You’ll be hard pressed to find a formula feeding guide for the new mother. Moms are inundated with the Breast Is Best campaign from conception. In most circles, moms feel ashamed of supplementing with formula after experiencing breastfeeding difficulties; some women may even hide their formula use from friends and family members.
Does formula really equal failure? A woman may choose to supplement with formula from birth to extend her breastfeeding experience. For another woman, it may be a matter of convenience. Some women are not medically able to breastfeed—after breast reduction surgery, a serious illness, or as a carrier of HIV. Other women choose not to breastfeed as a preference.
For women who turn to formula for one reason or another, where is the formula education? While many women argue that formula moms are “shamed” for their choice or inability to breastfeed, this still does not discount the fact that formula feeding information is scarce for new moms. Formula is seen as a last resort option used to encourage moms to breastfeed. Breastfeeding education is helpful and important for the average mom, but formula feeding education is sorely needed for balance. That’s why we created this simple formula feeding guide.
Formula Feeding Research Doesn’t Lie
At the very least, research supports formula feeding as a breastfeeding supplement. Offering formula to underweight newborns, along with breast milk, led to a longer duration of breastfeeding in one study. Roughly 80% of the babies fed both breast milk and formula were still breastfeeding at three months compared to 42% of babies exclusively breastfed at three months.1
Breast may be best for the vast majority of women, but it is still a mother’s right to determine how to feed her baby. Some formula moms argue that breastfeeding benefits are all hype.2 “Martyr-like” extended breastfeeding may not make a child smarter. It all comes down to personal choice. In a modern world with modern conveniences, mothers should be given adequate education on breastfeeding and formula feeding from day one.
Rather than “feeding” a formula feeding versus breastfeeding mommy war, research can be used to level the playing field. The choice ultimately comes down to the mother. It would be fair to assume that most mothers put painstaking thought into their prenatal and postnatal decisions and how their choices will affect their baby.