I was talking to my sister earlier today, and she told me that her coworker's OB recommended that she supplement her baby with a certain type of formula, even though she plans on breastfeeding. Apparently there is "new research" that says while breastfeeding still provides amazing nutrients, babies are not being provided the right amount of vitamins needed, because of the mother's diet. This doctor also told her that by giving her baby a bottle of formula before bed, it will keep the baby fuller so the baby will sleep through the night.
It's no surprise that Americans have a generally unhealthy diet and probably do not intake nearly the amount of fruits, veggies, protein, etc. that they should. It also makes sense that for those American mothers who don't eat properly but also breastfeed, would not be passing on the nutrients their babies need through their milk. I completely understand that this is true and a reasonable statement...
But since when do Doctors tell a breastfeeding mother to supplement with formula because they need more vitamins? Instead of, oh I don't know...telling the mother to EAT BETTER! Please know that I am in no way bashing formula...I formula fed my first daughter, and know that if breastfeeding my next daughter *due any day now* does not work out for whatever reason, I will formula feed with no regrets. This is not a matter of breast vs. formula. For me, this is a matter of health for everyone. If someone has a poor diet, wouldn't it make sense for an educated doctor to recommend eating better? They can't force you of course, but isn't it their job to provide the healthiest, safest, most educated information for their patients? Instead of giving them a cop-out, saying to just supplement a meal or two for their infant so the baby can get the proper vitamins/nutrients, while the mother continues to stuff her face with grease and junk. Which will inevitably lead to the child stuffing their face with grease and junk when they move on from liquids.
I am not a health freak. I enjoy my carbs as much as anyone else. But I am conscious of what I eat, and I try to make healthier versions of my vices. I don't eat many greasy foods because I hate the way it makes me feel, and I do eat the daily recommended fruits (and mostly veggies). But it just bothers me to know that a lot of doctors are recommending a short cut to providing your baby vitamins, instead of telling you to suck it up and do what is best for yourself as well as your child. Of course, supplementing would absolutely help the baby. Baby needs vitamins, and if baby can't get them through your breastmilk than I am all for a bottle or two of vitamin rich formula. But why is the mother getting a write off for her unhealthy habits? I'd imagine she'd have to have a pretty poor diet in order for baby to not get what they need.
I personally want to be healthy and get all the nutrients I need. For myself, as well as for the baby I am about to have and *hopefully successfully* breastfeed. It's sad that there are doctors who don't feel the same.
This doctor must be getting a nifty paycheck from the formula company...
I think it's called job security for the doctor. Sounds like he wants to get the baby on formula and in turn it will keep the baby coming back because in no way form or fashion is formula as good as breastmilk. I strongly believe, in my own opinion, a breastfed baby, who's mother eats a sensible, good diet, is always healthier than a formula fed baby.
As a breastfeeding Mom who started supplementing today since I can't seem to keep up with my awesomely-growing daughter's demand I'm most concerned that the baby sleeping through the night is based on convenience rather than what's best for the baby. Also since any breastfed baby needs Vitamin D supplement I'm surprised the OB didn't simply suggest a multi-vitamin supplement (coincidentally also made by formula companies).
That's how I feel. I'm not at all against formula feeding, or supplementing if needed. But it seems like this Dr. was trying to just make the mom's life easier and get the baby to sleep longer. There are a lot of options a Dr. should suggest before this.
That's why moms should continue to take a prenatal vitamin and calcium while breastfeeding, I did. Some docs are quacks, you can't listen to everything they tell you. I also took a DHA supplement aka fish oil, it's good for your and baby's brain.
I'd love to see who did this "new research" - I'm betting it was a study done by and for a formula manufacturer. Formula companies are continually coming under fire because everybody knows the "breast is best" campaign. Formula is "evil" in some circles. This sounds like a convenient way for them to say, "but look! It says here your baby NEEDS formula!" I'm not buying it.
I was told to supplement with formula because of the jaundice but I didn't and he cleared up just fine. You do what you think is best for you and your baby!
same thing happened to me. I switched doctors
I completely agree! I formula fed my daughter, and she is perfectly healthy, so I have nothing against formula. But I am determined to breastfeed the daughter I am about to give birth to, and I know firsthand how difficult breastfeeding can be on it's own, let alone having your own Dr. telling you to supplement or switch.