Learn the facts about bottle feeding.
Choosing to breastfeed or bottle feed (or to use a combination of both) is a personal decision which every mom and soon-to-be mom must face. There are numerous advantages and disadvantages to both. The method of feeding chosen should be one that incorporates personal views, health, emotional and physical well-being, and promotes a happy and healthy home for parents, infants, and siblings.
Not every mom has the desire or the ability to breastfeed her newborn. For these moms, formula provides a suitable alternative. Formula manufacturers, which are regulated by the FDA, are constantly looking to improve the nutritional composition of formula by adding nutrients that are normally found in breastmilk. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid) are a prime example and have been added for healthy brain and eye development. Some have also added probiotics to support a healthy immune and digestive system.
Bottle feeding gives mom more freedom and rest. Baby can be fed by dad, other family members, or friends. This can be immensely helpful for nighttime feedings while also enhancing the bonding experience for those involved. Since formula takes longer to digest, infants tend to be satisfied for longer periods of time which allows for more rest for mom. Finally, those moms who bottle feed do not have to restrict their diet.
The Disadvantages Bottle feeding Your Baby
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Formula can be expensive and preparation can be time consuming. Depending on the type of formula used and the amount consumed, formula cost alone can exceed $1500 in the first year! Boiling water for formula preparation, sterilizing bottles and nipples, and mixing the formula are all additional work for parents who already have their hands full. Although formula attempts to replicate breastmilk, essential antibodies, for immunity and protection against illnesses, are absent. Finally, in previous years, there has been multiple formula recalls due to contamination and other safety and health concerns.
In conclusion, there are many factors to consider when choosing whether to breast feed or bottle feed. Educating yourself on both topics, analyzing your (and your partner’s) personal beliefs, and discussing the issue with your healthcare provider will assist you in making the best decision for you, your baby, and your family..
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Author : Diba Tillery RN, BSN, IBCLC, CPST