On this page you’ll find information about formula and other milks commonly given to young children, presented as may be relevant to breastfeeding mothers and their babies. This is, after all, a site speaking mainly to mothers who wish to learn about breastfeeding.
We’ve all heard “breast is best,” but some of us would still be hard-pressed to name all the benefits of breast milk over artificial milk if randomly questioned. Many women admit they didn’t breastfeed simply because they weren’t aware of much difference between human milk and artificial milk, and many say they wish they had tried — if only they’d known.
According to the most recent numbers, lots of mothers do supplement with formula or cow milk or at some point switch to them entirely. As such, a discussion about these alternatives as used by breastfeeding mothers is an unavoidable one.
In no way do I intend to imply with the information in this series that the way a mother feeds her child is any measure of how much she loves her child. I believe that formula feeding and breastfeeding are quite different, yes, but they are both feeding. They are both often damp with a drizzle of judgments and, at times, drenched by a downpour of pressure.
The pressure to give your baby “the best” by breastfeeding is intense! Unless you live in a bubble of natural parenting gurus, the pressure to keep nursing hidden away can also be intense. But what’s even more intense is a mother’s love for her child and her determined attempts to do the best she can.
The main difference is that breastfeeding can also be used as a method of parenting. Formula feeding cannot really in the same way; however, mothers who formula feed DO make up for what they’re missing without exclusive breastfeeding by holding their babies close when they give bottles, babywearing, enjoying lots of skin-to-skin time, bedsharing, and more.
With that said…
“Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers” – The World Health Organization and UNICEF
- Recommendations by Health Authorities
- Why Babies Aren’t Breastfed
- Under the Microscope
- Moo Milk vs. Mom’s Milk
- Modern Formula vs. Human Milk
- Toxins in Infant Formula
The Truth About Formula Marketing
- What Formula Companies Want You to Believe
Making a Baby-Friendly Culture
- Can You Support Formula Feeders and Fight Formula Marketing?
- Can You Supplement with Cow, Goat, Soy or Nut-Derived Milk?
- Homemade Formula
- Formula Supplementing Help
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