The decision on whether to breast or bottle feed your new baby is one of the many choices you will face as a new parent. Remember that there is no right or wrong side, only what feels right for you and your baby. The consensus amongst the medical community is that a new born baby should be breast fed exclusively for the first six months and this should continue until 12 months or further if both the baby and mother are able. Here are some points you should consider as you decide if breast or bottle is best for your baby.
Benefits of Breast Milk
Breast milk is known to be the ideal form of nutrition for babies. But it also helps protect your baby by passing infection fighting antibodies that can lower the occurrence of diarrhea, ear infections, respiratory disease and meningitis. On the whole, breast fed babies have less infections and hospital visits than there bottle fed counter parts.
Your milk is also easy for your child to digest. The combination of lactose, fat and proteins are just right for your child’s developing digestive system. As a side note the output from breastfeeding is also milder on the nose.
Bottle Feeding Convenience
There is a huge convenience and cost saving factor that many do not take into consideration. As long as you travel with a nursing blanket you can feed your child literally anywhere. And did we mention that baby drinks for free at the mammary café?
Not all mothers choose or are able to breastfeed. Commercially available formula is a nutritious alternative to natural breast milk. It is manufactured under sterile conditions to a complex formula that gives your baby all the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy.
As convenient as breastfeeding is, the mother is the only one that can feed the baby. Although mothers can pump their milk, formula allows both partners to share in the feeding duties. It also gives the mother flexibility to her day as she does not have to schedule work or other activities around feeding times.
All About Formula
Formula digests slower than breast milk so baby does not have to be fed as often. The mother can eat as she pleases as none of her diet is being passed to the baby. This is also true if she requires prescription drugs.
Lets face it breast feeding can be down right uncomfortable. Cracked nipples, sensitive breasts and lactating.
The following medical associations endorse breast feeding over bottle feeding: World Health Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association.
Breastfeeding your baby can be a tremendous experience, but it is also a lot of hard work. Don’t be discouraged if your baby doesn’t get the idea right away. Like you, she needs time and practice to learn how to do it. Whether you choose the bottle or the breast, feeding time can be a wonderful, bonding experience.