How you choose to feed your baby is one of the first important decisions you make about raising your child. Both breastfeeding and bottle-feeding have advantages and disadvantages, and the ultimate decision should be between you and your partner. When making this decision, keep in mind that the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend breastfeeding, typically for six months and up to a year.
Breastfeeding Benefits For Baby
Breast milk is the healthiest choice for your baby to receive all the nutrition he needs. The nutrients in your breast milk change to match your baby’s nutritional needs as well. Babies can digest breast milk more easily than formula, and breast milk helps your baby fight infections. Breastfed babies tend to get fewer ear infections, have fewer diarrhea incidents and develop fewer respiratory infections.
Breastfeeding Benefits For Mom
Breastfeeding helps you get back in your pre-pregnancy clothes faster. Breastfeeding causes your uterus to shrink to its pre-pregnancy size and causes your body to burn more calories to produce the breast milk. When you breastfeed, you may not have a period for several months, so it can be used as a natural birth control, although not 100 percent reliable.
General Breastfeeding Benefits
When you breastfeed, you are creating a special bond between you and your baby. The process can make you and your baby feel secure. Breastfeeding is also convenient; your baby doesn’t have to wait for you to prepare the bottle. Breastfeeding can save you thousands of dollars from not needing to buy expensive formula. Breastfeeding is the more environmentally friendly choice as well: no formula cans to throw out.
A big advantage of bottle-feeding is that anyone can do it. Bottle-feeding is also a time of bonding with the baby and can give more people that chance to bond. If you work, your caregiver can feed the baby without your having to pump breast milk ahead of time. When your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, your partner can take a turn with feeding using the bottle. You can go back to eating and drinking what you want when you bottle feed. When you breastfeed, you need to keep in mind that what you eat and drink can affect your baby.
Baby Not Satisfied
If your baby seems to be hungry all the time, formula may solve that problem. Formula doesn’t digest as easily or quickly as breast milk does, according to the Family Doctor website, so your baby may be hungry less often. Also, some mothers don’t produce enough milk to satisfy their baby. If you think that is the case with you, discuss the situation with your doctor to find out what she recommends.