Most women want to breastfeed their baby, but there are some situations that make it extremely difficult. For example, if you are working in a high power position that is very demanding on your time, you might not be able to sneak away every few hours to pump breast milk. Additionally, there are some babies who have a very difficult time learning how to properly latch on, and this can leave you dealing with nutritional concerns. Even worse, sometimes there are medical conditions, or an extended hospital stay after birth, that hinders your availability to your infant for breastfeeding. Therefore, instead of letting yourself suffer from the guilt of bottle feeding, you should look at the several positive aspects of the experience.
Four Reasons to Put Your Guilt Away
1. The Quality of Formula has Improved – Formula has not always been as good as it is today. Through the years, companies that make formula have consistently spent a lot of time and money researching the best options for babies, and this has led to several enhancements. For example, it is now possible to get formula that is made for specific age ranges, and you can also easily locate a product that has been designed to ease common issues such as colic, gas and fussiness. Additionally, you will be able to opt between formulas that have a dairy, lactose free or soy base to fit into your baby’s needs and your dietary choices. Although it is obviously impossible for formula to contain the exact ingredients as breast milk, you can rest assured that your baby will not lack in nutrition from formula feeding.
2. Other Family Members Get Important Bonding Opportunities – Although it is certainly important for babies to bond with their mothers, it is usually of equal importance that they bond with other family members as well. When a baby is being exclusively breastfed, the other members of the family often miss out on the bonding opportunities that happen while feeding. Even in using a breast pump, it is still difficult to keep up with the demands of feeding while trying to pump for bottles in the future. By bottle feeding the baby formula, you can readily let everyone take a turn, and this will help your entire family bond. Keep in mind that nursing essentials, like the Boppy pillow, work just as well for bottle feeding as they do for nursing. In fact, the more comfortable the baby is while feeding, the more likely they are to take bottles from someone other than their mother.
3. You can Improve Your Career – Women who breastfeed often choose to take a break from their career because they find it difficult to juggle providing for their infant and working 40 or more hours per week. Sadly, many families need both parents to work, and using formula can help you get back to work more quickly. You will also not lose time on the clock from having to take frequent breaks in order to use a breast pump. As an added bonus, you will have the opportunity to improve your career by staying in the office full-time, and this will let you save money for your baby’s future.
4. You Will be Able to Get More Sleep – Almost every baby cries multiple times per night for food, but a breastfeeding mom is the only person who can respond. This is unfortunate because as a new mother, it is essential to get plenty of rest in order maintain an adequate level of health. By using formula, you will be able to take turns feeding your infant, and this will make it much easier to get a proper night’s sleep. When you consider how much easier it is to properly take care of your child when you are well-rested, you will easily see how bottle feeding can be advantageous.
It is natural to feel guilty if you attempt to breastfeed but are unable to stick with it. Even if the decision is beyond your control, such as due to medical reasons, there can be criticism from others, especially other moms. This can contribute greatly to your guilt and can even affect your self-image as a mother. However, you need to be able to put that guilt aside if you are going to be in your best frame of mind while caring for your infant. Therefore, you should keep all of the positive aspects of bottle feeding in mind, and you can also consider alternating between formula and breast milk to give your child the best of both worlds.