Out of all of the things mums worry about, from how to keep baby groomed and clean to how much sleep their little one is getting, how to keep their babies well-fed has to top the list. Though every mother wants her baby to be happy and healthy, there are instances where traditional methods of feeding might not happen. For those reasons, it is imperative that mothers are educated on the various ways in which they can support their growing babies and beloved children using sundry methods depending on the need. And that is why, we at Yellodoor are happy to present to you the many breastfeeding vs formula feeding advantages disadvantages so you can make the decision best for you and your little one.
Breast Pump vs Formula Feed
As mentioned, there are many ways in which mothers can successfully feed their children without feeling guilty about the mode they choose in the process. One of those ways is to use a breast pump to bottle feed their baby or to use formula. While we won’t go into too much detail about the differences between the two until later, it is important to note that even if you choose to breastfeed, you can still reap the benefits of using a bottle without feeling like you have to use formula.
Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding Advantages Disadvantages
Now, for the nitty-gritty. We’ve got everything you want to know about breastfeeding vs formula feeding advantages disadvantages. So, let’s get to it.
Make no bones about it. Breastfeeding advantages are plentiful.
Apart from breastfeeding helping mum lose the baby weight, here are a few of the most well-known advantages to feeding your baby breast milk:
- Helps Mother Recover Faster
- Immunity Building For Baby
- Offers Bonding Opportunities
- Easily Digestible
- Good For Baby’s Brain
- Highly Nutritious
- As Natural As It Gets
And while the aforementioned pros of breastfeeding are many, there are several drawbacks to breastfeeding. If you are wondering what are 5 disadvantages of breastfeeding, we’ve got at 6 to help you with.
- Can Create Stress and Anxiety When Returning to Work
- Use of a Breast Pump May Be Required Depending on Lifestyle
- Sore, Cracked or Bleeding Nipples, Especially in the Beginning
- Milk Supply Monitoring
Formula Feeding Advantages
So, why is formula feeding better than breastfeeding? Depends on who you ask. Nevertheless, there are reasons that formula feeding may seem comparably better than breast milk in some ways. Those ways include the following:
- Can Keep Baby Full For Longer
- Baby Will Be Unaffected By Mother’s Diet
- Feeding in Public Is Less Controversial
- Can Be Convenient In Certain Scenarios
Formula Feeding Disadvantages
You knew it was coming! With all of it’s benefits, formula feeding definitely has its disadvantages. They include:
- Not a Natural Source of Nutrition
- Lacking Antibodies in That Are in Breast Milk
- May Cause Digestive Issues
- May Cause Constipation
- Will Require Preparation and Planning Ahead
- Increased Risk of Reflux
Breastfed vs Formula Fed
As you’ve likely already figured out, the pros and cons of breastfeeding versus formula-feeding will depend heavily on your needs, the baby’s needs and your lifestyle.
To start, breast milk is fast, free and easy… for the most part. It is a portable way of feeding your baby, and is packed with nutrients to keep your little one healthy and satiated. Moreover, breast milk can make your baby immune in a sense, as it provides the antibodies necessary to ward off icky illnesses down the road.
Having said that, formula can give breast milk a run for its money in terms of feeding frequency. In fact, some studies show that although breast milk tends to be healthier for babies, it is the formula that stays in the baby’s gut for longer that can, at times, enable the baby to sleep for longer periods of time than one that is exclusively breastfed.
Moreover, formula fed babies won’t be affected by mums diet, and the other parent or caregiver can get in on the feeding and bonding action whenever they like whenever formula is on the scene.
But are all of the benefits of formula really all that they are cracked up to be? Let’s be honest, no scientist can ever truly replicate nature. The antibodies and other benefits found in breast milk can’t, and haven’t been, duplicated in any formula, no matter how fancy, or pricey, the formula might be.
Parents spend hundreds, and sometimes, thousands, trying to feed their babies on formula alone, and have to deal with the hassle of making up bottles and keeping them at the right temperature for the babies to take when they are hungry.
Additionally, formula-fed babies may tend to be more constipated and manifest other digestive issues more often than those that are not. To learn how to help transition your little one from breast milk to formula with less digestive issues, check out our blog post.
Bottle vs Breastfeeding
As noted earlier in the segment, there are more options available to you than simply breastfeeding or formula feeding. There’s combination feeding and bottle feeding pumped breast milk.
When choosing to express breast milk, bottle feeding would have all of the benefits that feeding formula would, only with the added bonus of not having to do any measurements when you are making bottles.
You also won’t have to deal with the common digestive issues that come with using formula alone and, wonderfully, your baby will be able to reap all of the glorious benefits packed within your breast milk.
The downside? Feeding the baby from the bottle rather than the breast may put a damper on the bonding process between you both. Moreover, your milk supply may decrease unless you make certain to pump at around the time your baby feeds, even when you are bottle feeding your baby, to keep your milk supply established. Even then, because the baby is much better at suckling milk than a breast pump would be, you may still find your milk supply waning.
Nevertheless, if you’ve got cracked, bleeding or sore nipples, have underlying health issues, or just need a break, then a bottle is likely the way to go for you.
Is It Better to Breastfeed or Formula Feed?
In terms of your baby’s health, we’ll have to say that breastfeeding wins out.
Breast milk contains so many benefits to your baby. Formula will never achieve these benefits, from immune-boosting antibodies, to fat, vitamins and nutrients. Your baby needs all this to grow strong.
Moreover, the intimate connection between your little one and your body’s delicate, wondrous and natural milk production system all work harmoniously to provide the best meal possible for your baby to consume at such a young age.
In terms of lifestyle, however, the verdict as to whether or not breastfeeding or formula-feeding is best determined in terms of what the mother and child need most.
There are times when the mother simply cannot supply the breast milk her baby needs, for one reason or another. Whether she has low milk supply, has an underlying health issue, is going back to work or has another situation going on, the mother must be able to sustain the feeding schedule of her child in a way that is both feasible and practical. Thus, formula-feeding has an obvious advantage in many cases over breastfeeding, especially when issues with milk supply are present.
Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding Advantages and Disadvantages – The Choice Is Yours
To conclude, most parents would agree that feeding a baby so that he or she stays healthy is one of the most important things you could do for your child. While we wholeheartedly support breast milk as the best choice for growing babies, there are times when formula-feeding may be a more practical and preferential option for reasons specific to the situation.
No matter what method of feeding you choose, always be sure to consult with a paediatrician or your local healthcare provider before changing your baby’s diet, and be sure to get his or her take on the advantages and disadvantages of breastfeeding or formula-feeding specific to your situation, needs and your baby’s overall health.
Always be prepared with a baby health kit by your side!