BREASTFEEDING VS. FORMULA FEEDING: THE PROS AND CONS
Naturally, the baby’s primary source of nutrients is breastmilk. Some mothers, however, prefer to feed their baby formula that is rich in the same nutrients as those in breastmilk. We shall look at each and discuss the advantages and disadvantages. There are of course ways to help pump your milk naturally, using an electric breast pump.
This is the preferable way of feeding a newborn as breastmilk is the most readily available, has the most nutrients that are necessary for the baby’s immune and general development, and it is also inexpensive. The colostrum produced after birth is particularly useful in building an immune system for the baby.
Advantages of breastmilk
- The amino acids, sugars, and fats contained in breast milk are well balanced and easily digestible by a newborn.
- It contains many immunity-boosting antibodies that are believed to put the baby in a lower risk of contracting acute or chronic infections after birth.
- It has high amounts of cholesterol which is essential in the development of the brain as well as building hormones and bile.
- It is readily available as long as the breasts are stimulated properly to keep producing milk.
- It is not expensive. All the mother has to do is eat well.
- It is very unlikely to cause allergic reactions in babies
- Nursing women lose weight and regain pre-pregnancy bodies twice as fast as those who do not.
- Breastfeeding has been proved to lower the risk of ovarian and breast cancers.
- It facilitates a mother-baby bonding in both emotional and hormonal means.
- It can sometimes be painful and you may get sore nipples
- Not being able to fit your breasts into your old clothes (pro if you like shopping)
- Unless expressed, only mum can feed at night
Healthwise, any negatives are almost non-existent. It may only be problematic in cases, for instance, where the mother is unable to produce enough milk to keep the baby fed or when the baby is unable to suck well. Other minor cons of breastfeeding include the father feeling like a third-wheel or the rest of the family feeling left out as the mum is the only one who can feed the baby.
It is a specially prepared type of milk that incorporates most of the vital nutrient found in breastmilk. No formula milk, however, has ever been made well enough to a complete substitute of breastmilk. You can of course, use reusable food pouches or other mealtime accessories in preparation while they sit upright on a kids stool or in a booster seat/highchair.
- For babies with specific medical conditions that require an exact amount of feed, formula milk is easy to measure such particular amounts.
- The baby is not directly affected by the mother’s diet
- It involves the whole family and gives them a chance to bond with the newborn
- Babies being fed formula milk feed less as they need time to digest it
- They may be quite expensive
- They lack the maternal immunity boosters
- They can cause allergies in babies
- They do not offer quite the bonding experience as that the mother and baby get during breastfeeding.
Conclusively, if you need to decide between breastfeeding your baby or feeding them formula milk, you might want to do it before birth. This is because the mother’s ability to produce breastmilk stops shortly after birth if the breasts are not stimulated properly.
But at the end of the day, above all else, fed is best.