Some of the myths surrounding breastfeeding, though, may be just as fanciful as our Milky Way saga. In her new book Lactivism, Courtney Jung writes of the “moral righteousness” that has enveloped breastfeeding, “Breastfeeding is no longer just a way to feed a baby; it is a moral marker that distinguishes us from them—good parents from bad.” It has become a “talisman to ward off evil.” It is in this present climate that breastfeeding and the commodity of breast milk specifically have been endowed with “super,” almost immortal powers.
All these are myths, except the last. Breastfeeding for a first-time mother can be difficult if she has never seen much of how it’s done and has little assistance or the child has a tongue-tie or lip-tie (which makes it hard for baby to get a good latch — but which can be remedied, often by a knowledgeable dentist).
Breast milk helps set the baby’s “clock” or circadian rhythm, making it important for those who bottle their breast milk to feed baby morning milk in the morning, when it is full of energizers, and night milk at night, when milk has sleep-inducing ingredients.
Giving your baby formula in addition to breastfeeding is called supplementing. It’s completely OK and perfectly safe to do, and many families choose this type of combination feeding method, whether out of necessity (e.g., low breast milk supply), convenience, or simply a personal choice. In some cases, breastfeeding and providing formula may be recommended by a doctor for medical reasons.
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