Choosing between breastfeeding and formula feed your baby is one of the biggest decisions to make. As a mother, this decision is crucial.
Health experts believe that breast milk is the best as it is more nutritional than formula feeding. But breastfeeding may not be possible for all mothers. For many, the decision to breastfeed or formula feed is based on their comfort level, lifestyle, and specific medical situations.
Nursing can be a wonderful experience for both mother and baby. It provides ideal nourishment and a special bonding experience that many mothers cherish.
A number of health organizations and health experts recommend breastfeeding as the best choice for babies. Breastfeeding helps defend against various infections, prevent allergies, and protect against a number of chronic conditions.
Here are some of the many benefits of breastfeeding:
Defend against infections: Breastfed babies have fewer infections and hospitalizations as compared to formula-fed infants. During breastfeeding, antibodies and other germ-fighting factors pass from a mother to her baby and strengthen the immune system. This helps lower a baby’s chances of getting many infections. Babies are prone to various infections including:
ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory infections, allergies. Breastfeeding is hence particularly beneficial for premature babies.
Nutrition and easy to digest: Breast milk’s components include lactose, protein, and fat and they are easily digested by a new-born.
Free: Breast milk doesn’t cost a penny, while the cost of formula quickly adds up. And unless you’re pumping breast milk and giving it to your baby, there’s no need for bottles, nipples, and other supplies that can be costly.
Convenience. With no last-minute runs to the store for more formula, breast milk is always fresh and available whether you’re home or out. And when women breastfeed, there’s no need to wash bottles and nipples or warm up bottles in the middle of the night.
Smarter babies. Some studies suggest that children who were exclusively breastfed have slightly higher IQs than children who were formula-fed.
Commercially prepared infant formulas known as formula feeding are a nutritious alternative to breast milk. This formula even contains some vitamins and nutrients that breastfed babies need to get from supplements.
These formulas duplicate mother’s milk using a complex combination of proteins, sugars, fats, and vitamins. So if you don’t breastfeed your baby, it’s important to use only commercially prepared formula.
Note: Do not try to prepare at home, it isn’t easy.
Convenience: Either parent can feed the baby a bottle at any time. This allows mom to share the feeding duties and helps her partner to feel more involved in the crucial feeding process and the bonding that often comes with it.
Flexibility: Once the bottles are made, a formula-feeding mother can leave her baby with a partner or caregiver. This will make the mother satisfied that her little one’s feedings are taken care of.
Frequency of feedings: Because the formula is less digestible than breast milk, formula-fed babies usually need to eat less as compared to breastfed babies.
Diet: Women who opt to formula feed don’t have to worry about the things they eat or drink that could affect their babies.
Making a Choice between these:
No doubt, deciding how you will feed your baby can be a hard decision. You’ll really only know the right choice for your family when your baby comes.
Many women decide on one method before birth and then change their minds after their baby is born. And many women decide to breastfeed and supplement with formula because they find that is the best choice for their family and their lifestyle.
You can also take the help of your doctor. He will help you decide better. These health care providers can give you more information about your options and help you make the best decision for your family.