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Breast-feeding vs. formula: What’s right for your baby?

Jay Hoecker, M.D.

The benefits of breast-feeding are well established. Breast milk contains the right balance of nutrients for your baby, and the antibodies in breast milk boost your baby’s immune system. But if breast-feeding isn’t possible, the decision to use formula shouldn’t lead to guilt, says Jay Hoecker, M.D., a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Here, Dr. Hoecker answers important questions about breast-feeding and infant formula.

How long are mothers encouraged to breast-feed?

Breast-feeding until age 1 is ideal. Remember, breast milk contains the right balance of nutrients for your baby. Breast-feeding also boosts your baby’s immune system. And age 1 isn’t necessarily a cutoff date. Breast-feeding after age 1 continues to support your baby’s growth and development.

Is any additional nutrition necessary?

Breast milk contains the right balance of nutrients for your baby. However, if you’re exclusively feeding your infant breast milk, talk with your doctor about vitamin D supplements for your baby. Breast milk alone may not provide enough vitamin D, which is essential to help your baby absorb calcium and phosphorus — necessary for strong bones. Too little vitamin D may cause rickets, a softening and weakening of bones.

What factors promote successful breast-feeding?

Taking good care of yourself can go a long way toward promoting successful breast-feeding. Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of fluids and rest as much as possible. To boost your confidence, learn as much as you can about breast-feeding. Keep the environment calm and relaxed. Look to your partner and other loved ones for support. If things aren’t going well, ask for help. Friends who’ve successfully breast-fed may be a good source of information. Lactation consultants are available at many hospitals and clinics. Your baby’s doctor can help, too.

Is it risky not to breast-feed?

Breast milk is the best food for babies. If breast-feeding isn’t possible, the benefits of breast milk are lost. Still, risk is a relative term. Although breast-feeding is ideal, proper nourishment is absolutely necessary. If breast-feeding isn’t working for you despite your best attempts to succeed, your baby may not receive adequate hydration or nutrition. In this case, your baby’s doctor may suggest supplementing with formula. The risk of poor nutrition or dehydration outweighs all other considerations.

Does infant formula pose any risks to a baby?

Commercial infant formulas don’t contain the immunity-boosting elements of breast milk. But when prepared as directed with clean water, infant formula supports healthy babies who have typical dietary needs.

Can mothers combine breast-feeding and formula-feeding?

Some mothers successfully combine breast-feeding and formula-feeding. If exclusive breast-feeding isn’t possible or practical for you, remember that babies need consistency. Determine the right compromise between breast-feeding and formula-feeding and follow a consistent schedule.

How should mothers who choose not to breast-feed handle feelings of guilt or inadequacy?

Guilt is rarely a productive emotion. Instead, focus on your baby. Nurture your baby, and make sure he or she is well nourished. Share your feelings with your doctor, your baby’s doctor or others in your support circle. Remember, parenting is an adventure that requires choices and compromises. What counts is doing the best you can as you face this new challenge.


Source : Mayoclinic

Ada yg menarik buat saya

quote :

Breast milk alone may not provide enough vitamin D, which is essential to help your baby absorb calcium and phosphorus — necessary for strong bones. “

Jawabannya ini :

It seems that breastmilk does not contain much vitamin D, but it has a little. We must assume this is as nature intended, not a mistake of evolution. In fact, breastmilk is one of the few natural foods that does contain some vitamin D. The baby stores up vitamin D during the pregnancy and he will remain healthy without vitamin D supplementation, unless the mother herself is vitamin D deficient during the pregnancy. Vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women in Canada and the USA is rare. Outside exposure also gives your baby vitamin D even in winter, even when the sky is cloudy. An hour or so of outside exposure during a week gives your baby more than enough vitamin D even if only his face is exposed, even in winter.

Jawaban lainnya :

“Memang betul kandungan vit D dalam ASI tidak terlalu banyak…sehingga

di luar negeri yang mengalami 4 musim…bayi2 ASI yang lahir di musim

dingin (autumn/winter) perlu dikasih tambahan vit D…

tapi…

berhubung Indonesia adalah negera tropis…selama bayi ASI setiap hari
kena matahari…tidak perlu khawatir kekurangan vit D, apalagi minum
suplemen vit D…”

sama ya seperti dibahas di kellymom jg. jadi kayaknya kita di
indonesia tidak perlu terlalu khawatir mengenai ini ya🙂

cuma kekhawatiran kami adalah ini bisa dijadikan ‘celah’ utk pemasaran
susu formula. mungkin itulah gunanya kita2 bersama di milis dan
organisasi ya? saling menginformasikan dan sharing ilmu bersama2
supaya bisa menjalin kekuatan bersama, memberikan jawaban yang logis
kepada para orang tua 🙂

maaf jika ada salah kata dan salam ASI,
nia umar

September 19, 2008 - Posted by | Article

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