Choosing to breastfeed or bottle feed is a completely personal decision that only the new mom can make. Many women feel pressured by professionals who feel breastfeeding is better and other well meaning people who might believe that bottle feeding is easier. In the end, it is up to the woman to decide what she wants to do, and what will be better for her and her baby.
Breastfeeding – Advantages and Disadvantages
There are advantages to breastfeeding, with the biggest being the nutritional value it offers a baby. Breast milk is full of all the vitamins and minerals a baby needs, and the milk is easy for them to digest. It also works to fight infection by passing antibodies from the mom onto the baby. Another very important advantage is the cost. Obviously, it doesn’t cost anything to breastfeed and it is convenient. The milk is always ready and doesn’t need to be stored.
Breastfeeding isn’t without its disadvantages, with a major one being that the mom is always on call for feedings. The new mom will be tired, and breastfeeding is a major commitment because she will be the only one who can get up to feed the baby through the night and throughout the day. Not to mention that she has to watch what she eats or drinks because everything she takes in goes through her milk to the baby.
Bottle Feeding – Advantages and Disadvantages
Bottle feeding allows for more flexibility for feeding time, and mom can have others help her with the feedings. And, formula digests slower than breast milk so the baby won’t need to eat so often. They will feel full longer and may sleep better.
However, there is more cost when feeding with formula. And the nutritional value is not as good as with breast milk, although formula today is much closer. Formula will also need to be prepared and stored, which will not be as convenient.
Whether a woman chooses to breastfeed or bottle feed, it is her decision and in the end, both offer a healthy start for the baby.