Breastfeeding or formula feeding your baby may be the most difficult decision to make at the birth of your newborn. It's most certainly a controversial one. Meanwhile, the debate has raged, with both sides citing multiple studies supporting their claims. However, it is still your choice to make — together with your partner and your doctor.
With a bit of help from us. In this blog post, we'll analyze the great breastfeeding vs. formula debate and discuss some breastfeeding vs. formula pros and cons to help you with your decision.
Breastfeeding: What You Need To Know
Breastfeeding can be a wonderful experience for mother and child and goes beyond feeding your baby. Many health organizations, like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), recommend exclusively breastfeeding your baby for the first 6 months if you can.
You can also keep breastfeeding your child until age one, but be sure to add solid foods to their diet. Aside from being the recommended feeding option for babies, breastfeeding has several advantages.
Pros of Breastfeeding
Protects against infections: Breast milk is a conduit between you and your baby, through which antibodies pass from your body to your child’s. These germ-fighting elements help boost your baby’s immune system and lower her chances of contracting infections and allergies.
Nutrient-filled: A mother’s breast milk contains nutrients and minerals. It is also easily digestible and can come in various tastes — depending on what the nursing mother has been eating.
Strengthens mother-child bond: Breastfeeding your baby ensures skin-to-skin contact. This contact strengthens the bond between you and your child, creating a stronger emotional connection.
Convenient and free: Breastfeeding requires little to no expense. You don’t need to buy bottles or teats, and you can feed your kid anywhere and anytime with little preparation. Smarter babies: Breast Milk contains long-chain saturated fatty acids important for brain development. Studies have shown that breastfed children have slightly higher IQs than formula-fed children. In 2015, the BBC reported a study in Brazil that tracked nearly 3,500 babies from all walks of life and found that babies who had been breastfed for longer scored higher on IQ tests as adults. Although the study considered other external factors like education and environment, the results show the benefits of continued breastfeeding — where it is a viable option.
Cons of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding, though beneficial, can be difficult sometimes too. There are many reasons any mom may want to reconsider breastfeeding, and they include;
Latch-on pain: It’s normal to feel pain the first few days of breastfeeding and sometimes after. But it usually lasts less than a minute. However, prolonged pain should be reported to your doctor.
Medical conditions: Because breastfeeding transfers nutrients and other factors from mother to child, there are certain maternal medical conditions that will prevent a mother from breastfeeding.
Discomfort/self-consciousness: Some mothers feel self-conscious or uncomfortable breastfeeding their babies, and that’s alright.
Frequent feeding: Since breast milk is easily digestible, you’d have to feed your baby much more frequently than if you opted for formula.
Vitamin D inadequacy: Breast milk, though nutritious, lacks enough vitamin D, which helps your child absorb bone-building nutrients like calcium and phosphorus. However, this can be remedied by giving your baby prescribed vitamin D supplements.
Formula/Bottle-feeding: What You Need To Know
Infant formula is a nutritious substitute for breast milk. It comprises a combination of proteins, sugar, and other nutrients that cannot be manufactured at home.
Reasons moms may prefer formula or bottle-feeding vary. However, here are some advantages of going the formula way:
Pros of Formula
Convenience: Formula can be prepared by anyone if they follow the instructions. This means that anyone, like your nanny, can feed the baby and share the responsibility with the mom.
Less frequent: Formula is heavier and more filling than breast milk. Therefore, your baby will need to be fed less frequently.
No need to diet: Since there’s no transfer of nutrients, you don’t necessarily have to watch what you eat when feeding your baby formula.
Cons of Formula
Constipation: Formula is not as easily digestible as breast milk and is heavier, too. This leads to more instances of hard stool and constipation.
Lack of antibodies: There are no antibodies in your baby’s formula. Antibodies are necessary to fight germs and infections.
Requires planning: You have to plan carefully when using baby formula. Every bottle
and teat must be sterilized, and instructions followed to the letter.
Expensive: Your average baby formula pack is quite costly. There it is. A compact analysis of what you should expect when choosing breastfeeding or formula. Hopefully, this has made your choice easier. Of course, you may change your mind later. That happens. But no matter your choice, you do not have to be alone.
We at The Elite Nanny Team will support you all the way and ensure your child gets all the care they need, no matter where you are.