Becoming a mother is an exciting and fulfilling time in your life. It can also cause stress you haven’t experienced before. For most soon-to-be moms, the question is: How should I parent? Parenting books and magazines can provide new moms with several tips and ideas, but the confusing conclusion is that there is no “right” way to parent your child. Similarly, there is no “right” choice when it comes to breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your new bundle of joy. Both methods have their advantages, and moms must choose what works best for their growing families and lifestyles.
Learn about the different advantages of breastfeeding and bottle feeding with this infographic!
What are the advantages of breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is undoubtedly the most natural way to feed your child and provides several healthy benefits for your baby that are often hard to match. Breast milk contains the perfect combination and balance of nutrients which are easily digested by the baby. It also contains antibodies to help your little one fight infections and sickness. Also, studies have shown that breast-fed infants have less ear infections and lower respiratory tract infection at one year of life. In addition, studies also show that there is less asthma, eczema and childhood obesity in breast infants.
Mothers who choose to breastfeed reap several natural health benefits as well. Research shows women who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing serious medical conditions such as cancers of the breasts and ovaries, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Mothers who choose to breastfeed may also find it easier to shed baby weight. In addition, it helps tremendously with infant and maternal bonding.
Choosing to breastfeed can also help make life less overwhelming for mom and baby. Breastfeeding requires no preparation time, meaning a mother can feed her little one anytime and anywhere. Moreover, breast milk is always the right temperature for your child, which prevents planning or searching for a place to warm the bottle and worrying about if the milk is heated to a safe temperature.
Finally, breast milk is free, which saves parents money and trips to the store to buy formula. It also allows the mother to bond with the baby in a special way no one else can. Also, breast milk can always be pumped to accommodate your partner’s wish to feed your baby.
All this being said, we understand breast feeding can be challenging especially if your infant has latching difficulties or if you're unsure of your milk supply. In these cases, we can provide you with resources in the community that can facilitate and assist you with breast feeding.
What are the advantages to bottle-feeding?
While breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your baby, it isn’t always the most realistic or convenient for all mothers and families. In fact, bottle-feeding has several advantages that are often overlooked.
Bottle-feeding is a perfectly acceptable and healthy way to feed your child for two main reasons. First, formulas match up closely to breast milk in regards to the nutrients and their proportions. Second, while breast milk may contain natural antibodies to help your baby fight illnesses, most babies will not develop a severe infection in the first few months of life no matter if he or she is breastfed or bottle-fed.
The flexibility bottle-feeding provides is also second to none. Bottle-feeding your child makes it easier to schedule feedings due to the fact that formula-fed babies don’t need to eat as often as those who are breastfed. Furthermore, babies can be bottle-fed anytime, anyplace, and by anyone. Family, friends, and caretakers can easily feed your child without you stressing about pumping enough milk. Your partner can also have the opportunity to prepare and help with feedings and form a special bond with your child as well.
Mothers also regain control of their bodies when they choose to bottle-feed their little ones. Bottle-feeding allows mothers to eat whatever they wish instead of focusing on consuming a diet that will work for both the baby and themselves. Also, in certain cases, if mom's are on medications breast feeding might be contraindicated.
Just like anything else in life, choosing to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby is merely a choice. Whichever method best suits your life is the right decision for you, your family, and your baby.
Unity Point Health – Cedar Rapids Delivers
Having a baby is a life-long journey. St. Luke’s Birth Care Center in Cedar Rapids is here to guide you down a healthy path by offering support and education throughout pregnancy, delivery, recovery and the stages afterward.
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