New mothers can feel an enormous amount of pressure, especially when it comes to breastfeeding or bottle feeding their newborn. My mother has told me over the years how much pressure and guilt she felt because she was not able to breastfeed my brother nor I. She tried, but unfortunately no matter how hard she tried, she just wasn’t able to. It pains me to think that my mother (who is one of the strongest and kindest women I know, and in my opinion the greatest mom to grace the earth) was made to feel so poorly. Unfortunately, she’s not alone.
Parenting expert and “The Nanny Whisperer” author, Tammy Gold joined me for an interview recently to discuss some of the biggest stresses that new moms face, breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, how a parent can tell why their baby is crying and the importance of mom and dad taking time for themselves!
Candace Rose: What are the biggest stresses that new moms face?
Tammy Gold: “I would say that the number one stress that new moms face pertains to feeding. First it starts with should I breastfeed or bottle feed. They feel that if they’re bottle feeding they’re failing their child. That’s just not the case. Bottle fed children are absolutely safe and healthy and thrive, so it’s a really unnecessary pressure that shouldn’t be there. If you can breastfeed easily, terrific! If the baby takes to it, wonderful. If they can’t, they can bottle feed and they would be perfectly safe.
Within bottle feeding there’s so much stress over which brand should I choose? A lot of moms get hooked up on ‘I need to use what the pediatrician gave me’, ‘I need to use the formula they gave me’; ‘I can’t switch brands because it could hurt the baby’, and that’s not the case. The truth is that the store brand formulas like Target’s Up&Up or Walmart’s Parent’s Choice are nutritionally exactly the same as the Enfamil and the Similac that they’re getting in the hospital and the same FDA requirements, it’s just that those store brands don’t give out the free samples so that they can maintain that 50% cost savings. Once parents have that information, the stress of trying to attain that certain brand is really decreased. It just requires them learning and having the information at their disposal.”
Candace Rose: Sometimes when a baby cries, you have no idea what the cause is. How do you crack the code of why a baby might be crying?
Tammy Gold: “By logging it and trying to see if there’s a sequence, if there’s a pattern. You want to lock down and write down when you fed the baby, how much you fed the baby, when they slept, when they woke up, when they’re crying, wet and dirty diapers. It sounds like a lot, but it’s really not. You want to log their day so if they have long stretches of crying it may just mean that you need to go from a regular formula to a gentle formula that has less lactose or smaller protein molecules, so it’s easier to digest. By logging and writing it down you’ll be able to crack and figure out what the crying triggers are and if you can’t figure it out you can bring it to your pediatrician and they can help you figure it out.”
Candace Rose: Why is it so important that new parents take time for themselves?
Tammy Gold: “Because a stressed out parent is no good to a baby who needs them. Babies really need to see (statistically) a happy positively interacting face. Of course all of us mothers today are stressed and fathers are stressed, but there comes a point where you’re really not in good shape and you need that hour to yourself, whether it’s going out to see a friend or watching a movie by yourself. Moms need to lean on their partners, lean on their friends and family to really get out and give back to themselves to they can be their best parent to their child who is depending on them to be their best self.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Tammy Gold: “There’s a lot of information on StoreBrandFormula.com. There are articles and information on the different types of ways to feed the children, and more information that moms can get their hands on the easier and better the decisions will be to make.”