As new parents, we can experience anxiety when feeding our babies. Making a decision can be difficult, determining if we will breastfeed or utilize formula. We will give you a rundown of the pros and cons. These can help you decide if it’s better to feed your baby breast milk or go with formula one.
Here We Go!
Benefits Of Breastfeeding for Baby
Did you know that breast milk has all the nutrients your baby needs for their development? Before becoming a mom, I had no clue! I also didn’t realize that my baby would be drinking colostrum during the first few days after birth. Colostrum helps your baby develop its digestive tract and is full of proteins. It is yellowish and will be a little thicker than your milk. After about five days, you will start producing your milk.
Secondly, your breast milk is packed full of antibodies. When exposed to viruses and bacteria, you produce antibodies that can be carried through your milk to protect your baby. Cool right? Additionally, breastfeeding can watch your baby from developing allergies and diabetes, as breast milk helps regulate weight gain. Many doctors recommend breastfeeding as the formula doesn’t provide any antibody protection for these reasons. We all know the quote, “breast is best”!
Breastfeeding Benefits for Mothers
During the nine months of pregnancy, women gain 30 pounds. If only we could all take a magic pill and be back to our pre-pregnancy weight. A great benefit to breastfeeding is weight loss! Breastfeeding mothers burn an average of 500 extra calories a day! Women that continue to breastfeed for between 3 and 6 months lose more weight than women who don’t. That being said, a balanced diet and regular exercise optimize your weight loss.
Furthermore, breastfeeding lowers a mother’s risk of depression due to the increased amount of oxytocin in their system. Oxytocin aids in caregiving, relaxation, and mother/child bonding. Additionally, your risk of breast cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes is lowered. Additionally, continued breastfeeding pauses menstruation and ovulation! Talk about a win after giving birth!
Finally, breastfeeding is completely FREE! Parents don’t have to worry about spending money on specialty formulas or running out. Also, you will not need to calculate how much your baby needs at each feeding. There is no need to spend time washing bottles, waking up to make the bottle, and finding a way to warm bottles on the go. Breast milk is at the right temperature and also available.
Breastfeeding takes plenty of patience both for mom and baby to get into a routine. In addition, new moms face challenges when deciding between breastfeeding and formula: personal comfort, the proper latch, time and frequency, and a continued diet.
Some moms can feel uncomfortable with breastfeeding and choose to utilize formula. During the first week and up to 14 days, moms can experience pain during the latch-on process. This pain should be less than a minute for each feeding with the proper latch when breastfeeding. If pain persists throughout the feeding session, the latch could be improper, or you might have an infection. Many new moms stop during this process without consulting their doctor or lactation consultant.
Another challenge is time and frequency. Breastfeeding can be a time commitment initially, as babies feed every 2 to 3 hours on average. It can be challenging when you need to run an errand, work, or even travel to stop and breastfeed or pump. Additionally, if you are breastfeeding, you must be aware of what you are eating and drinking, which is passed to breast milk. Finally, moms will have to increase supplements to give necessary vitamins to the baby unless they choose accessories.
Formula Benefits for Mother & Baby
Baby formula is a healthy alternative to breastfeeding. Recipes are nutritious and contain vitamins that breastfed babies receive from supplements. The procedure provides convenience and flexibility to feed by the bottle and share feeding duties with family members. Allowing others to feed the baby can also increase the bonding experience. In addition, mothers do not need a pumping schedule. Talk about a relief!
The formula is also less digestible than breast milk, meaning that formula-fed babies eat less often, allowing for a longer time frame for parents to run errands, work, travel, and wash those lovely baby clothes. Finally, moms that utilize formula do not have the same diet restrictions as breastfed mothers! So drink that Coffee, mamas!!
Formula and breastfeeding have their challenges. When deciding on a recipe, some challenges include the lack of antibodies, complexity of milk, organization/planning, expense, and gas/constipation.
When discussing the complexity of the infant formula, it has yet to be duplicated for the developing needs of your baby. This means that breast milk changes when your baby does. The antibodies found in breast milk you cannot find in manufactured formulas. These antibodies protect your little love against illness and infections.
The formula can get expensive depending on your baby’s nutritional needs.s. The procedure has variety but also costs a lot more than breast milk. The average for a year’s worth of formula is $1,500. Additionally, formula feeding requires planning and organization, whereas breast milk is always available at the right temperature and unlimited. Bottles will need to be cleaned, sanitized, and prepped prior baby’s hunger cues; otherwise, you might have a very fussy little one on your hands. It can become very overwhelming as a parent. Finally, formula-fed babies tend to have more problems with gas and firmer bowel movements. As long as you find the right formulated formula, this can cause headaches for both baby and mama.
There is no one answer for how to feed your baby. But breastfeeding is a healthy choice to provide your baby with all that they need for nourishment. However, you can start with infant formula if you have latch issues. All that any expanding family needs to remember is a fed baby is a happy baby! Whatever you decide will be good for you and your growing little one! I wish you nothing but the best with your growing family. Talk to your health care provider about your options.