We all know that breastfeeding is good for babies and good for moms. I've been fortunate enough to have been able to breastfeed my daughter for the past nineteen months (I hope to make it until she's two).
But not everyone is as lucky. Some moms want to breastfeed, but they can't (they don't produce milk, the baby won't latch, it's far too complicated with their job, they're on medication that interferes with their milk, and the list goes on) so they bottle-feed their babies.
I don't pat myself on the back or think I'm somehow a superior mom for breastfeeding, I'm just thankful that it's worked out so well for me.
Especially since things are getting more difficult for bottle-feeding moms.
New research shows that the increased attention to breastfeeding moms (support groups, web advice, and hospital programs, all of which are good things) has resulted in a corresponding lack of information and support for bottle-feeding mothers (which is not a good thing at all).
Babies need to eat. So mothers need information on how to bottle feed—especially since the majority of breastfeeding moms ultimately switch to formula. Moms need to know how to prepare formula, how to sanitize bottles, and they need to know how much and how often to feed their babies.
The researchers emphasize that while breastfeeding should be encouraged, "It is also necessary to ensure that the needs of bottle-feeding mothers are met. Inadequate information and support for mothers who decide to bottle-feed may put the health of their babies at risk.
Mothers who bottle fed their babies, either because they could not breast feed or because they preferred to bottle feed, frequently experienced a range of negative emotions. These included guilt; worry about the impact on their baby and what healthcare professionals might say; uncertainty about how to proceed; a sense of failure; and anger as a result of feeling under pressure to breastfeed."
Do you bottle-feed your baby? Do you feel you got proper instructions from your pediatrician or your hospital on how to do so? Do you feel your friends and family support you?