Breast may be best, but bottle-feeding is a closer second than you may think. Esther Krych, MD, pediatrician at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and mom of three, assures formula-using moms they can feel confident in their choice.
It does the body good: Formula-fed infants are not nutritionally deprived.
Commercial infant formulas are designed to be extremely nutritious and their nutrients are well regulated. You can choose a formula based on how it suits your baby's tummy and rest easy knowing that – regardless of brand – your baby is getting what he needs to grow and thrive.
Skin milk: You can bond during bottle feedings.
Moms (and dads) connect with their babies every time they hold them close and look into their eyes. With newborns, it's particularly beneficial (whether via breast or bottle). Strip baby down to a diaper only, open your own shirt, and cuddle baby close to your bare chest, covering him in a blanket or wrapping him in your robe.
Half and half: It doesn't have to be all or nothing.
Many families introduce a bottle as early as the newborn phase so dad or another caregiver can help out with feedings. Some babies may not care who feeds it to them, but others may take a bottle better from someone other than mom, with whom they associate nursing.
Low milk production, poor latch, unbearable discomfort…there are endless reasons why you might switch to formula. You shouldn't be judged for it (nor should you judge others for doing so). Discuss your options with your pediatrician and partner, and make a decision based on what's best for your family.