Play & Learn
Which is the Right Feeding Option for Mamas and Beans?
One of the most challenging decisions for Mamas is how to feed their beans. The choice they make will ultimately have an impact on both. However, the best option is usually different for each family. Some breastfeed their beans, some use formulas, and some even mix both of these today. Here is a run down of the pros and cons of each option to help the mamas who are still wondering about the right option for them.
Breastfeeding is generally considered by organizations such as the American Medical Association (AMA) and World Health Organization (WHO) to be the recommended option. While the benefits tend to stand out, it’s also helpful to consider both its advantages and disadvantages:
Nutrition: Breast milk is usually called the “perfect food” for infants because of its composition. It helps beans fight off infections, strengthens the immune system with the antibodies of mamas being passed to them, and avoids other conditions and hospitalizations. Also, it is easier to digest and breastfed beans have fewer experiences of diarrhea or constipation.
Availability: Not only is breastfeeding less costly, but it can be readily available too! Mamas don’t need to rush to the store if ever they run out of supply. Breast milk from the mama herself is free and the only instance that there will be expenses is if pumping is needed.
Bond with the Little Bean: Breastfeeding is usually considered the natural option and can provide a wonderful experience between the mama and her bean. Many mamas gain more confidence after breastfeeding and also, having contact with their beans strengthen their respective connections.
Comfort: Feeling pain and uncomfortability is the number one disadvantage, mostly for new mamas. These are common experiences especially during the first 7 to 10 days. Mamas can overcome these with proper education, support, and practice. But if pain and soreness is being felt over an extended period of time, it is best to consult with the doctor already.
Schedule: Commitment is important for mamas when it comes to breastfeeding. Errands must sometimes be set aside because the beans get their food only from the mama herself. Also, with breast milk being easier to digest, beans tend to ask for feeding more often.
Health and Diet: Mamas must be conscious of what they eat and drink because these can be passed to their beans through their breast milk. Also, it could be unsafe for mamas to breastfeed if severe medical conditions are present and medications are being taken.
Some mamas have medical conditions or experience difficulties which prevents them from providing breast milk for their beans. However, there are some mamas who simply prefer not to breastfeed. No matter the situation may be, it’s important to consider these factors in formula feeding:
Nutrition: While breast milk can provide great nutritional benefits to beans, commercial formulas can be an alternative to be the source of vitamins and nutrients. But it is important to take note that these are commercially prepared and that mamas must not try to create their own formula.
Flexibility: Mamas have more time on their hands as they don’t need to directly breastfeed their beans or pump breast milk. Bottles can be taken care of by the papas or even by caregivers. The frequency of feeding may be reduced too since formula bottles are less digestible and beans need to eat less.
Diet: Mamas also don’t have to be wary of their food, drink, and medication intake because these will not affect their beans.
Lack of antibodies: While vitamins and nutrients may still be present in manufactured formulas, it still has not completely duplicated breast milk that has antibodies which can be transferred to the beans upon feeding.
Expenses: One of the main disadvantages of using formulas is the piling of costs. There could still be options where powdered formulas are usually the least expensive, then concentrated and ready-to-feed being the most expensive.
Producing gas: Formulas are harder to digest than breast milk. While the beans will feel fullness easier, mamas need to be more attentive of them since they might produce more gas and experience constipation when they’re formula-fed.
Many mamas don’t hesitate to feed their beans a combination of breast milk and formula. This is called mixed feeding. New mamas may be curious about this option and here are some positives and negatives to consider:
Feeds beans sufficiently: Some mamas start off breastfeeding but may experience difficulties producing enough breast milk or even finding donor milk. Mixed feeding helps beans be fed enough despite this situation.
Teamwork with papa: Mamas can still breastfeed while having enough rest for herself. With mixed feeding, papas can share the load in preparing the formula and feeding their beans.
Might lower breast milk supply: Breast milk is generated on a supply-demand basis. For mamas who don’t have difficulties in producing, milk supply might decrease overtime if there is less demand from beans because of the presence of formulas.
Risk of inflammatory breast conditions: Mamas need to be wary of their condition and seek consultation when needed as skipping breastfeeding can cause the milk to stay in the breasts that can lead to risk of engorgement, blocked ducts, or mastitis.
There may be no right or wrong feeding strategy because the decision of the mamas ultimately depends on their situations, preference, and health conditions. But being aware of the pros and cons of each option can help mamas be firm on their choice. While weighing these factors, it is also important for mamas to consult their doctors to better know the right option for them.