5 Reasons It's Completely Fine If You Can't (or Decide Not to) Breastfeed
No, you're not a bad mom
Breast is not always best--especially if you’re struggling with your milk supply, have a schedule that won’t quit or, frankly, just prefer to bottle-feed. Here, all the reasons (plus, some scientific research) why you need to cut yourself some slack.
YOU'LL FIND OTHER WAYS TO BOND WITH BABY
Sure, breastfeeding feels like a no-brainer when it comes to fostering a connection, but you can actually experience very similar effects simply by gazing into your newborn’s eyes while bottle-feeding or sniffing their head, according to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. The key is to do things with baby that trigger the release of oxytocin (aka the love hormone) and tap into the pleasure center of your brain.
YOU'LL GET WAY MORE SLEEP
A major perk of not breastfeeding is that you’re not the only one on deck when it comes to multiple midday (and middle-of-the-night) feedings. With formula, your hubby, your sister, even your mother-in-law can pitch in and help out so you can squeeze in a nap or log more than two hours of consecutive z’s in a row.
NOWADAYS, FORMULA ISN'T TOO FAR OFF THE REAL DEAL
It’s not the exact same, but modern formulas actually do a pretty decent job of mimicking human milk, valuable nutrients and all. Today’s quality brands include pro- and prebiotics (aka healthy bacteria) to support your baby’s immune functions and immune-boosting additives like choline, iron and DHA.
BOTTLE-FEEDING CAN HELP REDUCE YOUR POSTPARTUM RISK
We’re not suggesting that breastfeeding will make you feel bummed. But if you are inclined to loathe it, it can increase your risk of experiencing postpartum depression by a whopping 42 percent, according to studies. The takeaway? Don’t force it. Do what makes you happy.
YOUR HUSBAND CAN BE JUST AS INVOLVED
Remember that whole bonding thing? Bottle-feeding means that your S.O. has equal opportunity to connect while feeding. And you have equal opportunity to go gah-gah watching the two of them bond.