Pumping, Breastfeeding, and Formula Feeding – 5 Benefits for Each
This post is based on personal experience and not to be taken as medical advice. Consult with your doctor when making medical decisions.
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Welcome to the world of motherhood – where people will judge your choices without taking into consideration your circumstances. Being a mom, or parent in general really, is a tough gig. Not only are you responsible for keeping an indefensible human person alive, but you’re also responsible for managing every day life in the most sleep deprived state of existence.
It can be brutal.
So the last thing you need is to be second guessing the choices you make, especially if that second guessing comes as a result of the dreaded mom-shamers of the world.
One of these mom-shaming hot topics is, of course, how we feed our children. Specifically, how we feed our babies.
People want to know, are you exclusively pumping, breastfeeding, or formula feeding?
Well, it’s really none of their business. If you’ve decided that exclusively pumping, breastfeeding, or formula feeding (or a combination of these) is what works for you and your family, then you’re doing awesome.
In an effort to support you and your mission to feed your child, this post is literally just a bunch of benefits to support whichever of these options you’ve decided on (or had forced upon you by your circumstances – I don’t know!).
No pros and cons, just the pros.
Because we could all use a little more support in our lives.
Building immunities for your baby
Breastmilk has a ton of benefits, one of the most critical benefits is that it supplies your baby with antibodies. Kellymom does a really excellent job of outlining what all of these amazing benefits are and how exactly they impact your baby, but the long and short of it is that your milk retains antibodies that your body has built up to keep you healthy. The good news – breastmilk sort of captures some of these antibodies and shares them with your baby.
Sure, if you’re exclusively pumping, you do have to buy bottles. And the best way to confirm if this is definitely a financially beneficial is by checking with your insurance provider. But there are a lot of plans where you’ll be able to get the pump for free. So really, if you’re making the milk and only paying for the bottles – this can be a great financial savings.
Baby becomes bottle savvy
In ideal situation, you and your baby will never be in a situation where you’re forced to be apart due to some unforeseen circumstance. But, unfortunately, sometimes these situations arise. If your baby is bottle savvy, this is easily on stressor that you don’t need to face. Also, if you’re baby is going into a daycare or being cared for by a nanny or relative, it makes the transition to a new caretaker a bit easier.
Plus, when you’re exclusively pumping mom is able to get a bit of a break. Yay!
More Dad bonding opportunities
Feeding can be a really intimate time with your baby. They rely so wholly on adults to make sure that their needs are being met. There’s an incredible connection that’s formed, and in the many times they need feeding, they are bonding with their caregiver. For Dad, this is a beautiful chance to bond, to establish that trust and connect.
No biting anxiety
One of my favorite things about my baby (who, to be transparent, was not fed milk exclusively from pumping) was he could be fed without me being anxious about biting. Because babies teeth are sharp… and they like to gnaw on things when they’re teething. Bottles are much better to absorb these tiny teeth than nipples!
Establishing a strong mother-baby bond
Breastfeeding was tough for me, but it was the most incredible time to bond with my son. It’s a chance to make eye contact, have physical contact with your baby, and some time blocked off just for the two of you.
If you’re together you can feed your baby any time
You never have to worry about making sure you enough bottles, because you’ll always be able to feed your baby at the drop of a dime. If your baby is hungry and you two are together, you don’t have to be concerned that you didn’t pack enough milk or formula… only that you two are together.
There are health benefits
For mom, there have been studies showing that breastfeeding helps to protect mom from ovarian and breast cancer for mom. And for baby, you’re passing along antibodies that you’ve built up yourself to your baby through your breastmilk!
Without bottles or formula, you’re basically feeding your baby for free. The only thing you have to pay for is the food that you need to eat in order to keep your supply up.
May give you more time before your period comes back
To be totally honest, mine didn’t come back until I was 9 months postpartum. To be honest, this is definitely not true for everyone, but between breastfeeding and formula feeding, breastfeeding is the most likely to impact your cycle.
Gives Mom the option for more self-care
When you’re a new mom, sleep is basically a luxury. When you’re debating between exclusively pumping, breastfeeding, and formula feeding, formula feeding will give mom the best ability to take some time for some much needed self-care. Whether its grabbing some extra sleep or stepping away from the house to enjoy something you love, time for yourself is a necessary and often neglected aspect of motherhood.
You can buy more if you’re running low
You will never worry about running out of your supply and being unable to get more. If you’re running low on formula, you can just go to the store (or Amazon) and purchase more!
More Dad bonding opportunities
Meeting your baby’s needs is a wonderful opportunity for both mom and dad to bond with your baby. When you formula feed, this opportunity gets spread to more people.
Your period may come back sooner
If you’re planning on having babies close together, formula feeding may actually put you in a position where your period will come back sooner than if you were debating between breastfeeding and formula feeding.
Easy to transport
If you’re planning on formula feeding, you can travel with it fairly easily, as long as you don’t pre-mix in the water. Just throw the powder into a bottle and bring a separate water bottle and your formula is ready to be mixed and served without having to refrigerate it prior to serving it to your baby.
Whether you’ve decided on exclusively pumping, breastfeeding, or formula feeding you really just need to remember this one thing: the most important thing is that your child is being fed. And the way that they’re being fed is what works for you and for your family.