Infant feeding is one of my pet peeve topics for one million reasons: mainly because there are so many different opinions about it and its one of those subjects that people love to tiptoe around.. So I’m just going to rip the band-aid right now; if you’re offended by something I’m about to say, that’s cool. You’re entitled to your opinion just like I’m entitled to mine, but I like to think that the majority of my knowledge comes from pediatricians and my own personal research, so while it may hurt your feelings or the feelings of your loved ones, especially those of previous generations, it doesn’t make it any less factual or any less true. I’m more than open to having a conversation about any of it, honestly I welcome it!
Newborns only need milk. From birth until at LEAST 6 months old, your baby does not need ANYTHING other than milk. Don’t give baby milk from the refrigerated section in the grocery store. Its too harsh on their sensitive tummies and doesn’t meet their nutritional needs. Milk from a cow is for a cow, why we insist on feeding it to humans, I will never understand, but cow’s milk is too high in proteins, immunoglobulins, fat, lactose, calcium, phosphorous, sodium, and other stuff for babies. Breastmilk or formula. Whether that be breastmilk or formula, that doesn’t really matter. We all know that I prefer breastmilk and advocate for it, but while formula isn’t my preference, science continues advance and consequently formulas that are more and more like breastmilk and that also tend to have some extra perks that breastmilk may not have if mom isn’t eating the right foods or taking the necessary supplements. By all means, fed is best, but do so wisely. Mix the formula according to the portions listed on the label. Too much water can kill a newborn. A baby shouldn’t have water until their one pretty much. You can give them an ounce or two here and there after 6 months if your pediatrician gave you the okay. NO water for baby. Feed your newborn every 2-3 hours. If you’re baby is sleeping, you don’t have to wake them up to feed them. Lot’s of nurses tell you to wake them up to feed them if its been more than 4-5 hours, especially when you’re still in the hospital. I think of this as a preference thing. I don’t prefer force feeding my baby. A newborn’s tummy is literally the tiniest thing ever. If they aren’t giving you hunger cues, I wouldn’t disturb my happily sleeping baby, but that’s up to you. I didn’t feel that way until after I had woken up my sleeping baby a couple of times per recommendation of my nurses and suffered the crying consequences. But like I said, that’s up to you.
(Newborn Squally nursing herself back to sleep)
It’s been my experience (from lurking in breastfeeding forums and mommy groups) that lots of pediatricians aren’t super supportive of breastfeeding moms on their journey at the first “sign” that baby isn’t gaining weight adequately. Breastfeeding is hard enough without having your child’s health professional not support you on your journey. Please know that you are supported and you are doing just fine! Pediatricians love to recommend supplementing to get your baby to gain weight faster. That’s cool, but I was 93 pounds before I got pregnant; so my child gaining weight slowly sounds logical to me considering her parentage. If your babying is still peeing and pooping multiple times a day, they are getting what they need! Could you supplement, yeah sure, but never be shamed into feeling like you HAVE to. Your milk is more than enough! Look up a chart of you’re the size of your baby’s tummy. Newborn tummies are tiny. I’d be more concerned if baby was eating too much as opposed to eating too little.