When it comes to deciding between breastfeeding vs. formula feeding your baby—or doing both—how do you sort out what’s true and what’s not? Check out the following common misconceptions regarding breastfeeding and formula feeding.
And speak with your doctor about your thoughts and concerns. Ultimately, it's not about breastmilk vs. formula; it's about what's best for the individuals involved. With the help of an open dialogue, the two of you will find the best course of action for your baby. And that's all that matters.
Breastfeeding and Formula-Feeding Myths
- Don’t breast and bottle feed
- Bottles boost nipple confusion
- Formula diminishes breast milk
- Breastfed babies are smarter
- Formula is less healthy
- You can't bond with bottle feeding
Myth 1: You can't breastfeed and use formula.
While some may frame the conversation as though it's a matter of breastmilk versus formula, breastfeeding versus formula feeding, it doesn't have to be an either-or choice. Many parents feed their babies a combination of both at some point during their baby's first few months. In fact, some surveys suggest a combination of the two helps moms breastfeed longer.
Myth 2: Nipple confusion causes breastfeeding problems.
Nipple confusion can sometimes simply be nipple preference. Experiment with different nipple styles to find ones that work best for your baby.
Myth 3: Your breast milk supply will decrease if you use formula.
The more breast milk your baby drinks, the more milk your body produces. But adding some formula to your baby's diet after your milk supply is established won’t make your milk disappear; instead, your milk production adjusts accordingly.
Myth 4: Formula-fed babies aren't as smart or healthy as breastfed babies.
Mead Johnson agrees that breast milk has benefits that infant formula doesn't yet replicate. However, our infant formulas, which have prebiotics (to support the immune system) and the fatty acids DHA and ARA (for brain and eye development), are helpful to your baby's health and development.
Myth 5: Formula lacks complete nutrition.
Today's formulas are closer to breast milk than ever before. Many offer nutrients that breastfed babies may need to get from supplements, such as vitamin D. Like breast milk, formula has the important omega-3 fatty acid DHA.
Myth 6: Formula feeding impairs bonding with your baby.
Your baby doesn't know how she’s being fed, only that she's being held, loved, and nourished. So, if formula feeding lowers your stress levels, that's a plus for you and your baby!
As you can see, there's no need to pit breastfeeding versus formula feeding. By separating the common myths from fact, you can, along with the input of your doctor, make an informed decision along what the best choice is for you and your baby.