So you’ve been to the classes, you’ve seen the brochures in your obstetricians’ office and read all the online articles and books! We all know that ‘breast is best’ and its nutritional value to your baby is second to none!
But what they don’t tell you is that is doesn’t always go to plan! In fact, it can go horribly wrong, and your nipples could be left cracked, bleeding and infected – YES, I said INFECTED!!
No one prepares you for the obstacles and challenges that you might face – supply issues, latching difficulties, nipple thrush, mastitis and tongue ties! Not to mentioned the effect it can ultimately have on your mental state! Furthermore, no one wants to talk to you about the alternative should it not work out *cough-formula-cough*.
Just like having a caesarean birth, I found the topic of formula feeding just as off-limits and taboo when I asked the question in order to prepare myself. Rather than being provided with information about formula feeding so that I could make an informed decision should I go that way, I found myself flying blind and relying on advice from other mums, while I navigated my way through an overwhelming number of formulas on the market.
Cow’s milk, goats milk, soy based, anti-colic, lactose free, organic! Are you still with me? Each has its own benefits, and not all suit every child – why? Because it’s not the tailor-made breast milk we so desperately wanted to feed them, we know that! So we do the best we can!
We still want to do what’s best for our babies, and what is ultimately best is that they are fed! Second to that we want to make an informed decision about what we are giving them, because for the first few months of their life, it is the only nutrition they get!
Just because you have two boobs and a baby, does not always mean it’s going to work! We already feel guilty enough, but when faced with the added lack of information and help available when it comes to formula feeding, it certainly doesn’t make us feel any better!
I recently decided to stop breastfeeding Teddy, after all the hurdles we had physically, it also began to take a toll on me mentally and it was best for both of us that moved on. I still obviously wanted to do what’s best for her and I still want to make an educated and informed decision about what I feed her.
In my quest for information, I attended an event hosted by Munchkin, where I got to chat to Mandy Sacher, a leading Paediatric Nutritionist and Wholesome Child founder. Mandy gave me some really great information about what to look for when selecting a formula, including why is it important to choose a formula with probiotics and one that is free from antibiotics!
Mandy explained that one of the main benefits of breast milk is that it is saturated with beneficial bacteria, which influences the state of a baby’s health. A healthy gut (microbiome) is the cornerstone of good health in young children. A formula supplemented with probiotics, or prebiotics, can help maintain a healthy microbiome in formula fed babies who are not receiving breast milk.
She also clarified some questions I had about the benefits of grass-fed formula, a new product from Munchkin I had heard of but knew nothing about. One of the main benefits that really appealed to me was that cows fed a 100% grass fed diet are not fed a genetically modified feed including things like corn, soy or canola oil.
It was really good to be able to listen this kind of information and feel like I was making an informed decision on what’s best for my little girl, and with consultation of our GP we found a formula we liked in Munchkin Grass Fed Milk Based Infant Formula. It wasn’t until we tried a couple of different formulas that I noticed a significant difference in what she liked and how it settled in her tummy, and this for her was the best.
*If, like me, you can no longer breastfed and are looking to mix feed or formula fed, please make sure you consult your doctor or a health professional first about your options on what’s best for you and your baby.
For more information about grass-fed formula, you can head to the site here.