• Jodi

Let’s Talk About Formula

You found out you are expecting and now you may be feeling overwhelmed with all the decisions to be made before baby comes. One of these decisions is what will you feed your newborn and what does that look like. This decision, unfortunately carries quite a bit of stigma. You have the breast is best crowd and then you have the backlash with the fed is best crowd. And just in case it couldn’t get more complicated there are many people who don’t resonate with either. As a doula I do not have a partiality to a feeding method, my role is to provide information and support the decision you make as parents, whether that be to feed formula or breast milk. This decision is not always an easy one and what a parent chooses during the prenatal period has the potential to change once they enter the postpartum period. There is a lot to consider between both choices and it can be intimidating. I also think it is important to note that no matter what decision is made a lot of thought has gone into that choice. Not everyone wants to or is able to breastfeed. And those who choose formula should never be made to feel less than.

It is interesting that a decade or two ago all advertising went towards pushing and promoting formula. Fast forward to now when the benefits of breast milk and breastfeeding are being spoken about in greater volume and there is a push to get moms to breastfeed. With this, people seem to forget that there may be medical reasons, personal reasons and even traumatic events in the mothers life that make breastfeeding not an option. I want my formula parents to know that I see you and I support you too.

Here are some questions to ponder if you are leaning towards formula feeding:

Are you going to start with formula and if so what one? Or are you going to try to breastfeed in the beginning and then alternate with formula? Is your tap water safe for formula or do you need to use bottled water? Please remember just because your tap water is safe for you to drink does not make it safe for formula preparation.

If you are using well water you should have it tested for nitrate levels regularly. If you are going to be using tap water you should contact your local health department to ensure the water is safe for infant formula. Keep in mind, tap water often has high levels of fluoride so your doctor may recommend you alternate with low-fluoride bottled water to reduce the risk of your baby developing dental fluorosis. Doulas can help guide you through the safe formula preparation guidelines, but it is important that you also consult with your child’s pediatrician as they will help you choose the best formula choice for your baby.

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