It's an amazing fact of life: 85% of your baby's brain growth will be complete by the time he's three. His brain will quite simply never grow this fast again, so it's an important time to support that growth. But this importance doesn't need to translate to any added pressure about how you give your baby the support that they need.
Instead, with a little bit of advice and calm consideration, you can confidently make the best decision for you and your baby.
You may feel pressured about how it is you should be feeding your child. The knowledge of what's right for you and your baby—and the confidence you need to have in that knowledge—could come from two places: from you yourself and your doctor.
When it comes to feeding your baby, breast-feeding is the nutrition standard for feeding babies: The Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada, Breastfeeding Committee for Canada, and Health Canada recommend exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months of life. Breast-feeding is the nutrition standard for babies.1
All too often, however, this fact clouds an honest discussion of feeding. It shadows in stigma the reality of life for new moms that's reflected in another fact: Recent consumer studies show that 9 out of every 10 new mothers use formula at some point during their baby's first year2 for a variety of reasons, including to provide extra nutrition, to share feeding duties and to facilitate returning to work.
More than that, the pressure that might come with breast-feeding could also stand in the way of a sensible approach to what's most important: getting your baby the nutrition that they need to support their brain and unleash their learning potential. As Dr. Peter Neiman, a pediatrician of Alberta, puts it, "Mothers need to be aware of the importance of including DHA in their diet during pregnancy and following birth, ensuring their infants are getting this important nutrient through breast milk." However, as previously mentioned, a variety of reasons can lead to a need for a different approach. "If a woman is not breastfeeding her baby, she should choose an infant formula that contains DHA," Neiman says.
Every relationship between a mother and her baby is unique—but that doesn't mean that you're ever alone. Join the conversation with other moms and doctors on the importance of DHA—and the importance of giving moms the support they need to feed their own way, too.
- Leanne H. of Waukesha, Wisconsin, who breast-fed exclusively for four months, says, “My job requires me to travel, and formula allows me to supplement feedings when I am away from my baby and Daddy is caring for her. It is a great feeling to know that she is getting the nutrition that she needs when I’m not there to provide it for her.”3
- “There’s so much pressure to breast-feed now; sometimes it just doesn’t work out,” says new Mom Maria C of Hammond, Indiana. “I say, just do what you can—my baby is proof that formula-fed babies thrive too.”4 "After losing my dad a month after my first child was born my milk supply went very low (I'm assuming from stress as my father and I had a very close relationship and he died a month after my son was born). I just wanted to say when I was unable to provide my child with the nutrients he so needed I was stuck looking at this looming wall of formula. I picked Enfamil A+... And I just wanted to say thank you for making such a good quality product that is helping my son grow healthy and strong! It was hard to know I wasn't providing enough for my son, but knowing there are products available to parents is wonderful! So thank you again for your lovely line of products" - A mom from Toronto5
- I just wanted to let you know, my baby was very sick and wasn’t able to breast-feed anymore and was losing weight. As a mother this was devastating for me and I cried a lot. I was told about your product so I tried the Enfamil A+, the purple one [Enfamil A+ Gentlease]. It was a dream come true for me. Thank you for having a formula that is good for any child” – Moms from Thunder Bay, Ontario5