There are many factors involved in choosing whether you should breast-feed or bottle-feed your baby. If you think in terms of the baby’s health, breastfeeding is a good option. But if you must worry about your work schedules, bottle feeding can be done. There are benefits and challenges associated with both the ways. Here is what you should know before making a decision:
It is advisable by health experts that a mother should breast-feed her baby instead of bottle feeding. Breast milk is filled with nutrients that ensure proper growth and development of babies. Breast-feeding nourishes the baby more than feeding formula-milk. But apart from its nutritious value and the fact that breastfeeding gives a boost to the immunity of the baby, it also helps in strengthening the mother-baby bond. A baby must be breast-fed for six months and then it is up to the mother to decide whether she wants to extend the period to 12 months or further.
An old wives tale suggests that the nutrients of what a mother eats can be absorbed by the baby through breastmilk. Furthermore breast-fed babies are said to grow into more intelligent adults than bottle-fed babies.
Breastfeeding is a natural process and does not require many additional equipment which bottle-feeding would. There is no storage hassle or constant worries of sterilization. For the mother as well, breastfeeding can be helpful as it balances her hormones and helps in shrinking of the uterus post-partum.
Since the pros have been discussed already, one must understand certain challenges to breastfeeding your baby. Breastfeeding requires the mother to spend a lot of time with her baby because in the initial months, she would have to feed the baby frequently. Each feeding might even take an hour or more. Furthermore, if you are out somewhere, it can be uncomfortable to breastfeed your baby.
It is not like bottle-feeding is not nutritious. Of course, if it is standing as an alterative to breastfeeding, it must have some benefits too. The biggest benefit is that anyone can bottle-feed the baby. It also allows a father to develop a bond with the baby since both parents or other family members can alternatively take responsibility to feed the child. It relieves a huge burden from the mother and it does have its health benefits too.
Bottle-feeding is a careful process since you must ensure that the bottle is sterilized, the milk is heated to room temperature and is not hot enough to burn the baby’s mouth. You must pick the right brand of formula milk which does not come cheap and carry a lot of things with you when going out (flask, bottle, equipment to clean the bottle). Even for the baby, it is hard to digest formula milk.