Recently, breastfeeding as seen a huge uprising. There are groups out there that have started a movement to demand breastfeeding to be “normalized” in our society. The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP for short) recommends exclusively breastfeeding your baby up to a year old, and a minimum of 6 months.
For one about to be a new mother, this information was overwhelming to me. It had me asking myself, “Is formula even an option?”
Which is better?
Breastmilk gives your baby an array of vital nutrients, no matter what stage you breastfeed in. When your milk supply comes in it’s called colostrum and it’s packed with a ton of health benefits for your new baby. Then your milk supply grows and matures providing different types of nourishment along the way.
Although breastfeeding isn’t new, we’re just now learning new things about it. Science and technology have come a long way. Speaking of science and technology…
The flipside of the same coin: formula. Today’s formula is designed to be the next best thing. They have recreated several key ingredients previously only found in breastmilk. These key ingredients ensure that our children, no matter breast or bottle, are receiving the best nutrients in every stage of their lives.
Which is more/less expensive?
Some people may say it is “cheaper” to breastfeed instead of using formula. This depends on what is truly “cheaper” to you: time or money?
For me, my money is less valued than my time. I did not have the time to sit for (up to) an hour every one to two hours while my baby was merely days or weeks old. I am a highly energetic person and it is hard for me to sit still. We ended up supplementing after a few days then moving to formula altogether after a few weeks. Buying a tub of powder once a week was nothing compared to having to breastfeed or pump regularly.
We also had my parents living with us for a couple of months to help since my husband worked full time (and overtime frequently). Not only was it awkward to breastfeed in front of them (I would close my baby and myself in our room for feedings) but they didn’t get much time to bond with their new granddaughter.
I also never got to sleep more than an hour for the first week. Once we moved to supplementing, I could hand bottle and baby to a grandparent and head to sleep for a few hours. One thing is for sure: Sleep helps your body heal faster.
Originally, I thought our money was more important since we didn’t have much leftover after bills. I wasn’t sure we could afford formula on top of the small amount we had for food. It turns out that it really wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be. It was comparable to breastfeeding.
For the couple weeks I did breastfeed, I ate like crazy. I was eating more than it cost to buy formula once a week. The extra calories I needed to consume to maintain my supply was actually more expensive! No, I wasn’t eating steak and potatoes every day. Haha!
The formula we chose was roughly $30 per week to buy. I was consuming about $40-50 worth of fruits, veggies, chicken, and juice/water (we buy water as we don’t like our city water). So in the end it was less expensive for us to just buy formula.
What about the bond between mom and baby?
Well… how about the bond between dad and baby? Or grandparents? Aunts, uncles, etc.? The bond between mother and child is already there when that baby pops out of you! Yes, it strengthens for some. That was not the case for me, breastfeeding is not for everyone.
Bottle time gave daddy some time with his new daughter. The most precious picture I have is of my husband feeding and holding our daughter. This gave him the opportunity to feel loved and needed. This also gave me a chance to catch my breath, heal, and get ready for a lifetime of awesome memories.
What should I choose?
You should choose what works best for you and no one can judge you for doing that. Weigh your options. Ask yourself some questions.
Time or money? Which is more important to you? Take a look at when you’ll be going back to work. Do you want to pump at work? Does your work offer a place to pump privately? (No, the bathroom doesn’t count!)
Answering these questions should help you find the best option for you and your new addition to the family.
Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!