious development of the baby. In addition, the bonding between the mother and her baby during the breastfeeding process promotes a close and affectionate relationship between them.

Unless there are serious contraindications, no pediatrician will recommend replacing breast milk with formula. In most cases, women choose formula feeding not because they cannot breastfeed but for a variety of other reasons, most often psychological ones.

Successful breastfeeding depends on your attitude toward feeding. Fear of failure, indecision, and lack of confidence can make it challenging to start breastfeeding effectively and even delay lactation. You can alleviate this fear by choosing a lactation consultant that can support you if you have any problems.

How to make a choice?

You may have hesitated about whether or not to breastfeed your baby. Most women start breastfeeding their babies, but some stop after a couple of weeks. 

The content of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals fully meets the growing body’s needs for up to 6 months.

At the same time, enzymes found in breast milk help break down the incoming nutrients and absorb them easily.

Milk contains a factor that allows beneficial bacteria to populate the intestines, produce vitamins and enzymes, and provide immune protection against the active reproduction of bacteria, preventing gastrointestinal diseases and the development of allergic diseases.

Babies who receive breast milk more rarely suffer from loose stools and constipation. 

Breast milk contains antibodies, thus providing immune protection from infections and preventing severe complications. During illness, breast milk additionally provides the child with immune factors, contributing to his recovery.

Is breastfeeding advantageous for the mother?

Absolutely! And this is a scientifically proven fact. First of all, it helps create positive psycho-emotional contact between baby and mother and serves as an invisible “umbilical cord” that connects them throughout their lives. And the process of lactation (excretion of breast milk) effectively prevents cancer and various endocrine diseases in women. 

What happens to my breasts during lactation?

Your breasts change during lactation. About 1-1.5 months after birth, the breast becomes soft and produces milk almost only when the baby sucks. After the end of breastfeeding, 1.5-3 or more years after the baby’s birth, the breast involution occurs, and lactation stops. The mammary gland “falls asleep” until the next time. Under natural conditions, the end of breastfeeding always coincides with a decrease in the baby’s need to suckle the breast. The shape of the breasts largely depends on the fatty tissue, the amount of which decreases during prolonged breastfeeding. After the end of breastfeeding, fatty tissue gradually recovers. If a woman does not breastfeed, the involution of the breast occurs within the first month after delivery. The shape of the breasts still does not return to its pre-pregnancy state. 

In order to keep your breasts in good shape, the most important thing is to try not to gain a lot of extra weight during pregnancy and take proper care of your breast skin every day with the help of stretch marks products designed specifically for pregnant women. Skincare will help increase skin elasticity, reduce the risk of stretch marks, and reduce the feeling of itching through intense hydration.

Am I a bad mom if I don’t breastfeed?

Of course not. You can show your love in many ways that are not as emotionally uncomfortable for moms as breastfeeding. After all, the baby will not always need the breast. Over time, your little one still learns to get your love and tenderness in many different ways. After all, caring for a newborn is also a way to show your love.

We can’t condemn moms who don’t or can’t breastfeed for one reason or another. It’s their personal choice, which concerns only moms themselves and their babies. And no mom in her right mind would wish her baby any harm, so even if she feeds her baby with a formula, she remains his or her mom – the best and the most beloved.

If you are a mom who has faced judgment, try looking for breastfeeding support groups or support groups for moms with depression. Both are usually free to give moms the support they need.

Can I switch my baby from breastmilk to formula?

If it is not possible to keep breastfeeding naturally, it is necessary to use the correct algorithm for transferring a newborn baby to formula feeding. If the recommendations are not followed, the change of diet will adversely affect the health and overall condition of the infant. The introduction of the formula is carried out as follows:

  • The first feeding with the formula is performed when the age of the newborn is at least one month. These dates can be adjusted individually, according to the pediatrician’s recommendations.
  • Milk formula is used as a means of supplementation from the first days of life.
  • Using cow’s or goat’s milk to feed the baby is strictly prohibited.
  • The total transition duration to the formula can be from 7 to 10 days. 
  • After the so-called trial feeding, you should closely watch the infant’s behavior and condition. If the baby’s body reacts well to formula milk, you can increase the volume of feedings every day. 

What parents should know about formula feeding

A baby is still very fragile at any age, and the digestive system is not ready for coarse food. Therefore you need to be careful when choosing a formula, of which there are many. Some formulas prevent regurgitation, and the others do not include lactose (for children who have lactose intolerance). It is strictly forbidden to feed children goat and cow’s milk until they are one year old. This milk has many different components that children’s kidneys cannot cope with. 

When choosing a formula for feeding, you should be guided by the baby’s age as they are divided into stages corresponding to the age of children. 

And most importantly, you should pay more attention to organic baby food. First, it is safer and more nutritious for the baby than any other formula. Clean ingredients and simple composition of organic formula help your little one’s digestion and support healthy development. 

For more than eight decades, Holle has produced high-quality milk formulas that provide your baby with the essential nutrients needed for growth. However, breast milk is the best food for babies in their first year of life, and this should be taken into account when choosing the type of feeding (breastfeeding, mixed, or formula feeding).

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