“Should I breastfeed or use formula?” “What is the healthiest way to feed my baby?” “Can I breastfeed?” “If I chose to breastfeed how will it impact ______ (work, my spouse, sleep, my other children etc)?” These are just some of the questions you may be asking yourself if you have a baby on the way.
There are numerous resources to reach out to for breastfeeding support including La Leche groups, your pediatrician, friends and family who have breastfeeding experience, the internet, your doula, and books. If you want to read a book to gather more information I would definitely recommend “New Mothers Guide to Breastfeeding” written by Joan Younger Meek and Sherrill Tippins with contributions from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
This is book answers questions you and your partner may have about feeding you child from the moment they are born through toddlerhood. The authors also write about the history of feeding babies and trends in the United States surrounding breastfeeding and formula feeding norms.
This book address so many questions including:
How do I decide what to feed my baby?
How will I know if my baby is getting enough milk?
Is my baby latching on correctly?
In what ways can my partner help and support me while I breastfeed?
How do I manage differing opinions from family and friends when it comes to my decisions around breastfeeding?
What does the weaning process look like?
If you're anything like me you are drawn to facts and statistics for explanations and justifications, and this book has a healthy balance between real life stories of moms with their breastfeeding experiences, and facts from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Because the balance is done so well the book is easy to go through quickly and does not feel like a "heavy" read or a textbook.
While this book has a lot of great information for mothers, it also has suggestions and tips for fathers and partners, and if it is a book you are interested in then I might suggest reading the book together as you learn more about this process.
Of course, because this is a breastfeeding how-to guide it does say many times throughout the book that breastfeeding is preferable over bottle or formula feeding. There are researched-supported reasons for this standpoint, and if at all possible I would also suggest breastfeeding. But it is more important that your baby gets adequate nutrition and continues growing, and if that comes from a bottle with formula that is just fine.