Breastfeeding or Bottle Feeding : Which is Healthier?
Breastfeeding vs Bottle Feeding
For a long time, a never-ending debate between bottle feeding and breastfeeding is going on. Many people say that breastfeeding is the best way because you are giving the best nutrition to your baby when you breastfeed. However, bottle feeding has also its benefits and advantages. So, there is no comparison in choosing the feed that best suits your baby. Being a mother, breastfeeding should be the first choice but under some conditions, they may be unable to breastfeed their babies. Some reasons for this include breast infection, lack of milk supply, infant’s incapability to suck from mother’s breast, lifestyle, or work circumstances. In the breast milk vs. formula nutrition chart, it has been found that most women prefer breastfeeding over bottle feeding.
In this article, we will discuss breastfeeding and bottle-feeding so that a mother can make the right decision on how to feed their babies. So, without any further explanation, let’s get into the topic.
Breastfeeding means feeding a baby directly from the mother’s breast. Due to its various advantages on both the mother’s and her baby’s health, it is considered one of the best ways to feed an infant. Let’s discuss how?
Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding
- Provide ultimate nutrition to the babies –
Breast milk provides all the required nutrition to your baby, especially colostrum (in the first few days after delivery). That’s why breast milk is often called “liquid gold”.
- Strengthens the baby’s immune system –
Breast milk can help you in boosting your baby’s immune system.
- Lowers the risk of serious diseases in babies –
It protects your baby from serious diseases, like asthma, allergies, diabetes, and obesity.
- Helps bond mother with her baby –
Breastfeeding is an excellent way to cherish the special bond with your baby.
- Lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in mothers –
Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in mothers because it can delay the ovulation period of the women thus protecting them from cancer.
- Prevents postpartum or postnatal depression –
It has been proven that mothers who breastfed their babies had almost negligible chances of suffering from postnatal depression.
Apart from the above advantages, there are some disadvantages as well:
- Might cause discomfort and pain –
During the initial month of breastfeeding, some nursing mothers did complain of having discomfort and sore nipples.
- Mothers have to follow a strict lifestyle –
When you are breastfeeding your baby, you have to follow a strict healthy lifestyle and you have to make yourself available for your babies always, thus, if you are planning to breastfeed your baby then you have to make a lot of changes in your diet and lifestyle.
Bottle-feeding means feeding a readymade infant formula to your baby. Most of the women prefer formula-feeding because of the low milk supply and they can use it as a backup for breast milk.
Pros and Cons of Bottle Feeding
- Anyone can feed the infant-
With this bottle-feeding process, anyone can feed the infant with the feeding bottle any time of the day or night.
- Provide more gaps in feeding-
Breast Milk contains proteins like whey and casein which are very easy to digest whereas formula contains more casein, which is difficult to digest. Therefore, when it comes to breastfeeding and formula feeding schedule, it has been found that baby formula takes a longer time to digest when compared with breastfeeding, thus, provides more gaps in between the feeding process.
- Help the mother take time out for herself and her work-
A mother who has shifted from breastfeeding to bottle feed can also do all her household work without thinking of the frequent feeding gaps. Bottle-feeding a baby will also help a mother in managing their other responsibilities as well.
- Best way to track your baby’s appetite –
Bottle-feeding allows you to track how much your baby is consuming and if his or her appetite is healthy or not. Hence, if you want your baby’s intake to be monitored, then bottle-feeding is for you
- Resume to your normal life soon-
If you bottle-feed your baby, then you can resume your normal life sooner as compared to breastfeed because, in the latter, the mother has to watch her diet, medications, clothes, and fluid intake.
- Highly convenient for new mothers –
When you Bottle-feed your baby, you don’t have to worry about what you eat, drink, or wear. You do not have to stay around; you can concentrate on other things as well.
There are also various disadvantages of formula feeding, read it here!
- Causes constipation in babies –
As formula feed contains protein casein which takes more time to digest hence, babies who take formula have higher chances of developing constipation which is one of the negative effects of formula feeding.
- Make proper proportion-
You have to make a proper proportion of formula mixed with the right quantity of water every time.
- Doesn’t contains Antibodies-
Formulas do not contain antibodies that help in preventing the baby from getting sick.
- Super expensive-
Infant formulas are very expensive so it’s difficult to afford them all the time.
Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding has always been a hot topic for debates among pregnant and nursing mothers. Whether you want to breastfeed or bottle-feed, it depends on your overall medical condition because some women are bound to bottle feed their babies as their bodies do not produce enough breast milk. So, whatever the reason might be, breast milk is still considered the best food for babies below one year. Deciding how you will feed your baby can be a hard decision. But, whether you decide to breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby, always remember to ask your child’s paediatrician and based on their recommendations, choose the best method that suits your lifestyle and conditions.