There is a lot of debate surrounding the topic of breastfeeding vs. formula feeding. Which is better for a baby? Some people swear by the benefits of breastfeeding, while others believe that formula is just as good, if not better. So, what is the truth? Here, we will take a look at some of the pros and cons of both breastfeeding and formula feeding to help you make an informed decision about what is best for your child.
- Can be given to baby without help from mom - this is the #1 reason advantage of formula. If you are a working mom or have trouble pumping, it’s an emergency backup.
- unlikely to cause an allergic reaction
- Can be easily measured when quantity and caloric needs are important to track
- Nutrition can be tailored to baby's specific needs
- Doesn't require special equipment
- Formula-fed babies tend to sleep through the night sooner than breastfed babies
- Parents can bottle-feed together, bonding with baby
- Requires sterile water and bottles
- Can be expensive
- Needs to be refrigerated
- Breast milk is more easily digested by babies than formula
- Breastfeeding can help lower the risk of SIDS
- Breastfeeding can help prevent obesity later in life
- Breastfeeding doesn't require any special equipment or preparation
- Breastfeeding saves time and money
- Medical researchhas shown that babies who are not breastfed are more vulnerable to health issues like pneumonia, diarrhea, and infection
- Research has even found that exclusive breastfeeding (zero formula) reduces a baby’s risk for diseases and infections including: ear infections, bowel diseases, allergies, SIDS, gut infections, colds, respiratory tract infections, diabetes, and childhood leukemia
- Breastfeeding may make your child smarter (definitely click here on this citation)
- Nursing may help you lose weight, although this can vary by individual
- Breastfeeding releases hormones that help your uterus contract, which can lower blood loss and hasten the involution (returning to normal size) of the uterus
- Mom needs to be available on-demand whenever baby is hungry
- May need help from a lactation consultant at first
- Some women experience pain while nursing
In the end, there is no right or wrong answer, but we believe the evidence is clear. If you can, breastfeed your baby for as long as possible barring any medical problems that may get in the way. Formula is a passable substitute if you can’t breastfeed, and we have personally met women who physically product the milk to breastfeed. That's why we make leather diaper bags with storage for an entire day of formula feeding when you are out and about. But breastfeeding is linked to so many health benefits formula should always be plan B. If you opt for formula, be sure to choose a high quality brand and talk to your pediatrician about which type of formula would be best for your little one.
If you decide to breastfeed, know that there are resources available to help you if you run into any challenges. Also know that it may be more challenging and physically draining. After all, your partner can’t help you nurse. Whatever you decide with all this information in mind, know that you are doing what is best for you and your baby.
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