Is breast best?
"Breast is best!" You hear that a lot from supporters of breastfeeding. I have exclusively breastfed Liam from Day One. He's never had formula and I don't intend to ever give him formula. The kid never even takes bottles. He gets all his breastmilk "straight from the source." I do not, however, agree with the statement that "breast is best." I think breast is just normal. Our body grows the baby, births the baby, and then nourishes that baby with breast milk. It's normal. But breast isn't necessarily best for everyone. For some people breastfeeding for a few weeks is best, or six months, or two years. For some, it's best to formula feed from the start, for others a mix of breastfeeding and formula feeding works best for them. Each situation is different and I really don't think it's helpful to make mothers feel bad if they do not breastfeed their baby.
Obviously I believe in the benefits of breastfeeding and have strong feelings about nursing Liam until his first birthday at least. Our situation has allowed for exclusive breastfeeding. I stay at home with him and am his main caregiver. I just have never seen the sense in making bottles when I can feed him straight from my body. It's quick, it's easy, and there's no clean up involved. He also has never had issues with weight gain, allergies, etc. He has thrived on breast milk alone. Also, it's FREE. With me not really making any income I try my best to save money where I can. Formula is expensive and I'd rather not have to pay for it.
With our next baby I also plan on exclusive breastfeeding but I wouldn't ever turn my nose up at formula if we needed it. Formula is not evil or deadly. I know many babies who have thrived on formula and I'm sure they will grow up to be happy healthy kids. So is breast best? Maybe, sometimes. I would even venture to say that it is "best" most of the time. But really, it's just normal. It's how mamas have fed their babies from the beginning of time. And sometimes formula is best. I say as long as you feed your baby that's really the most important thing.