In the last post, I covered the benefits and challenges of breastfeeding. The conclusion was that nutritionally speaking, breastfeeding is the best option for feeding your baby. But there are other factors to consider when choosing a feeding method and some families choose to use formula instead of breastmilk. There is no right or wrong choice, it just depends on what works best for you and your family. In this post, I will cover the benefits and challenges of using formula. Because breast milk is actually the best choice when it comes to nutrition, I will also offer some tips on how to use it without the mother having to actually breastfeed. As with the last post, the goal of this one is to give you information so you can make an informed decision on how to feed your baby. 


Benefits of Formula 

     A major benefit of formula feeding is that the feedings can be shared and do not solely depend on the mother. Formula typically comes in a powder form and has to be mixed with water before the baby can consume it. This means during those late-night feedings, the mother is not the only one who can feed the baby as it is with breastfeeding. The feeds can be shared with the spouse, partner, or whoever is helping take care of the baby. (1)

     Formula feeding can be especially convenient for mothers who go back to work. If you are taking your child somewhere for child care, all you have to do is pack the formula and bottles, and their feedings are taken care of. You also don’t have to worry about finding time and a private space to pump at work. (2) 


Challenges/Cons of Formula 

     One of the most obvious downfalls to using formula instead of breast milk is that your baby is not getting the nutrition that breast milk offers. They are also not receiving antibodies that can protect them from certain illnesses. Formula also does not change nutritionally as the baby grows and it can be hard for some babies to digest. (2) 

     Formula can also get pretty expensive. There are different types of formula from powdered to ready-to-feed to specialty like soy formula. Powdered formula is the most affordable and the cost during the first year of a life for a baby is about $1500. 


Alternative Ways To Use Breastmilk  

     There are many reasons some women choose to use formula instead of breastfeeding. But many times a mother’s preference is to breastfeed but she either isn’t producing enough milk to sustain the baby or she feels overwhelmed being the only person able to provide food for the baby. If this is you, but you would really prefer to give your baby breast milk, read on for tips on how to make it easier. 

     Many women have to go back to work a couple of months after their baby is born. This means that breastfeeding 100% of the time will be impossible since babies can’t tag along to work. Something else to consider for not just working moms is whether you want to be the only one waking up through the night to feed the baby. This is where a breast pump can become your best friend. Breast pumps allow you to pump your breast milk and build up a stock for future feedings. If you do have to go back to work eventually, having breast milk stored in the freezer will allow your baby to continue to receive breast milk even when they are not in your presence. It also allows for your partner or family member to help with feedings because they can feed the breast milk through a bottle.

     Another reason some women choose to use formula is that they cannot make enough breast milk to keep their babies satisfied. This can feel very defeating, especially if your goal is to breastfeed. But did you know that even if your breastmilk supply is not enough, there is a way to still feed them breastmilk? There are numerous non-profit organizations that exist where women who make an abundance of breastmilk can donate their extra to moms in need. And a few of these organizations are right here in Texas. See below. 

     Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed, that is 100% your choice and there should be no guilt surrounding either decision. Every family has to do what works best for them. I hope these last two posts have given you some helpful information and that you feel prepared to make an informed decision on how to feed your baby.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact;

Nurturing Center of Lubbock
3303 66th Street
Lubbock, TX 79413
Phone: 806-780-6853 (available 24 hours)
Text: 806-317-4480



Marlee Henn, RN

Marlee has been a nurse for two years and currently works in a functional medical clinic and part time in a long term acute care center. She has a passion for natural living, women’s health, and education.