We’re pretty sure that once you’ve had your little one, the dilemma of formula feeding vs breastfeeding must’ve crossed your mind. After all, you want your child to get the best nutritional nourishment from the best and safest source. Plus, in some cases due to whatever reason, a mother may not always be able to breastfeed. Formula feeding and breastfeeding have their own set of benefits and challenges and to help you to recognize what’s best for you and your child, continue reading our article.
What You Need To Know About Breastfeeding
For those who are going to be mothers, we should let you know that breastfeeding establishes an unexplainable bond between mother and child. Babies are hard to figure; they’re unpredictable, but they can be consoled within moments of a good feed, thanks to a trigger of positive hormonal reactions. The ability to do that from your own body is empowering and in many ways brings out a sense of gratification. So, if you choose this route, although it may be challenging at times, you’ll feel rewarded in the end.
Doctors will usually ask you to breastfeed your baby for at least 6 months. During this tenure, they’ll advise you to not give your little one any other type of food apart from breast milk. Your baby’s digestive system is still in its initial stages, and anything else might cause an adverse reaction. So, you might want to take note of that. Additionally, breast milk contains the essential antibodies that help prolong your baby’s passive immunity i.e. the immunity they receive through the placenta while in the womb. Full of other important nutrients as well, many doctors suggest breastfeeding until the child is a year old. This will ensure that the child gets the nourishment it deserves.
Benefits Of Breastfeeding
Resilience To Infections And Other Conditions
If you want the probability of your child contracting an infection to be less, then breastfeeding is the way to go. Breast-fed babies are known to have fewer visits to the doctor than ones who are formula-fed. Wondering why? Along with nutrients, antibodies, which cannot be found in formula, are transferred from your breast milk to your baby. This organic transfer strengthens the immune system of the child and offers higher resilience to ear, stomach, and respiratory infections. In the long run, breast milk also protects your baby against allergies, asthma, diabetes, obesity, and meningitis.
Naturally, you’ll want fewer episodes of indigestion that cause vomit-stained beds and diarrhea-filled nappies. In the debate of formula feeding vs breastfeeding, the latter again scores a few points over formula feeding. The nutrients present in breastmilk that include protein, carbohydrates, fats, and calcium are easily converted by the child’s digestive system. This results in your child escaping frequent constipation, diarrhea, or gassy episodes.
The Cost Factor
Several mothers don’t have a choice when it comes to bottle-feeding. However, for the moms that do, expenditure could be a deciding factor. Childcare can be expensive, and buying good baby formula can add to your expenses. Plus, unless you start pumping, you won’t need to buy related supplies like bottles, nipples, and bottle warmers either.
Better Cognitive Ability
Your child will require all the possible cognitive abilities to survive this complex world. Breastfeeding gives that jumpstart since breastfeeding can help with cognitive development. There are studies that point to a positive relationship between breastfeeding and a child’s mental development index (MDI) score. While the evidence isn’t always conclusive, there’s no denying the many benefits breast milk has in general.
Perks For The Mother Too
Breastfeeding helps in cutting some of that post-pregnancy weight gain since it helps in burning calories. This cuts down the chances of suffering from postpartum depression at least by half. Other health benefits include a lower risk of developing diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
Breastfeeding right after birth will stimulate your uterus to contract, and will also help you reduce your postpartum bleeding. Emotionally, you’re going to feel a lot calmer since breastfeeding produces oxytocin and prolactin, both of which are natural soothers.
What You Need To Know About Formula Feeding
Think of formula feeding as an emulator: it emulates the necessary nutrients present in breast milk in a more packaged form. Plus, it also contains additional vitamins that are needed for the development of the child, so where nutritional value is concerned, you won’t have to be worried about its lacking.
Although they’re produced in a factory, the formula is carefully prepared under sterile conditions. Where safety is concerned, there’s nothing to be worried about.
Word of caution: Many mothers have chosen the formula feeding route for many reasons. For some mothers, it isn’t even a choice. Formula is prepared under intensive care and a lot of thought goes into its preparation. This is a complex process and you should trust only commercial formula for your child’s nourishment. Don’t attempt to make your version of it as it’s risky to experiment with dietary plans on infants.
Benefits Of Formula Feeding
The Convenience Factor
Where formula feeding is concerned, feeding is not restricted to just the mother. The other spouse can share some of that bond by feeding too. With the responsibility being shared, the mother is much more at ease to concentrate on other duties.
Attending events, scheduling work meetings, and moving to different places becomes more of a breeze. Just fill the feeder bottle with formula and leave it with your babysitter or better-half if you’re away, or leave a bottle in your purse if you’ve to take the child with you. Also, you won’t have to search for private areas to nurse your child which is an added bonus.
Reduced Frequency Of Feeding
Infants digest breast milk easily. Therefore, mothers would have to nurse their child every 2 to 3 hours. On the other hand, babies take more time to digest formula which reduces the frequency of nursing. Over time, you can also introduce paced bottle feeding for your child.
The decision to breastfeed or formula feed is left entirely to you. After all, you’re the mother and you’ll be in a better position to decide what’s best. If you’ve more questions on formula feeding vs breastfeeding, book a one-on-one online or physical appointment with a pediatrician through our ImmunifyMe app. We help in making consultations convenient and easier between parents and doctors. You can even track the growth of your child and store health records digitally – all for a small fee.
FAQs On Formula Feeding Vs Breastfeeding
Is Formula Just As Good As Breast Milk?
Formula doesn’t have all the nutritional value that breast milk has although it tries its best to emulate it. Nevertheless, it’s a much safer and healthier alternative than any other product available. Plus, in cases where the mother cannot produce enough breast milk, formula is definitely a viable option.
Is It Ok To Choose Not To Breastfeed?
It’s absolutely normal to choose not to breastfeed! It all depends on your work-life and family life. If you feel breastfeeding is causing a sense of imbalance in your lifestyle, then you can always choose to formula feed. Several mothers opt to not breastfeed. Whatever your choice, ensure your baby gets enough nutrition, since their health is a priority.
Are Breastfed Babies Healthier Than Formula-Fed?
Breast milk contains a natural amount of nutrients and antibodies from the mother that help to strengthen the immune system of the child. However, these nutrients are not present in formula products which makes the child’s immune system vulnerable to infections. This may make breastfed babies a bit healthier in terms of immunity.