(BPT) - You’ve just gotten the news – you’re going to be a parent! As you start researching what is to come, you realize there are countless choices to be made – including feeding decisions and a nutrition plan for your baby. As a registered dietitian, pediatric nutrition specialist, certified lactation counselor and Enfamil’s Nutrition Expert, Alayne Gatto’s passion is working with new mothers and fathers, and supporting them in the care of their infants. She offers the following tips for new parents:
You are entering a new chapter in your life. And throughout the prenatal journey, feeding choices are constant and vast, from choosing if you are providing breastmilk, infant formula or both, to reading about which specific nutrients are most important in your diet as a lactating mother or found in an infant formula. You also may feel a bit uncertain if you are making the right decisions because it is a time where you start to think about how the decisions you make may end up impacting this new baby that is about to enter your world. Just know that every baby is different and that your feeding plans may change once they are born.
For now, it may be best to start with asking yourself, “What are my infant feeding goals?” Are they to:
And after establishing your goal, you need to think about the tools and resources needed to support your goal. Review the following checklist in your months leading up to baby’s arrival:
And, if applicable:
For those of you who made the informed decision to supplement your breastmilk with formula or use formula as the source of your baby’s nutrition, it is important to look for nutrients such as Omega 3-DHA for brain and eye development and other nutrients found in breastmilk, like 2-FL Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs), and Prebiotics that support immune health when you are choosing your infant formula. These ingredients are also found in Enfamil’s family of formulas, the #1 infant formula brand trusted by pediatricians (among those with a preference) and parents, with the global expert-recommended amount of brain-building Omega-3 DHA.
“And don’t forget, we often try to plan ahead with great intentions, but even if things don’t go as planned in your feeding journey, all that matters is that you’re doing your best,” Gatto said. “Hug them, kiss them and safely feed them – as this all shows your love to your new baby!”