Feeding your baby

What is the best way to feed my baby?

Breastfeeding is the most healthy and natural way to feed your baby. The colostrum in your breasts in the first few days after delivery is the perfect food for your new baby. Although your breasts produce only a small amount of colostrum, it is all your baby needs. Within a few days, the volume of milk produced by your breasts will increase.

Breastfeeding has many advantages:

  • It helps you feel close to your baby
  • It provides protection from things like diarrhea and pneumonia
  • It is always available and always the right temperature
  • It is affordable
  • It reduces the mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 Diabetes, and postpartum depression
  • Children who were breastfed are less likely to be overweight
  • Children who were breastfed perform better on intelligence tests

I want to use formula – how is it different from breast milk?

The decision to feed infant formula should be made carefully. Formula is different from breast milk but does provide the basic nutrition for your baby to grow. It does not contain the many immune-boosting components in breast milk. The long-term benefits of breastfeeding, for both mother and infant, are not replicated with infant formula. Bonding with the baby will still occur. The baby’s father or other family members may do the feeding and develop more closeness with the baby. If you feed with infant formula, it is important that formula be prepared and stored correctly. Feeding equipment must be sanitized properly. Talk to your health care provider to learn more about formula feeding.