Come across a forum few days ago, a mom started a topic talking about she had to give formula to her newborn, as the baby was not growing well. The baby is losing quite a bit of weight in the first week and not gaining much weight since then. The mother was breastfeeding the baby. The paed recommended to add formula to help the baby gained weight. The mom thinks she made the right choice of giving the baby formula and she should not feel bad about not able to fully breastfeed the baby.
From the reply, majority of the moms agreed with her and think that we should not too worry about not able to breastfeed. While there were few mothers think that most mothers gave up breastfeeding easily and formula milk should be given only when there is a real need. Therefore, these two groups of mother were debating there.
I think we just have to go with what we think is the best at that time. I’m sure if given a choice, most mothers would like to breastfeed their own babies if possible. However when they could not do so, we should not look down at them. Breastfeeding is not an easy journey, without proper guidance, encouragement and support from people around us. What I dislike most, is the people around the mother interfere with her choice. They will say things like breast milk is not good, too watery and baby get hungry too soon; not every mother can produce breast milk bla bla bla.
These people have very negative mindset about breastfeeding and they do not know any knowledge on breastfeeding. They don’t know that the beauty of the breast milk is its composition will change according to the baby’s need. Breast milk composition also varies by diet as well. Some women may produce more calorie-dense milk more than others. For those mommies who produce fewer calories on breast milk will need to nurse their babies more frequently. This is where the old people will always comment why the baby get hungry so soon, must be not getting enough milk from the mother that kind of talk. Well yes, baby on breast milk tends to get hungry fast. Why? This is because breast milk is easier to digest compared to formula milk. And what makes the breast milk easier to digest? It's the protein. There are two classes of proteins in milk — the caseins and the wheys. Caseins turn into clots or curds in the stomach. The wheys remain liquid and are easier to digest. And there are about 60% of the proteins in breast milk are whey, while most baby formula milk are high in casein.
If the mother is willing to try breastfeeding her baby, or wanted to breastfeed her baby, the people around her, especially the family members should feel happy and give encouragement to show support. I have witnessed how the negative statements and mindset, has made the mother feel so stressful and believe herself she does not have enough milk to breast feed, her milk is not good enough as the baby keep on crying for milk etc. When I was breastfeeding Hao for the first 2 months, he could cry for milk for every one hour. It is absolutely normal for a newborn to cry for milk more frequently. When Hao was 2 months old, slowly the interval become about 2 hours. Until now, his milk interval is still every 2 hours. Therefore, because of the discouragement from the family members, the mother was so stressful that she could hardly produce breast milk and given up breastfeeding the baby, just after about 1 week the baby was born. They do not understand, breast milk will not produce by itself, unless you are really gifted with lots of breast milk. We need stimulation, the baby needs to suck to send signal to the brain for the body to produce the breast milk. The more stimulation we get, the more breast milk we could produce for the baby. Despite lots of effort being done to create awareness to everyone that breast milk is the best for the baby but there are still some people especially the older generation think that formula milk is better. I think it’s difficult to change their mindset. Nevertheless, I’m glad that both my parents and my in-law are very supportive on my choice wanted to breastfeed both my children. They do believe that breast milk is the best for the baby. Of course not to mention hubby too. Support from family members is important on the success of breastfeeding.