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Breastfeeding vs. Bottle Feeding - Which Is Best?
 By Jenna Michaelson

One of the major decisions that new mothers have to face is whether to breastfeed or bottle feed their baby. Breastfeeding is the best and natural way of providing nutrition to infants, but some mothers may find that bottle feeding the baby is their best option.

Breastfeeding

Most medical professionals, including the American Academy of Pediatricians and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners, recommend breastfeeding babies especially during the first year. Breast milk provides the best nutrition during the first six months. It contains antibodies supplied by the mother to help her baby fight infections. Breast milk also contains the right amounts of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals, vitamins, enzymes and hormones. A baby can benefit from being breastfed, no matter how short the time.

Apart from the obvious superiority of breast milk over formula in terms of nutrition, breastfeeding has other advantages over bottle feeding. Breast milk is easier to digest and protects against allergies and asthma. It contains certain fatty acids that promote the baby's brain development. Breast milk also decreases a baby's risk of becoming obese later in life. In addition, breastfeeding helps new mothers shed baby fat.

Problems in breastfeeding will only happen if things are not going well. For example, there may be an inadequate supply of breast milk, or the baby may have poor suck reflex. However, it is very rare for a mother not to produce enough milk as long as she is breastfeeding correctly and frequently enough.

The mother's health or medical condition may have a bearing on how to feed the baby. Some medicines are contraindicated if the mother is breastfeeding. If this is the case, the mother will want to discuss the matter with her doctor.

Bottle Feeding

While breast milk is clearly better than infant formula, there is no need for you to feel guilty if you decide to bottle feed your baby. Infant formulas are getting better at matching the ingredients of human milk. And although breastfed babies are better at fighting off infections, babies who are bottle fed rarely get a serious infection as long as they are properly cared for.

If the baby has certain medical conditions that make it important to determine how much exactly the baby is receiving at each feeding, bottle feeding will allow exact measurements.

In addition, the whole family can become involved in the baby's care, including feedings. This will give the mother more time to rest. Besides, formula-fed babies feed less often than breast-fed babies because infant formula takes longer to digest.

The primary disadvantages of bottle feeding are the high cost of infant formula and the lack of maternal antibodies that are present in breast milk. Most of all, no infant formula can duplicate the composition of breast milk.

In the final analysis, the pros and cons of breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding boils down to your personal choice.

Using a pump is the next best thing to breastfeeding. Before you buy a pump, read the breast pump reviews including the most recommended pump - the Evenflo breast pump.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jenna_Michaelson


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