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
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
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.
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
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
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
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