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What if I can’t or choose not to breastfeed?

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- Ann, Mum and Baby Nurse

Breastfeeding seems to get all the gold stars when it comes to feeding your little one, right? But let's be real, it's not always a smooth sailing journey for every new mum. Maybe you're not producing enough milk, your baby's having a tough time latching, or you've decided that breastfeeding isn't a right choice. And you know what? That's perfectly okay. Your baby will still get all the nutrients they need with plenty of other options out there.

Choosing whether or not to breastfeed is a personal decision. Fortunately, if you decide to opt for formula feeding, there are many high-quality infant formulas out there. These formulas are designed to provide your baby with all the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. You can always have a chat with your midwife, health care provider, or your baby's doctor about which one to choose.

Now, here's something to remember. Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, about 2-3 days after having your baby, your milk will 'come in', and your breasts will become full and hard. If you don't plan to breastfeed, you can alleviate this discomfort by wearing a tight-fitting bra, placing ice packs on your breasts (15 min/hour), and taking ibuprofen as needed. It may take a few days for this period of engorgement to subside, but eventually, your body will recognize that 'the factory is closed', and your breasts will stop producing milk.

So, what happens when breastfeeding isn't on the table? For many of us, formula feeding becomes our best buddy. Designed to mimic breast milk, infant formula ensures your little one gets all the essential nutrients they need to grow and thrive. Plus, it's all hands-on deck with formula feeding. Mum, dad, grandma - anyone can feed the baby, which can give you a much-deserved breather and let others share those special bonding moments with the baby.

Formula isn't the only route though. You've also got the option of combo feeding, a mix of breastfeeding and bottle feeding. It's all about finding that sweet spot and easing the pressure of exclusive breastfeeding. If you're considering this, you might find our guide on how to combine breastfeeding and pumping super helpful.

Now, for those of you determined to breastfeed but finding it tougher than expected, don't stress. You're not alone and there's plenty of support available. Our breastfeeding e-guide is packed with useful tips and advice to help you over those hurdles.

And what about the emotional side of things? If you're feeling nervous or anxious about breastfeeding, take a deep breath and remember you're not the only one. Many of us have been there and come out the other side. Check out our article on why you're not alone if you're afraid to breastfeed.

So, whether you're all about breastfeeding, going the formula route, or mixing it up, the most important thing is your baby's fed and you're comfortable with your decision. Remember, you've got a whole community behind you. Our team of health experts are always here, ready to support you and share their advice on breastfeeding and other feeding methods.

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by Lola&Lykke Team