Any woman has probably heard the adage that breast milk is good for the baby, whether you are a mom or not. There are benefits of breastmilk, from immune health to strong connections between mom and baby to reduce health risks for mom. And when August is National Breastfeeding Month, you may hear about those benefits some more.

Breastfeeding is a good thing, however, not all moms find that breastfeeding is a good fit for them. They may be unable to produce milk for a variety of reasons, mom or baby may have health conditions that prevent breastfeeding, moms may make a person choice to use formula, and other reasons.

Whether your children are feed breastmilk or formula, moms, the goal is to nourish your baby and give him or her a good foundation for growth and development.

1. Food safety first. Moms may nurse, but many families need the ability to feed from a bottle. Going into daycare or other childcare is an example where nursing is not feasible. Whether handling breastmilk or formula, know how to safely care for breast milk and formula. They are perishable like cow's milk, and can make baby very sick without proper care.
2. Feeding rights. Moms have rights to nurse and pump in Illinois per Right to Breastfeed Act and Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act. Moms, if you need a space, you can have access.
3. Welcome help. Whether you are use breastmilk from the breast or expressed into a bottle or using formula, some families and babies need help, whether getting a baby to latch, eat enough, working with potential allergies, etc. Feeding is a new skill for a baby and it can be frustrating and challenging. Welcome the help of lactation consultants, nurses, doctors, and other professionals. As well-meaning as fellow moms, grandmothers, and other people may be, ask for the help of someone trained.

Bottom Line

Whether your children are feed breastmilk or formula, moms, families, do what works best for you and baby.

For more information, visit Parenting 24/7 through University of Illinois Extension.

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Today's post was written by Caitlin Huth. Caitlin Huth, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator serving DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties. She teaches nutrition- and food-based lessons around heart health, food safety, diabetes, and others. In all classes, she encourages trying new foods, gaining confidence in healthy eating, and getting back into our kitchens.