Breastfeeding or bottle feeding?
When becoming a new parent, one of your many decisions is whether or not you are going to try breastfeeding. Some women are unable to breastfeed for many reasons and therefore end up bottle feeding or do it by choice. There is support available to mums who are breastfeeding their baby, but formula milk is also nutritious and of a good standard for your baby.
Breastfeeding can be very beneficial for your baby as it helps fight infections, protect them against chronic diseases and helps to prevent allergies. Doctors recommend breastfeeding for the first six months and up to a year if possible. If you decide against it, don’t worry, formula is also good for your baby. Just be aware of children developing allergies against formula milk as some babies may be lactose intolerant and therefore they will need special formula milk prescribed by the GP.
You may face some minor challenges when you first start breastfeeding but don’t worry, once you have overcome these, it is an amazing experience. It allows you and your baby time to bond and gives them the best nutrition. When breastfeeding your baby’s this help their immune system become better equipped to fight infections and viruses.
Many women also choose to breastfeed due to the costs of buying formula milk. Breastfeeding is natural, and therefore there are no costs attached. The mother’s milk is also the best source of nutrition for babies and helps their digestive system. To produce milk, mothers must have a healthy balanced diet and drink lots of water.
Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding as it helps their baby bond with them through skin to skin contact and also helps to shrink the uterus to lose the baby weight. Some studies have also found a positive correlation between the reduction in breast cancer with mums who breastfeed.
However, breastfeeding can sometimes hurt and feel uncomfortable, and you may have to buy nipple shields and breast pumps. Your baby may not latch on properly at the start, which can be frustrating but keep calm, and they will find their most comfortable position. You can always seek help from your midwife if you are having major difficulties.
On the other hand, there are mothers who prefer to feed their baby with formula milk. In many cases, breastfeeding is not an option as the mother can not breastfeed, and therefore formula is the healthy alternative. Formulas nowadays are filled with nutrients, even vitamin D, which babies may miss out on.
The manufacturing process of formula milk is a complex one. The cow’s milk has to be modified so that it is acceptable for human babies to drink, whilst ensuring the nutrition is of the best quality.
Formula milk is also convenient for mothers as it allows the father to share the feeding duty, so the mother is not constantly being woken up. This allows the father to be actively involved in his child’s life and allows a mother time to rest and recuperate.
Babies who are breastfed may need feeding more frequently than those who are bottle-fed. Therefore bottle feeding allows a child to settle into a routine faster than a breastfed baby. However, a mother must always take spare made-up bottles if planning a day out.
There are many pros to both breastfeeding and bottle feeding and either way your baby is going to get the nutrition they need to stay healthy. It is a personal decision that may depend on lifestyle as parents need to fit it in around work.
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