Breast milk vs formula – the pros and cons for each
People need to understand that when they’re deciding between breastmilk and formula, they’re not deciding between Coke and Pepsi…. They’re choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the ingredients available. –
Breast milk vs Bottlefeeding. Which is best? Should you breastfeed your baby or should you bottle feed? When pregnant with my first child I was faced with this very decision. I choose to breastfeed. Let me tell you why .
When making important decisions I find that it often helps to look at the pros and cons. Each choice will have both good aspects and some not so good. Let´s look at the pros and cons for Breast milk vs Bottlefeeding that way you can decide which choice will be better for you.
Better for Baby – breast milk is gentle to a newborn baby´s digestive system unlike formula. Which means your baby is less likely to suffer from colic, wind and constipation.
Cost Effective – Breastfeeding is completely free and therefore saves you money!
Shrinks the uterus – Breastfeeding causes the uterus to contract and shrink which will result in you losing your baby weight faster!
Convenient – Breastmilk is always available. Any time, any day, and at any hour it will be ready and prepared to perfection.
Helps create a bond – Breastfeeding hormones are released every time you breastfeed, helping you establish that special bond between you and your baby.
Calming – Breastfeeding releases chemicals that calm both mother and baby.
More Feeds – As breast milk is more easily digested breastfed babies tend to feed more often than formula fed babies.
Self conscious – Breastfeeding at times can cause many of us to be self conscious and even a little embarrassed. However this can be easily managed, for example I would often use a nursing shaw or wear breastfeeding tops when feeding in public.
Physically Demanding – Breastfeeding is more physically demanding as it requires you to give more of your time and self when compared to bottle feeding.
Discomfort – Breastfeeding can cause some of us discomfort. Cracked nipples and engorged breasts may occur when new to breastfeeding.
Lifestyle Changes – Breastfeeding may require you to make some changes in your diet and daily lifestyle. For example you will need to limit or eliminate your alcohol whilst breastfeeding and smoking whilst breastfeeding .
Formula Feeding Pros
Less Feeds – Formula will keep your baby fuller for longer. This means a longer gap between feeds and can free up your time.
Milk Control – Formula feeding allows you to control just how much milk your baby will receive each feed. It will also give you comfort knowing just how much your baby has had each feed, unlike with breastfeeding.
Diet & Lifestyle – You can continue with your regular diet when formula feeding. There is no need to worry about medications, alcohol etc being passed onto your baby.
Free to Feed in Public – Formula feeding your baby can be done publicly with little embarrassment and self consciousness.
Formula Feeding Cons
No unique antibodies and hormones – Formula does not provide the unique antibodies and hormones that breast milk contains. These hormones and antibodies are essential to your babys growth and immune system. This is why your doctor will always recommend you breastfeed as does the National Health Organization.
Costly – Formula feeding your baby will come at a cost. Baby Formula although readily available can cost up to $2,000 a year.
Inconvenience – Formula feeding your baby will require much more preparation than breastfeeding would. You will need equipment, access to a sterilized water, microwave and baby bottles just to mention a few.
Allergies – Your baby may have an allergic reaction to products found in formula whereas breast milk in most cases will not cause an allergic reaction.
Digestive Problems – Formula feeding can cause some babies pain such as reflux, gas and even constipation.
Incorrect Preparation – As formula requires manual preparation, you may at times get this wrong. Too much or too little formula will affect your baby.
Must Sterilize – Formula feeding requires constant sterilization. If your baby is formula fed using unsterilized or incorrectly sterilized equipment they have a greater chance of infection.
Whether you decide to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby is up to you. It is a choice, and it is your choice. Your baby won´t be the one making that choice, ultimately you will. So when you decide on which is best, do so with the knowledge that you chose wholeheartedly. That is, chose wisely, passionately and with commitment. You won´t go wrong!
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