When a mum becomes pregnant, they start planning their lactation journey early enough. Deciding whether to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby is one of the choices you make before you welcome your baby.
According to health experts, breastfeeding is the best for babies to grow healthy. However, not every mummy can breastfeed their baby for various reasons such as medical issues and lifestyle. For mummies who can’t breastfeed, bottle feeding is the next best alternative.
This article from Supermom will help you understand the benefits and challenges of breastfeeding and bottle feeding.
Benefits of breastfeeding
To the baby
- It provides optimal nutrition.
- Breast milk protects your baby against illnesses.
- Breast milk is easily digested and absorbed by the baby’s digestive system.
- Breastfeeding decreases the risk of allergies.
- Also, the baby determines the amount of breast milk they want to consume.
- It decreases the risk of developing diabetes and obesity.
- Also, breastfeeding reduces the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Breast milk is always at the perfect temperature for your baby to consume.
- Finally, breast milk doesn’t require preparation time because it is readily available.
To the mother
- It helps mummies bond with their children.
- Breastfeeding contracts the uterus to the pre-pregnancy size and reduce bleeding.
- Also, it helps mummies return to their pre-pregnancy weight.
- It keeps your bones strong.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancers in mummies.
- Besides, breast milk is cheaper compared to milk formula, hence reducing the household cost.
Challenges of breastfeeding
- Mummies must be available to breastfeed their babies or pump the milk if they are absent.
- Some mummies may face discomfort when breastfeeding, especially in the early stage.
- Also, breastfeeding requires quite some time. Mummies need to commit themselves to breastfeed and especially for newborns, because they feed often.
- If a mum is under medication, it can interrupt breastfeeding. Conditions such as HIV and AIDS or those that involve chemotherapy render breast milk unsafe for your baby.
- Also, mummies who are breastfeeding their babies should be cautious of what they eat or drink. This is because it is passed on to their babies through breast milk.
Benefits of bottle-feeding
To the baby
- It becomes easier for the baby to transition to a bottle later.
- It possibly allows the baby to get better sleep.
- Bottle feeding leads to less jaundice.
To the mother
- Bottle feeding allows the mother to rest because they don’t have to wake up after every hour to feed their babies.
- Mummies can get additional support to bottle feed their babies. You can leave another family member or your nanny to feed the baby.
- Bottle-feeding gives mother independence. You don’t have to be present or pump the milk for your baby to feed on the bottle.
- It becomes easy to know how much the baby consumes through bottle feeding.
- Besides, bottle feeding is comfortable in public, especially for mothers who feel shy to breastfeed in public.
- You can choose to use your breast milk or the formula in bottle feeding.
Challenges of bottle-feeding
- When you use formula, it lacks antibodies found in breast milk. As a result, the formula cannot protect your baby against infections and illness compared to breast milk.
- Baby formula is expensive compared to breast milk.
- Some babies may find it challenging to digest milk formula and hence may suffer from diarrhea from time to time.
- Besides, you have to carry the formula, bottle, and mixing items if you travel with the baby.
- The nutritional content of the formula used in bottle-feeding depends on proper preparation.
Making a decision
Choosing to breastfeed or to bottle feed your baby can be tough. Before settling with one of the choices, weigh the pros and cons of each to you and the baby. Also, you can engage a lactation consultant or doctor in Singapore to help you out.