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Published on August 29, 2022

Busting Breastfeeding and Formula Myths with this Baby Diet Edition of Fact vs. Fiction

mother feeding baby a bottle

By Cody Miller, EvergreenHealth Staff Writer

As you prepare for a new baby, there are a number of preparations you and your family make. While you pick a name, gather your baby supplies and learn about the daily safety precautions, there is another question you and your partner will likely face: whether to breastfeed or formula feed.

Depending on who you discuss the topic with or where you do your research, getting the facts can be difficult.

We'll help you cut through the noisy myths with fact vs. fiction for both breastfeeding and formula feeding.

Breastfeeding

Fact: It may be difficult to get your baby to breastfeed.

Although breastfeeding is the natural practice for getting your baby fed, you or your partner may need some help with positioning your baby and making sure your baby is properly attached to the nipple for breastfeeding.

Fiction: You'll have to drastically change your diet in order to breastfeed your baby.

You are used to cutting back on certain foods during pregnancy, but you will not have to drastically change your diet when it comes to breastfeeding. Just like everyone else, you'll want to eat a balanced diet. You do not need to adjust your diet if you plan on breastfeeding your baby, however you will need to remove alcoholic beverages.

Fact: You can use formula in addition to breastfeeding.

You may decide to use formula on occasion while you continue to breastfeed. Be sure to consult your provider when deciding whether or not to include formula in your baby's diet.

Fiction: Breastfed babies are clingier than formula-fed babies.

Your baby is as unique as you are. Your child might be clingy and they might not be clingy at all, but breastfeeding has nothing to do with this.

Formula Feeding

Fiction: Your baby won't bond with you if they are formula-fed.

Similar to the clingy baby myth, you might think that the lack of skin-to-skin contact will make it harder for your baby to bond with you. However, you can formula feed with skin-to-skin contact, which can also help you and your partner bond with your baby.

Fact: Homemade baby formula isn't safe.

Experts warn parents against using homemade baby formula. Despite countless recipes online, homemade baby formulas often don't have the right balance of nutrients or make it difficult to achieve.

Fiction: Formula feeding leads to obesity.

Formula feeding has been linked to a higher risk of obesity in children, but experts say it has nothing to do with what's in the formula. Rather, experts say that parents who formula feed may be overfeeding their babies. If you plan on formula feeding, make sure you are following healthy feeding practices.

How you decide to feed your baby is ultimately a very personal decision, but it is important to consult your doctor or baby's pediatrician. Be sure you're aware of all of the pros and cons so that you can make the best decision for you and your family and know what to expect.

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