While you may feel societal pressure from friends and family to breastfeed, we want you to know that it's perfectly acceptable to forgo this decision.
Your wellbeing and the health of your little one is imperative, but there are so many wonderful reasons it’s okay not to breastfeed or to stop whenever you’re ready.
Formula provides the nourishment your baby needs.
Infant formula contains all of the nourishment that babies need. While there is necessary colostrum in breast milk, most established formula brands can guarantee that your baby is receiving ample amounts of nutrients.
Infant formula supports adequate growth and feeds the bacteria in the baby's gut to boost their immune system. Regardless of your reasons for not breastfeeding, formula is a perfectly acceptable choice.
You Can Consume What You Want.
During pregnancy, medical professionals advise expecting mothers to avoid consuming seafood, alcohol, and unpasteurized foods.
They continue to enforce these restrictions for breastfeeding mothers because you can inadvertently pass along chemicals to your little one. Allow yourself to let go of the guilt. This is your journey after all!
You may have special dietary needs or take prescription medications needed for your own health. Which, are perfectly reasonable reasons to choose not to breastfeed.
Your Family Can Help Feed the Baby.
Let your family lend a helping hand with feeding the baby.
Choosing to bottle feed allows other family members like fathers, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles to assist with preparing food.
This takes some pressure off of you and allows your little one to have nourishment and care from the village.
You Can Rest Easy Knowing Your Baby is Fed Properly.
When you’re breastfeeding, you may not know how much your baby consumes during a feeding. You may be an overproducer or you may simply not produce enough.
By opting out when you’re ready or using infant formula, you can measure exactly how much your baby does or doesn't consume thanks to the measurement lines on the bottle.
This is essential, as babies tend to lose weight after birth. If breastfeeding isn’t working for you, you can help their infants gain the appropriate weight by measuring what they consume.
You Can Still Build Healthy Attachment.
Breastfeeding isn't the only way for mothers to bond with their babies. Whether you’re not able or willing to breastfeed, you can still build a healthy attachment with your little one.
Engaging in skin-to-skin contact, massaging your baby, or singing while you feed are just a couple of ways you can maintain connection while feeding in the way that feels best for you.
Your Comfort is a Priority.
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy, and often leads to many physical problems like cracked, inverted nipples or insufficient glandular tissue that prevent you from going the distance. You don’t need to be in pain or wracked with guilt if this happens.
Your comfort, emotional health, and mental well-being are a priority. Weaning when you’re ready and bottle feeding if you choose can help you care for your little one with more confidence and ease.
You Can Live Your Life to the Fullest.
While it may feel compelling to nurse on demand, the truth is that life often calls for us to be apart from our little ones whether working, traveling, or navigating your new life as a mom. It’s absolutely necessary that you remember that this is your journey, and there are so many ways to ensure your baby is fed, nourished, and cared for - breastfeeding doesn’t have to be the end all be all.
When you empower your motherhood by choosing to feed in the way that feels best for you, your children will see you living your best life.
You Can Put Your Mental Health First.
Breastfeeding may be traumatic for those of us who've experienced sexual violence in the past or have hypersensitivity to nursing.
It may also worsen the symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety. New moms who choose to not breastfeed to improve their mental health so that they can be present for their babies are our personal super heros (especially in a world that makes us feel like we’re bad moms if we make this choice).
Whether you choose not to breastfeed or can't do so for medical reasons, your baby can still develop healthily and happily.