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Pregnancy

Feeding Your Newborn Baby

An Overview of Feeding Your Baby

If you're welcoming a new baby into your family, you are going to have some decisions to make about feeding. And while it might feel overwhelming or even intimidating at first, the fact that there are so many options when it comes to feeding your baby is a wonderful thing. It's exciting to know you can nourish your baby, no matter what feeding choice works best for your family.

Feeding a baby might seem like a simple and straightforward task, but it sometimes feels like anything but simple.

When it comes to feeding a newborn, for example, there are so many choices that can be had, from breastfeeding to mixed feedings to using donor milk to formula feeding. Here is an overview of the choices you can make for feeding your baby.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a complicated topic. While studies have shown that breastfeeding has many health benefits for babies, it's not always a simple decision to make.

Breastfeeding, although very beneficial for babies and a powerful bonding tool between mother and baby, also requires time, resources, and support.

Breastfeeding is a wonderful choice for many families, if possible. You will need to educate yourself on the benefits of breastfeeding, how to get started breastfeeding, and how to handle any special circumstances you might encounter.

Formula Feeding

If you're planning on formula feeding your baby, here are some resources to help you get started:

Mixed Feeding

Some people may not be aware that mixed feeding is an option, but it is a very valid choice that works for many families. Mixed feedings can work differently for every family and that's why they can be so convenient.

You can mix any variety of feeding, such as breastfeeding your baby and supplementing with formula or using a mixture of donor breast milk and formula or pumped milk and formula. Breastfeeding is very adaptable and your body will adjust to the schedule that you choose. You could breastfeed your baby in the morning, but use formula later in the day—mixed feedings means mixing rules that work for you.

Special Circumstances

There are many different special circumstances that you might encounter when feeding your baby, from allergies to health needs your little one might have.

Solids

Once your baby is ready to incorporate solids and other liquids into his or her diet, infant feeding becomes a whole other world. But it's an exciting one! You can explore all the ways to introduce new foods and drinks into your baby's diet, such as:

    Making the Right Decision

    Feeding your baby should not be stressful, but it might be a time when you have to learn to make decisions that are best for you, your baby, and your entire family. It also might mean learning to field questions or judgments from others outside of your family situation who may have opinions on what you should do. But it's important to keep in mind that there is no "best" choice for feeding a baby—only the best choice for your baby.

    Whether you realize it or not, feeding choices can affect the whole family, so it is helpful to take all of your family's needs into the decision-making process. For example, if you choose to breastfeed, how will it impact the rest of your family's schedule? Will formula feeding work into your family budget? Do you have the support necessary to make the feeding choice you think is best?

    Don't be afraid to look at the big picture when making your ultimate decision. And even when you do make a decision, it's nice to remember that nothing is ever set in stone.

    You can always change your mind or revisit the situation if something changes.

    A Word From Verywell

    Your feeding journey with your baby is an exciting time. Who doesn't love food, right? Look at this as an opportunity to figure out a feeding solution that works best for you, your baby, and your family.

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