What to expect: breastfeeding vs formula feeding

There are three ways to feed newborn babies:

  1. Breastfeeding is the ideal food for babies, created by nature itself;
  2. Artificial feeding – the baby eats an adapted milk formula. And parents should pay special attention to its composition;
  3. Mixed feeding – this is when mommy alternates between bottle and breastfeeding if possible. This option is also better than just artificial feeding.

Benefits of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has many advantages over any modern infant formula:

  • Breast milk fully meets your baby’s nutritional and fluid needs for the first six months of life. It contains plenty of water. Even during very hot weather, breast milk quenches your baby’s thirst.
  • In the first days of life, colostrum is a kind of “first immunization” that protects your baby from illnesses.
  • Breast milk contains all the vitamins and micronutrients your baby needs for balanced development.
  • Mother’s milk contains antibodies to protect your baby from disease.
  • Breast milk is food that is always with you and at your fingertips.
  • Breast milk does not disappear because of stress.
  • Even if the mother does not eat enough, she can continue breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeeding is the most hygienically safe way to feed your baby because you don’t have to wash or boil dishes.
  • The physical contact of breastfeeding soothes both baby and mother.
  • You can breastfeed your baby up to the age of 2 years and longer.

Children older than 6 months already need complementary foods. However, you can still breastfeed more often. Then the amount of milk will increase, and it will help your baby survive the food shortage.

If your baby is less than six months old and is breastfed, do not stop breastfeeding or start baby formula if you have not done so before. Continued breastfeeding will give your baby a better chance of surviving.

Moreover, women who have stopped breastfeeding can try to resume breastfeeding. You should breastfeed your baby more often, and then milk can come back.

If your baby is sick, such as diarrhea, continue to breastfeed during the day and at night.

Artificial feeding and the risks associated with it

Risks associated with artificial feeding:

Artificially-fed babies are 14 times more likely to die than babies who are exclusively breastfed until 6 months of age.

Artificially-fed children have a higher risk of malnutrition, especially among younger infants.

Infant formula does not have antibodies to protect against disease.

Babies can have trouble digesting baby formula: it is far from the best food for them.

Artificially-fed babies are more likely to catch a cold.

Using not enough clean water to dilute the formula can lead to diarrhea and various infections.

Artificially-fed children have developmental delays: stunted growth, delayed weight gain, and growth, exhaustion due to more frequent cases of diarrhea and pneumonia.

Artificially-fed children have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and asthma in later life.

Artificially-fed babies have less of a bond between mother and baby.

Trying to stay breastfeeding

When a breastfeeding woman is stressed, she may stop producing breast milk, but never start giving formula, cow or goat milk, or complementary foods to your baby if you haven’t done so before. Just hold your baby to you more often and let her suckle. This will help restore the usual flow of milk.

It is important for relatives, friends, or strangers who have been around mothers with babies to support them in any way they can. Make sure they get enough food and water, offer to watch the baby, help them find a comfortable place where they can feed their baby in peace, or just find a warm word for them.

Women may encounter other difficulties during breastfeeding, such as a baby refusing to suckle. This behavior can be called a “breast strike,” although in certain cases it is temporary in nature. Once the cause of the anxiety is eliminated – breastfeeding will become habitual again.

Some pixels of restlessness, anxiety and breastfeeding strike occur at 2.5-4 months of age.

Sometimes moms may mistakenly notice that the baby is on strike, but it is hard to concentrate on feeding – something is bothering him, his nervous system is overexcited, and he would like to take the breast, but has a positive feeling, anxious and crying. The baby needs help to calm down and then he agrees to take the breast.

How you set up is very important! The first thing to realize, recognize and remember is that you are a good mom and do your best to make sure your baby grows up healthy. The baby may be uncomfortable, he may cry and be naughty, but together you are sure to overcome the problem.

Do not force-feed your baby – the breast should not be a battlefield. If you understand that the baby will not just take the breast, try to distract him. Perfectly ready in this rocking in the hands, sitting on a fitball (gently and softly), the use of white noise. You can use an app on your phone with sounds of nature – the noise of rain, and surf – or easily accessible household noises – the flow of water from the faucet, the sound of the hood, hair dryer, and vacuum cleaner.

Analyze whether the baby is comfortable in your arms during feeding: the baby’s body and face should be turned to the mother, and he should lean on his pelvis, chest, chin to the chest (can fully give his body weight to mom, spreading out) – this allows a good fit to the breast.

Skin-to-skin contact works great. This is an intrauterine habit of the baby that works wonders. Use it more often, just throughout the day. Carry the baby in your arms more and communicate with him.

Try to put the baby on the breast when he is half asleep or in a sleepy state, then his instincts kick in and he will agree to suckle. It is advisable to organize the baby’s daytime nap on your bed, where you can put the breast in his mouth when he is moving while he sleeps, without waking him up.


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