I know it’s still very early but as you may have understood from my blog, I am a planner. So I’ve been reading a lot of information online about breastmilk vs formula. A number of health organizations recommend breastfeeding as the best choice for babies. They say that breastfeeding helps defend against infections, prevent allergies, and protect against a number of chronic conditions. Breastfed babies have fewer infections and hospitalizations than formula-fed infants. During breastfeeding, antibodies and other germ-fighting factors pass from a mother to her baby and strengthen the immune system. This helps lower a baby’s chances of getting many infections, including, ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory infections, and meningitis. They claim that breastfeeding also may protect babies against, allergies, asthma, diabetes, obesity and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months. Beyond that, breastfeeding is encouraged until at least 12 months, and longer if both the mother and baby are willing.
So what happens in my case? I, unfortunately, can not breastfeed. So while researching I came across a facebook group called “Human Milk 4 Human Babies.” They help in connecting you with a milk donor. Their mission is to promote the nourishment of babies and children around the world with human milk. They are dedicated to fostering community between local families who have chosen to share breastmilk. So how does it work? You find your local chapter on Facebook. Post on the page if you would like to receive breastmilk. If you see a post from someone who is a potential match for you (how do you know if they are a potential match?), you contact them directly via private message or on the related post.
Let me start off by saying that I think it’s fantastic that women are willing to help other families in need. The support I’m seeing in the parenting community is amazing, you can literally find help for anything. With that said, this brings up a whole slew of questions; what has the donor been eating? What is the emotional state of the donor while pumping? Is all breast milk the same? How much do you buy at a time? Does it go bad or expire?
I clearly want the best for my babies as I am sure most parents do. I’m still torn between the thought of feeding my babies a strangers milk or to simply formula feed. So I guess my question, is formula feeding ok? Why am I feeling guilty about not wanting to give my babies a strangers milk? I mean most of us drink cows milk and we don’t know where that cow has been or the emotional state of the cow while it’s being milked. So to other parents out there what are your thoughts?
Photo by Tammy Nicole