Before your baby arrives, you should give consideration to whether or not you have a preference to formula feed or breastfeed your baby.
Online, this can be can contentious topic. Flagging the fact that you are considering exclusively formula feeding may result in a ‘wall of shame’ with soon to be moms being belittled by those moms who can produce enough milk to put a dairy farm to shame!
You will read that most “health experts” including the American Academy of Pediatrics support breastfeeding as the preferred form of infant feeding.
Although formula feeding is not identical to breastfeeding, formula milk does provide adequate nutrition and both methods are safe and healthy for your baby, and each has its advantages.
Should you choose to Breastfeed or Formula Feed – It is entirely your decision and in this article, we’ll cover the benefits of both approaches so you can make the decision that is right for both you and your baby.
Benefits Of Breastfeeding
The most practical benefits of breastfeeding are convenience and cost, but there are some real medical benefits as well.
Breast milk provides your baby with natural antibodies that help him resist some types of infections (including ear infections, respiratory infections, and intestinal infections).
Babies who are breastfed are also less likely to suffer from allergies that occasionally occur in babies fed with formula. Breastfed babies may also be less likely to develop asthma and diabetes, or become overweight, than those who are bottle fed.
Mothers who breastfeed their babies tend to feel that there are more emotional rewards. Once milk supply is established and the baby is breastfeeding well, both mother and child experience a tremendous sense of closeness and comfort. The first week or two can be challenging for some mothers, but most pediatricians can guide you or refer you to a certified lactation consultant for help if needed.
With all that said, If there is a medical reason why you cannot breastfeed or if you choose not to breastfeed and formula feed instead, that is still OK!
You will still get similar feelings of closeness during bottle feeding. Rocking, snuggling, petting, and looking your baby in the eyes will enhance the experience for both of you, regardless of the origin of the milk.
Benefits of Bottle Feeding
So breastfeeding is great however bottle feeding has its benefits also. It’s convenient and Formula-fed babies can be fed by anyone at any time. In addition, only benefits include
- It’s flexible. You don’t have to fit pumping into your work schedule. Instead, you can simply leave formula for your babysitter or daycare centre.
- Many women are uncomfortable whipping out their boobs in public, and with bottle feeding, this is never an issue. You can comfortably feed your baby with a bottle anytime.
- Your partner can help out with nighttime feedings and share that bonding experience with your baby.
- Scheduling feedings should be generally easier. The formula feed isn’t digested as quickly as breast milk, so formula-fed babies don’t tend to eat as often, especially in the first few months.
- You don’t have to worry about what you eat. Moms who breastfeed may have to avoid certain foods that their baby can’t tolerate. Breastfeeding mums often wonder if it is something that they have eaten that is causing their baby to be fussy. And thus, it becomes a frustrating trial and error game determining if it’s the onion, the garlic, the coffee or the tomato sauce that is causing their baby to fuss.
- You can regulate your body quicker which can be especially beneficial if you plan to have more children soon,
- You can have a glass of wine or a cocktail once in a while. Alcohol is a no-no for women who breastfeed because they pass on tiny amounts of it to their babies.
Bottle feeding is an option and in today’s modern age, it is a luxury to have that option! Bottle feeding is not bad and choosing to go down this path does not make you better or worse mum.
Bottle Or Formula Feeding – Before Making A decision
Before making a decision on this topic, make sure you fully understand the pros and cons of breastfeeding and bottle feeding, and that you are aware of all the options available to you.
If you decide to breastfeed, classes are available in many communities to help you plan for breastfeeding and to have all the questions you have about breastfeeding answered. Ask your doctor for a referral.
And remember – Bottle feeding is ok too!
Formula or Breastfeed – What are your thoughts?
Have you already made the decision to either formula feed or breastfeed? What steered you to make the decision? Share your thoughts with our other new moms below and let’s learn together.