About Formula Feeding
Breastfeeding is considered the best nutritional option for babies by the major medical organizations, but it's not right for every mother. Commercially prepared infant formulas are a nutritious alternative to breast milk, and even contain some vitamins and nutrients that breastfed babies need to get from supplements.
Manufactured under sterile conditions, commercial formulas attempt to duplicate mother's milk using a complex combination of proteins, sugars, fats, and vitamins that would be virtually impossible to create at home. So, if you don't breastfeed your baby, it's important that you use only a commercially prepared formula and that you do not try to create your own.
In addition to medical concerns that may prevent breastfeeding, for some women, breastfeeding may be too difficult or stressful.
Here are a few other reasons women may choose to formula feed:
Convenience. Either parent (or another caregiver) can feed the baby a bottle at any time (although this is also true for women who pump their breast milk). This allows the mother to share the feeding duties and helps her partner to feel more involved in the crucial feeding process and the bonding that often comes with it.
Flexibility. Once the bottles are made, a formula-feeding mother can leave her baby with a partner or caregiver and know that her little one's feedings are taken care of. There's no need to pump or to schedule work or other obligations and activities around the baby's feeding schedule. And formula-feeding moms don't need to find a private place to nurse in public. However, if mom is out and about with baby, she will need to bring supplies for making bottles.
Time and frequency of feedings. Because formula is less digestible than breast milk, formula-fed babies usually need to eat less often than do breastfed babies.
Diet. Women who opt to formula feed don't have to worry about the things they eat or drink that could affect their babies.
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