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Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding: Which is Best for Your Child?

Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding: Which is Best for Your Child?
newborn
0 to 1y
Health & Wellness

Choosing whether to breastfeed or formula feed your baby is one of the biggest decisions that new parents have to make. For many, the decision to breastfeed or formula feed is a personal one and based on the comfort level, lifestyle, and specific medical situations. There are pros and cons to both breastfeeding and formula-feeding. Weighing the pros and cons of each method can help you decide what is best for you and your baby.

 

Breastfeeding v/s Formula milk: Why breastfeeding?

Nursing can be a wonderful experience for you and your baby and it is a great time to strengthen the bond. Mother’s milk is unparalleled and best for your baby. There is no doubt about it. You should exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first 6 months. Beyond that, breastfeeding is encouraged until at least 12 months and as long as you and your baby are willing. Breastfeeding is the best choice as it helps to protect your baby against:

Allergies

Asthma

Diabetes

Obesity

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

It is easy to digest and a best source of natural antibodies that protects your baby from a range of illness and infections like ear and respiratory infections, by strengthening his immunity. Breastmilk also contains many vitamins and minerals that your little one requires. Moreover you really enjoy the experience of bonding so closely with your baby. Nursing is beneficial for you too as it helps shrink the uterus and helps lowers the risk of osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, diabetes, breast cancer and other heart disease.

Breastfeeding v/s Formula milk: Breastfeeding challenges

Nursing can be easy from the get-go for some mothers, but others take a while to get used to it. There is no way to regulate the amount of milk your baby takes. Moreover, you need to follow a strict diet since the food you eat passes to the baby through breastmilk. Foods such as fish, alcohol and caffeine have to be cut down drastically because they can cause irritability to your baby. So if your medicines require you to eat one of these then breastfeeding is not a good option. You cannot breastfeed your baby in case of cracked or bleeding nipples which usually occurs during the initial days of nursing. If your little one has developed thrush, the chances are he might pass it on to you during breastfeeding which can cause sharp pain in the breast and burning in nipples while feeding, etc.

Breastfeeding v/s Formula milk: Why formula feeding?

Formula milk is created specially keeping in mind the needs of little ones. It makes an alternate feeding option when breastfeeding is not possible due to reasons such as the mother’s illness or unavailability, any medications you could be taking, or under supply of breastmilk. Formula milk has become an increasingly famous choice because it fits into the lifestyle and situation of many mothers today. It contains vitamins and minerals that your baby needs during his development period, and is perfectly safe when chosen and prepared correctly. Formula milk makes the baby satisfied for longer duration hence your baby needs to be fed less frequently. Some mothers worry that if they don't breastfeed, they won't bond with their baby. But the truth is, loving mothers like you will always create a special bond with your child. Formula feeding is a good way to know how much milk your kiddo has taken in a feeding which is not possible when he is breastfeeding. In case you are working and have to join work after a few days or months then formula feeding becomes the ideal option. Your baby can be fed without your presence. Formula can help ensure your baby is well-fed in case of latching problems or sore nipples which can make nursing difficult for you.

 

Breastfeeding v/s Formula milk: Formula feeding challenges

Formula feeding your baby requires proper planning to make sure that you have what you need when you need it. You must buy formula milk and make sure it is always on hand to avoid late nights to the store. None of the antibodies are present in formula which are found in breastmilk. So formula can’t provide a baby with the added protection to illness that breastmilk does. You should always have the necessary supplies like bottles, nipples, spoon, etc. easily accessible and ready to go otherwise you will have a very hungry and cranky baby to answer to. Formula milk can be costly. If your baby is formula fed then he may have more gas and firmer bowel movements than breastfed babies. Many babies cannot tolerate cow’s milk and most formulas are cow’s milk based. There are certain symptoms that are associated with lactose intolerance that will signal you to the possibility of a milk allergy:

Wheezing

Recurrent cough

Phlegm in the chest

Rash

Diarrhea

 

No matter whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle feed your kiddo, the most important concern is this: do whichever makes you, most comfortable as a mother and the best for your baby.