New and expectant mothers have lots of questions regarding their baby and its growth. One of such questions is whether formula feeding is advised for the baby or should the newborn only have mother’s milk? Which works best?
“Choosing whether to breastfeed or formula feed your baby is one of the biggest decisions expectant and new parents will make,” said nutritionist Lovneet Batra in her latest Instagram post.
Addressing the question, she shared the basics of both. Take a look below:
Promotes healthy digestive system and strengthens a baby’s immune system. For mothers, it helps with recovery and the uterus goes back to pre-pregnancy size faster. Also aids in weight loss and lowers the risk of postpartum depression, the nutritionist said.
When a mother is not available, a family member can feed the baby but formula feeding doesn’t provide the same protection against infections, diseases, and conditions as breast milk. Formula feeding can cause digestive trouble like constipation and gas.
While stating that “breast milk would appear to be the most ideal food for newborn“, she noted that formula feeding may be “helpful” in cases where the mother is not producing an adequate supply of milk or the baby is not able to breastfeed well. However, formula feeding is “usually discouraged”, she added.
Why breast milk?
According to Batra, breast milk is the food least likely to cause allergic reactions. “It is inexpensive, it is readily available at any hour of the day or night; babies accept the taste readily, and the immunity factors in breast milk can help the baby fight off some infections,” she shared.
So, does breastfeeding win?
“Honestly, neither side ‘wins’, because there is no absolute right or wrong. Many women decide on one method before birth and then change their minds after their baby is born. And many women decide to breastfeed and supplement with formula because they find that is the best choice for their family and their lifestyle,” she mentioned.
As per Batra, when it comes to breastfeeding versus formula feeding, “the only right decision is the one that works best for you and your child”.
She also warned that if a new mother is struggling to breastfeed, it is best “to seek help and guidance”.