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What Happens When Breastfeeding isn't an Option

Breastfeeding your child is a joyful experience that most expecting moms look forward to. However, it is an unfortunate fact that due to various reasons, this isn’t always possible. Some mothers are unable to produce enough breastmilk due to hypoplasia, which occurs when the glands in the breast are underdeveloped. Other reasons for not being able to breastfeed include postpartum depression or a previous breast reduction surgery which can negatively impact milk production. Whatever the reason might be, new moms should rest assured that not being able to breastfeed is not the end of the world.

Baby Formula Nutrition

When you can’t breastfeed, you must invest in a good quality baby formula. Good brands like Alula offer infant to toddler formulas that provide complete nutrition for your baby, so you won’t need to worry about your child’s growth and development. While doctors do recommend breastfeeding as the best form of nutrition for your newborn baby, you don’t need to be concerned about their health in the slightest – a good formula will take care of the job, and some even provide extra vitamins and minerals which otherwise may need to be supplemented

Pumping and Supplementing

If you are able to express milk and it’s just not quite enough, you can always consider pumping and supplementing your breastmilk with formula. A good breast pump is going to be a great investment in this case, and you can express and store your milk during bottle-feeding periods. Do some research on the best way to go about this combination method. 

Consider Donated Breast Milk

If your heart is set on breastmilk for your little one or formula isn’t going to cut it, but you can’t express yourself, using donated breastmilk is another option you could think about. Research shows that donated breast milk from another woman can nourish your baby just as well as your own. You can check in with your hospital if this is available or otherwise check in with a milk bank in your area. However, keep in mind that this method may be less accessible since premature babies and babies with certain medical conditions are prioritized by these institutions. 

Don’t Be Hard on Yourself

Many moms who can’t express enough milk to feed their babies feel that they are failing them. This is never the case! Keep in mind that there are many mothers out there facing the same problem as you, and many healthy, happy children who were raised on formula. You can still create a strong emotional bond with your baby while bottle-feeding, too, so don’t be distressed about missing that skin-on-skin contact. This can still be generated by holding and cuddling your baby close while feeding them.

If this is a problem that you’re struggling with, don’t forget to reach out for support from your partner, friends and family, and a mental healthcare professional if that’s what you need. Postpartum depression is common after giving birth, and struggling with meeting your baby’s needs could contribute to this. Make sure that you’re providing not only for the baby’s needs but your own too. 


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