Pregnancy is a beautiful and daunting journey, especially for first-timers. There are a lot of troubles during this journey, for instance, you won’t be able to control your hormonal mood swings, constantly worry about what you’re eating, the color of the nursery for your child, etc. The most important question that arises is- how will you feed your child? Earlier, breastfeeding was the only viable option, but in today’s world, there are other alternatives, too, for example, formula feeding.
Choosing between formula milk and breast milk can be confusing and tiring. With all the changes happening – the last thing you need is an additional problem on you and your partner’s plate. Nonetheless, this should be an educated decision you make, and you cannot do that unless you are well-informed or well-read. This is why mothers or parents should choose their baby feeding techniques before the adorable baby arrives. So that they can relax and plan accordingly post-delivery. This blog will help all parents and mothers to understand the pros and cons of breastfeeding vs formula feeding. It contains all the necessary authentic information regarding breast milk and formula milk.
Advantages of Breastfeeding
1. Nutritional Advantages of Breastfeeding
There are several nutritional perks of choosing to breastfeed your child. Since the body produces it, it contains all the essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins required by the baby to grow and remain healthy. Some of the proteins in your breast milk include whey, lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, lysozyme, etc. They are responsible for building antibacterial properties, easy digestion, fighting infection, and other bacterias in the infant’s body. Fats are the source of much-needed calories for your babies. They are healthy foods for the development of the nervous system and the brain. Vitamins in breast milk mostly depend upon the mother’s diet, and they ensure smooth-running bodily functions of the newborns.
Having a baby increases your monthly expenses. It is an entirely new responsibility, and the extra essentials an infant needs can put a strain on your wallet. One of the benefits of breastfeeding is that it is the least pricey food for the baby. The milk is produced by the mother’s body, which makes it nutritious and reduces the cost of buying baby food like formula milk.
3. No Allergic Reaction
Newborns need all the love and protection they can get. Since these tiny humans can’t take care of themselves yet, it is our job to make sure they are safe and sound. It is scientifically proven that breast milk shows no signs of an allergic reaction or side effects.
4. Maternal Benefits
Breastfeeding is not only beneficial for the newborn – but the mother too. Nursing can significantly help mothers lose gained pregnancy weight, which otherwise would require long workout routines. Most mothers don’t have that much, especially with a baby and other work or home commitments. Another health benefit is – it substantially reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer. For breastfeeding, nursing apron is a must-have for mothers.
Disadvantages of Breastfeeding
1. Latching problems
Most babies instinctively latch on the mother’s breast, but some face difficulties in doing so. Newborns who suffer from cleft palate/lip are at higher risk of facing latching difficulties. The baby will not be adequately nursed, and it will also be a physically painful encounter for the mother.
2. Time Restraints
Breastfeeding is a slow and time-consuming process. The mom needs to be physically present to feed the baby. You can choose to pump breast milk, but that is time-consuming too. This can be exhausting for the mother, who is still in the recovery process from giving birth.
3. Breastfeeding at the Workplace and Public
Mothers worldwide have been raising the issue of normalizing breastfeeding in public. Nonetheless, they are far from reaching that goal. There are federal rights of nursing breaks given to women in workplaces. Few offices do not follow that, and it may result in a disrupted baby feeding schedule.
Advantages of Formula Milk
1. Longer Breaks Between Feeding
Breast milk tends to be quickly digested and absorbed by the baby’s gut, but formula milk takes a longer time to digest. This means that the baby will take a longer time to get hungry, and it will result in more breaks for you.
2. Zero Dependence on The Mother’s Diet
The quality of breast milk depends entirely on the mother’s diet. So she should stay off substances like alcohol, heavy medications, which is harmful to the baby. By choosing formula feeding, the mother has complete freedom to eat or drink whatever she wants as it won’t affect the baby.
3. Convenience and Flexibility
The mother does not have to worry or be insecure about feeding her baby in public. The formula milk in a bottle is the instant solution for whenever your infant is hungry.
Disadvantages of Formula Milk
1. Low Nutritious Value
Formula milk has nutrients but not as much as the required amounts needed by the baby. Only breast milk has all the ideal balanced nutrients needed by the baby. Lack of nutrients can lead to incomplete development of the body.
2. Low Immunity
The formula doesn’t have enough antibodies to support the immunity of the infant. Lack of antibodies can make the baby susceptible to infections and other diseases. Formula-fed babies are more prone to illnesses than breastfed babies.
3. Additional Expenses
Buying the formula and extra equipment used along with it can be a burden on your wallet. If the mother is choosing to formula feed then, she should regularly buy the formula every month. This adds the medical bills of the family.
4. Acid Reflux
Babies who are introduced to formula feeding are more at risk for acid reflux. One of the causes this happens is because the infant can be allergic to the protein present in cow’s milk. Some babies cannot be habituated to cow’s milk due to reasons like allergy, and thus formula feeding is not suitable for them.
I hope this blog clarifies any confusion about the ongoing debate on breast milk vs formula for young parents. Ensure that you meticulously research before you decide between formula or breastfeeding. Happy parenting!