It is true that breastfeeding has many added benefits when compared to formula feeding. However, women who choose not to or are unable to breastfeed are sometimes looked down upon. Many societies and especially many in the African setting are so against formula feeding such that women who choose this for their babies are often stigmatized. Even doctors and health practitioners argue that breast milk is the best for your baby. But what happens when you can’t provide breast milk for your infant? It doesn’t work out for everyone to breastfeed, and I don’t think any mother should feel guilty about doing what they need to do to care for their baby the best way possible. If you are a new mother and torn between the two, here is when you should consider formula feeding your child:
Your Child Has Medical Issues
If your baby is born prematurely or with certain medical conditions, they may need more than just breast milk. Breastfeeding together formula feeding may be recommended by a doctor for the purpose of helping a baby gain weight. Also, when a newborn loses more weight drastically in the first few days of life, your doctor may recommend you supplement breastfeeding with formula.
You Have a Low Breast Milk Supply
Just because you have a baby doesn’t guarantee that you will produce enough breast milk for your baby. You can experience low milk supply due to various reasons varying from previous breast surgeries, medical conditions and even genes. If you feel like breastfeeding is not enough for your baby, you may need to supplement the supply with formula feeding. If you aren’t sure about it, you can consult your doctor on the way forward.
You’re Going Back to Work
It may be too difficult or stressful to pump at work, or you may have a decrease in your breast milk supply once you return to work. If you don’t have a stockpile of breast milk stored in the freezer, you may have to supplement your baby’s diet with formula milk.
You Have Multiples
Exclusively breastfeeding twins or triplets can be a challenge. Not only do you have to build and maintain a large enough breast milk supply, but you’ll be breastfeeding very often. You may just need a break a few times a day (both physically and mentally), and formula feedings can help with that. Women who have multiples also experience low milk supply and to avoid this, they supplement their breastmilk with formula feeding.