For any parent, their child’s well-being is their top priority. So when it comes to feeding, is it better to bottle feed, in other words, formula feed or to breastfeed your baby? This has been an argument for years, and although breastfeeding is the more natural choice, it does have its setbacks.
The same can be said about bottle feeding. To put things into perspective, here is a comparison of the two feeding methods for your child together with some pros and cons.
Shortly after giving birth, your body produces colostrum. This is a special milk that has all the important nutrients your newborn needs to protect him against germs and bacteria.
The nutrients found in breast milk is one of the first things you will hear when people suggest that you breastfeed your child. Although it is healthy, it can be an inconvenience for the mother.
Pros of Breastfeeding
- Convenient – Your child is hungry? Spend no time at all in preparing and heating their formula, because with breast milk, all you have to do is position your baby, allow them to latch on to you and you’re on your way.
- Comforting – A scared or sick child can be quite a handful. A good way to calm them down and assure them that everything is fine is through breastfeeding. This is because it creates a bond between child and mother.
- Easier nighttime feedings – Your child wakes up in the middle of the night and demands to be fed. Breastfeeding your child in the middle of the night is a lot easier than feeling around in the dark for his bottle.
- Delays your period – Breastfeeding exclusively for at least six months can delay your menstruation. It will only come back a month after you stop breastfeeding.
- Economical – Probably the second most popular reason for breastfeeding is how economical it is. You don’t spend as much money on formula because all you need is right there.
Cons of Breastfeeding
- Less Freedom – Breastfeeding is beneficial for baby, but not for mommy. You won’t have time to do a lot of house work or even rest because you always have to make yourself available for your child in case he gets hungry. This can be very challenging especially in the first few months of your child’s life.
- Painful – Breastfeeding can be painful at times. Breastfeeding mothers sometimes experience sore nipples, plugged milk ducts, and breast engorgement among others.
- Stressful – Some mothers are not comfortable with breastfeeding in public, regardless of the available accessories or tips to help them feel more secure. Some people are just not okay with showing that much skin in public and it can be stressful when mother and child go out.
- Lifestyle changes – Your milk production is affected by what you put in your body. So mothers may have to rethink their diet and lifestyle while they breastfeed. This means they can’t have caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine during the breastfeeding period. They also have to think about their state of mind at times as stress has been known to decrease the mother’s breast milk supply.
- Partner is left out – Fathers are just as excited as you are when your child is born. And they will want to take care of their child as well, and that includes feeding them. However, they may feel left out since you will always be the one to feed them.
Some mothers don’t see breastfeeding as a convenience, but more as a hassle. The biggest appeal of bottle or formula feeding is the convenience it offers parents. Although breastfeeding has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, bottle feeding is still a strong option for families.
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Pros of Bottle or Formula feeding
- Stock up on Supply – With breastfeeding, you have to drop everything when your child needs to be fed. When bottle feeding, you can stock up on supply and never have to worry about your child’s hungry.
- Get your body back – After 9 months of carrying your child, bottle feeding allows you to kick back and take a sip of wine or coffee without worry.
- Split responsibility – Now you can take turns with your spouse when feeding your child. The responsibility of feeding does fall solely on the mother.
- No leaks – Mothers won’t experience the discomfort of leaky breasts. They can enjoy moving around and doing chores without having to worry about their breasts leaking.
- No breast pumps – Breast pumps get the job done, but it is not glamorous. The great thing about bottle feeding is that you don’t have to deal with breast pumps at all.
Cons of Bottle or Formula feeding
- Expensive Supply – Baby formula is pricey, and babies drink a lot of it especially in the first few months of life. You might find yourself buying formula every two weeks or so which can be heavy on your budget.
- No calories burned – Breastfeeding moms burn calories, because you are bottle feeding your child you won’t experience the calorie burn, but of course you can burn those calories by other means.
- More dishes to clean – An annoying thing about bottle feeding is that you will have more dishes to clean.
- Judgement from other parents – Parents who see you bottle feeding instead of breastfeeding, they give you judging stares. But even breastfeeding moms get these kinds of stares. So you shouldn’t let it bother you too much.
- You have to plan ahead – When you go out, you have to know exactly how many bottle to prepare. This can be a hassle especially if you don’t bring enough.
Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle feed, the important thing here is that your child is given the nourishment he needs to grow healthy and strong. And both these options are good, as long as you are giving it correctly.