Breastfeeding is a very personal decision for families and mothers, new and seasoned. The topic of breastfeeding and the criticisms that follow have long historic roots dating back to the 1600s. Mothers who choose to breastfeed versus those who choose not to breastfeed and all those thought to have an opinion about them have always had their reasons for which side of the ethical or cultural aisle they’re supporting.
The benefits to both baby and mother are long standing. For babies, breast milk reduces risk for digestive issues, respiratory illnesses and infant mortality or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Breast milk offers an abundance of easily absorbed nutrients, antioxidants, enzymes and immune properties that develop healthy children. The mother’s mature immune system makes the antibodies to the germs that she and her baby have been exposed to. This added protection helps the baby’s immature immune system from leaking allergens and germs through his/her intestines. As breastfed children grow, they are less prone for diseases like diabetes, childhood cancers and obesity.
Mothers are able to lose the pesky baby weight faster as producing and maintaining a milk supply burns about 500 calories a day. The mother also has less risks for postpartum depression and bleeding as well as common infections. Emotionally, moms who breastfeed are set up for having a better mood, more confidence and self-esteem and calmness. The increased skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby leads to socially and behaviorally competent children and adults.
Sounds great, right?!
Some babies aren’t able to get a good latch onto their mother’s breast because of a difficult labor. If the mother used medication during labor, the baby may be too groggy. If babies are separated from their mom after birth that can also impact their ability or willingness to latch on. This potential disconnect between the mother and her baby can cause the mother to experience anxiety, self-doubt and fear for her newborn baby.
Although breastfeeding is likely the most optimal choice for both mother and baby, the demand to feed can cause discomfort for others. Is it appropriate to breastfeed in public? Should these moments be done in private? When should a mom transition her baby from breast to bottle? Is formula feeding really the shameful nemesis?
Formula feeding allows for other family members and caregivers to feed the baby, while mom rests or works, does laundry or other tasks that await her. Formula provides nutrients that help babies grow and develop and is considered a healthy alternative to breastfeeding.
The connection between mom and baby is important and whether one can achieve a good bond while formula feeding can cause “mom guilt”. Mom’s who choose to formula feed are prone to feel like failures, even though their babies are able to develop and thrive with the added flexibility of community feeding.
Whether breastfeeding or formula feeding is the best option for you and your family, Lifeologie is here to help you along your journey. Lifeologie Oak Cliff offers affordable treatment options with sessions as low as $35. Mental health is important for mothers. We care and we’re here to help!
August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month and while we support breastfeeding, we also support a woman’s right to choose the best path for her and her family. If you are struggling with the stigma or are dealing with concerns like “mom guilt,” please prioritize yourself and book an appointment today!
Nicole Davis is dedicated to women’s issues. Empathy is her superpower! She’s got a wealth of life experience and can relate to many of life’s situations. Having a caring therapist who provides a safe environment for you to speak your truth and learn your way to a happy and healthy life is her priority. Working at Lifeologie Oak Cliff has become an added joy for her, as she’s able to help others and serve the community in Oak Cliff. Nicole offers an affordable rate at $35/session. Book with her today!