We've all heard the phrase "breast is best yada yada yada", right? I really hate it because it implies that those of us who must--or choose--to feed our babies in other ways are doing something wrong...but that's another post for another day. I was forced to supplement each of my first two babies with formula in the early days because of their lack of weight gain, and though I'm proud to say I've made it nearly six weeks this time with only a few ounces of formula, there are some definite perks of taking the formula route. And speaking from experience, formula does not equal failure. Society definitely made me feel that way since I couldn't give my babies what they "needed"--even though looking back I know now what they needed was formula. So if you're in the same boat I've been and likely beating yourself up over it, here is some encouragement: 10 benefits of formula feeding. (Not to be confused with 10 reasons to formula feed.)
1. Your life is not ruled by feedings, pumping, etc. When breastfeeding, your life is definitely not your own. It's impossible to sneak away for more than a few hours because, at the very least, you have to pump. Even silly things like what you choose to eat (oatmeal for breakfast, anyone?) is tied to breastfeeding. For me anyway, I felt a thousand times more like myself once I was done with breastmilk and that was a great feeling.
2. This goes without saying, but your husband can help! No longer are you the lone parent in charge of feeding your babe, which can be so liberating...and a huge perk during those overnight feedings!
3. You can wear regular bras. Maybe it's just me, but I really hate my nursing bras. They are not comfortable, nor are they flattering. Many new moms look forward to fitting into their pre-pregnancy clothes once again, but I look forward to my pre-baby bras!!
4. Your baby may stay full for longer. Breast milk is digested very quickly so oftentimes the baby is ready to eat again much sooner than after a bottle of formula. Perhaps this is part of the reason my first two babies slept through the night at such an early age?
5. Feeding is so much easier to do in public! Sure people may judge you for not breastfeeding (let's be honest, you can't win), but it's way easier to whip out a bottle than a boob (in my opinion).
6. Want that third glass of wine? You don't have to worry about pumping and dumping! (But really, you don't have to worry about that darn pump period, which is the major benefit here!)
7. Formula includes vitamin D so you don't have to remember to give your baby the drops on a daily basis...and then feel really guilty when you forget.
8. Perkier boobs. People always say breastfeeding ruins their boobs so if you're not doing it, then maybe your boobs will stay younger longer?
9. No clogged ducts. No mastitis. Because let me tell you, neither is fun.
10. And finally, the biggest benefit, your baby is fed. Fed = full. Full = happy. And happy baby = happy mama, which is the most important in the grand scheme.