Breast or bottle? That’s the question all pregnant women ask themselves before giving birth and there are of course advocates on both sides keen to win you over. I’m also sure this post has been written a million times but… we each have our own story and every baby is unique. . What works for one may not work for the other.
While I really do believe in the benefits of breastfeeding, I don’t have anything against formula either. There are many reasons why some moms prefer formula over breastfeeding and each to their own. I’ve stuck with breastfeeding as it worked out so well with Alyssa and up until now with Aidan. As long as Aidan is gaining weight and healthy, I will continue to breastfeed however I won’t have a problem introducing formula to him should the need arise. People always say that the longer you breastfeed the healthier baby will be throughout childhood. WHATEVER! I breastfed Alyssa for a year, yet she’s been getting sick every other week since she’s started school! Aidan is breastfed, yet he picked up RSV from Alyssa!
There have however been many positives from breastfeeding -like firstly…. it’s FREE!
Let’s look at some of the other Pro’s and Con’s of both breast and bottle and perhaps it can help you make a decision!
- It circumvents the need for constant sterilisation of bottles and mixing of formula milk.
- A mother’s milk contains antibodies that fight the germs baby encounters, making him less liable to health problems such as ear, breathing or urinary infections and gastro-enteritis (Clearly not totally exempt)
- It automatically adjusts temperature, so that it is always right for the baby
- The chemicals breastfeeding releases into the mother’s body encourage the uterus to contract and return to its original position sooner than in non-breastfeeding mothers.
- Mothers who breastfeed reduce their risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer and osteoporosis.
- Breastfeeding can help women lose weight gained during pregnancy. Within 4 weeks of giving birth to both Alyssa and Aidan, I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight.
- It prevents over-feeding
- You’re on call 24/7 and- a HUGE responsibility. Even if you back at work and express like I do – it’s time consuming and it’s not always easy sticking to your expressing times and also finding a suitable space to express.
- Many people still believe that there is something disgusting about breastfeeding in public.
- Breastfeeding is frequently painful and uncomfortable. Bottle feeding is not.
- Getting a baby started on a bottle is easier than a breast.
- Bottle feeding gives you more freedom, which is beneficial should you suffer from Post Natal Depression (PND).
- Almost anybody can bottle feed your baby, and it means you can involve partners and family in the process.
- It keeps baby fuller for longer periods, so baby may sleep for longer stretches at night.
- Formula milk doesn’t have all the same health benefits as breast milk.
- Formula is costly.
- Sterilising bottles and equipment is fiddly and time consuming.
- Because anyone can do it, you might not feel such a unique bond as if you were breastfeeding.
At the end of the day, it’s your decision – nobody else’s! Do what makes you and baby happy!