Though most pediatricians agree that breastfeeding is beneficial and worth pursuing, parents of full-term infants in the developed world with access to safe drinking water shouldn’t beat themselves up over using formula if breastfeeding doesn’t work out. Most people don’t realize that although studies show benefits, breast milk is only marginally better when taking confounding factors into account. In other words, it’s hard to determine whether breastfeeding itself leads to better health outcomes, or other characteristics of women who tend to breastfeed, like not smoking, access to quality healthcare, and higher education level and wealth.
All commercially available infant formulas are safe and nutritious, with the FDA carefully regulating composition to be almost identical to breastmilk.
As pediatrician Dr. Emiliano Tatar writes, “[W]e should not forget good mothering (and fathering) consists of many, many factors which transcend the methods of feeding. Perhaps the most truthful statement, ultimately is fed is best.’”
Bottom line: Feed your baby. An anxious parent is far worse for the little one than formula.
Read more at Forbes.com.