Do I Breastfeed or Bottle Feed?
Many expectant moms look forward to feeding their baby by breast feeding. Most doctors recommend breast feeding rather than bottle feeding. Choosing one method over the other is not very important. It is more important that the baby is fed well and put on a schedule. It is best for the infant to receive the right kind of nourishment and to be on a regular feeding schedule. If a mom breastfeeds her baby, the right nutrients and immediate attention is always provided. The baby learns early that mom is always there to provide his physical need for food. Bottle feeding can do the same.
Advantages of Bottle Feeding
- Formula is easy to prepare and is nutritious
- Formula can be stored in large quantities
- Formula is easy to measure for correct amount to give baby
- Anyone can feed the baby, even older siblings
Disadvantages of Breast Feeding
- The breast nipples can become sore and painful
- A tired and stressed mom produces less milk
- Breast feeding can be exhausting for the mom
- Mom has to use a breast pump if a feeding is missed
- Medications can disrupt breastfeeding
- Other family members are unable to help
It might appear that choosing breastfeeding is not a very good idea. However, there are reasons why breastfeeding is chosen by so many moms today. The main concern most expectant moms have is the desire to provide the nurturing that only moms can give. It is culturally acceptable for moms to choose breastfeeding. Perhaps breastfeeding is more traditional or simpler and easier than using the bottle. Using a bottle is not aesthetically pleasing. Some perceive it as artificial. Further, expectant moms dream of holding and nurturing baby through the delicate art of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is close to being a fantasy for some moms.
More Reasons to Bottle Feed
- It saves the mom from being the only care giver
- If others are able to help feed the baby, then mom can get more rest
- If she is more rested, she can better care for her baby each day
- Bottle feeding insures the baby is getting enough, but not too much
- With breastfeeding, it is easier to over feed the baby. This causes stomach discomfort and colic
- Dad and other siblings have the joy of feeding the baby
- If mom works, bottle feeding is easier
In the case where breastfeeding is tried and then doesn't work out, bottle feeding can be welcomed. If the mom is discouraged or depressed for failing at breastfeeding, then she should be supported and encouraged. She could feel guilty for not succeeding. There is pressure on women to breastfeed in our culture. This is unfortunate but true.
An expectant mom should never feel pressured into breastfeeding. While this method does provide the best nutrients and is more convenient for the baby, it is not necessarily the best for mom. As the baby grows and needs more calcium, iron and protein, formula can be better than mom's milk. Moms have less energy after childbirth and cannot always provide the best milk for a growing baby. Also, if mom is working outside the home she is unable to feed her baby on a regular schedule. Other care givers can bottle feed the baby when this occurs.
Bottle feeding, as shown here, can be beneficial to a young mother. The dad and older siblings can become a part of taking care of baby. This can be a very satisfying experience for them. If she chooses to bottle feed, the mom can get more rest and quality time with her baby.
Even though breastfeeding should be encouraged for the baby's sake, bottle feeding is also a viable method. Breastfeeding can be one of the most enjoyable activities for both mom and baby. However, the merits of bottle feeding cannot be overlooked. This is an alternative way to provide good nourishment for the baby while including the other family members in its care.
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