Being a working mom is equivalent to having two full-time jobs – your regular desk job and also the job of taking care of your child. All moms out there will unanimously agree that juggling between their professional and family lives can be extremely tiring.
On top of everything, there’s a lot of difficulties women face when breastfeeding their child. It’s sad, but breastfeeding is a lot more tedious than most women let on. Aside from bodily issues related to breastfeeding, there’s also the problem with time management.
This has led a lot of busy moms to switch to baby formula. If you’re someone who’s considering the same, then this guide will fill you in on everything you need to know about formula milk.
Difficulties of Breastfeeding
A woman’s body goes through many unpleasant changes during and after pregnancy. Sometimes, these problems can become a real hindrance to their livelihood; All our bodies are different, and so while some women seldom have problems, others aren’t always so fortunate.
Here are some problems that commonly arise in breastfeeding moms; these problems sometimes compel new moms to choose a baby formula.
Tightness of the Breasts and Sore Nipples
Newborn babies need to be fed frequently. This is mainly because breast milk is assimilated by the body very quickly, leaving the child hungry once again. This frequent feeding can cause cracked or sore nipples, which can be quite painful and uncomfortable.
In other cases, some women experience sore, uncomfortable breasts. Breasts can accumulate too much milk, and this leads to further discomfort and pain. It’s not something that can be tolerated sometimes, even though mothers are frequently asked to put up with it.
Too Much or Too Less Breast Milk
Another very common problem is the lack of or excess milk. Some women are unable to produce enough milk for their babies; they just don’t have enough glandular tissues (milk-producing components) to make sufficient quantities of milk.
Similarly, some women produce too much milk, which makes it hard for their babies to cope. This also leads to leaking, which can be very inconvenient, especially for a working mom.
Difficulty in Getting The Baby To Feed
Sometimes, the baby just doesn’t seem to latch onto the breast. They might seem very agitated after feeds, indicating that they don’t quite agree with the mother’s method of feeding. This can be overcome by trial and error, but sometimes, it just doesn’t work out.
In extreme conditions, your breasts can become infected by the Candida fungus. This usually happens if cracked or sore nipples are left untreated for a long time.
What Should You Look For In Baby Formula?
As a busy mom, you may have fallen victim to at least a few of these issues. So if you’ve finally decided to shift to baby formula, you should be well informed about what ingredients you should be looking for. Remember – the baby formula isn’t a complete replacement for breastmilk; it’s a temporary alternative for when you have a tight schedule.
You need to make sure your baby gets all the necessary nutrients. Here are some important ingredients to keep an eye out for in baby formulas.
Fully Hydrolyzed Proteins
Proteins are one of the most important ingredients needed for your baby’s growth. Milk brands sometimes leave proteins unprocessed; this means that the protein molecules aren’t broken down into smaller particles. This might create some problems with your child.
Whole proteins are difficult to digest, which is why you want to look for formulas with fully hydrolyzed proteins. These formulas have been designed to be more easily digestible by your baby. Furthermore, it allows the protein to be absorbed into your baby’s body as opposed to larger protein molecules.
Lactose is the main source of carbohydrate found in breastmilk. Lactose is known as milk sugar; Your baby needs a constant supply of carbohydrates for energy generation and digestion. So finding a formula that contains lactose will be a wise idea.
Some babies don’t tolerate lactose very well. This is commonly seen in premature babies or babies who have recovered from diarrhea. It’s also seen in babies who were previously on formulas that contained a reduced amount of lactose. If any of these cases align with your baby’s condition, consider getting a formula that’s lactose-reduced.
Probiotics are microorganisms, or more specifically, bacteria that are provided externally to benefit the health of your baby. Now I know what you’re thinking – who gives bacteria to their children, right? Well, there’s no need to fret.
Humans are born with gut bacteria that help with digestion (natural probiotics). In addition to gut bacteria, babies also receive an ample amount of probiotics when birthed through the vagina and from breast milk. So you need to look out for that. Probiotics will help improve your baby’s digestive and immune systems.
Please do not be alarmed by this lengthy word. I assure you, your baby will need this nutrient in their formula. Docosahexaenoic Acid, or DHA for short, is important for the development of your baby’s brain and vision. A lot of baby formula brands these days have DHA included in their ingredients.
Synthetic formulas, to this day, are a concern for many parents across the globe. They have opted for organic baby formula over the traditional ones. Organic baby formula is free of growth hormones, preservatives, synthetic chemicals, and GMO-related products. If you feel hesitant to use traditional formula milk, then you can try out organic formulas and see how your baby reacts to them.
However, I should add that organic doesn’t automatically equate to “The best.” Therefore, do speak to your doctor before making any decisions.
Formulas for Specific Needs
Every child is different; what works for your child might not necessarily work well with someone else’s child. In that case, you need to first identify the problems that your child is facing with the milk and then consult with your doctor so that they can suggest a formula suitable for them.
For example, your baby might seem to be frequently suffering from constipation. In that case, you will need to find a formula that does not contain palm oil. Usually, palm oil is the ingredient that promotes constipation in infants.
How Should You Prepare Milk?
Baby formula isn’t the same as regular milk, so before you get started with anything, make sure to thoroughly read the instructions. Make sure you add the appropriate amount of powder before adding the water.
Next, you need to use filtered water. Tap water contains fluoride and other chemicals, which might be harmful to your baby. Don’t boil the water! Boiled water is way too hot for your baby. Instead, you might want to warm it up in a double boiler at low heat.
Avoid heating your baby formula in the microwave. Baby bottles are made of plastic; when subjected to high temperatures, there’s a chance that the bottle might release harmful chemicals into its contents.
Some people sometimes mix certain supplements into their baby’s milk. Refrain from adding extra vitamins or other supplements into the baby formula without your doctor’s recommendations. The supplements may impact the health of your baby negatively; they may also react badly with the formula.
What Should You Avoid in Baby Formula?
Now it’s time you look into things that you should be avoiding. Compared to all the things you should look for, there are a considerable amount of things that you should stay away from.
Some brands tend to contain heavy metals in their formulas. Steer clear of those. Some formulas are rich in sugars like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and others. Avoid such unnecessary sweeteners. Lastly, watch out for brands that use artificial flavors, antibiotics, and hormones.
Don’t Feel Guilty!
All parents have their own choices regarding their children. People do have a habit of condoning other people’s decisions on how they live their lives. Many women shame mothers for using baby formula instead of breastfeeding. In another scenario, the mother might end up feeling guilty about their choices.
Whether you want to breastfeed or give your child baby formula is your choice to make. You aren’t selfish for your actions. Of course, your baby’s health is your priority; but your comfort matters too. Busy mothers (especially those who are single) may not be able to breastfeed their children all the time. Understandably, they would want to give their children formula milk while they are away.
It’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t feed them more than the recommended volume of formula. There needs to be a balance between baby formula and breast milk. At the end of the day, Probiotics aren’t as effective as antibodies received from the mother’s milk. Antibodies are immunological molecules that help the baby’s body fight against diseases. These cannot be incorporated into formula, hence making breast milk a necessity (at least once daily).
So, as long as you have found a good balance between breastmilk and formula milk, you are good to go.