If you’re pregnant or a new parent, you’ve probably heard lots of the phrase “breast is best.” It’s a common refrain in our culture, a quick and catchy rhyme that was created once medical professionals and researchers realized that breastfeeding has many health advantages for both mothers and babies. Of course, we here at Doulas of Las Vegas believe that breastfeeding is incredible—an amazing and valuable way to feed your baby. But we don’t believe it is “best.”
Have you ever heard the phrase “fed is best?” Touted by the Fed is Best Foundation, a group that advocates for all clinically-safe feeding methods for infants, it basically means that the most important thing to do is to feed your baby—no matter if that’s with formula, breast milk, or some combination of the two. It’s the philosophy we, too, have adopted in our support of new families.
We fully support all breastfeeding families. We fully support all formula-feeding families. We support families that exclusively pump and those that mixed feed (both formula and breastmilk). We acknowledge that all new families need education, information and compassionate support around their infant feeding decisions. There is immense social pressure to breastfeed, but the actual social support for it is very lacking. Mothers today have often never seen anyone breastfeed before they try to—and then before long, they’re dealing with pumping, going back to work, and all sorts of other factors that can impact feeding.
You shouldn’t feel ashamed if you struggle with breastfeeding, because it is not something that comes naturally to every mother-baby dyad. It can be difficult and it often takes work. Breastfeeding is a learned behavior for both mother and baby, and is frequently different from day to day, and child to child. It doesn't make you any less of a mother if breastfeeding isn't going as planned. Sometimes, supplementing is appropriate. Sometimes it’s the best choice to stop breastfeeding altogether, whether it’s for your own health or that of your baby—and we at Doulas of Las Vegas believe that a happy, healthy mother is the most important thing for any baby.
Regardless of whether you breastfeed, formula feed or mixed feed, whether you pump or use a bottle or an SNS or donated milk, we know that you love and treasure your baby. We support you and your choices, no matter what—because fed is best.