Recently a young woman had her third baby. Her children were ten years apart so naturally, she was nervous about how to best feed and take care of her baby. Her doctor was very sympathetic and said, “April, a happy baby is a fed baby.” Nothing more. Just advice that let the new mom know that whatever she decided was best for her and her baby. Just keep the baby well fed. The result? A three-month-old totally happy, smiley, and giggly.
Pros for Breastfeeding
New moms are enthusiastically encouraged to breastfeed their new babies. Inspiring a mom to breastfeed could change if there is a medical reason not to breastfeed. The parents should make the final decision, but parents should be helped to breastfeed as it is a health-conscious choice.
The AAP and the World Health Organization advises that babies should be fed exclusively by breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Breastfeeding should continue combined with solid foods until age 1.
Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby. It has many rewards over baby formula. Some breastfeeding pros are:
- Normalize breastfeeding; it’s natural.
- It’s always available.
- It’s free.
- Breastmilk contains active infection-fighting white blood cells and natural chemicals. These chemicals protect your baby against infections in the first few months.
- Breastfeeding helps prevent SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics breastfeed babies are about 60% less at risk to pass away from SIDS than bottle-feed infants.
“Breastfeeding to any extent and of any duration is protective against SIDS,” researcher Fern Hauck, MD, of the department of family medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and colleagues write in Pediatrics.
- Breastmilk is easily digestible.
- May prevent your baby from getting allergies and asthma in later years.
- May decrease a baby’s danger of being obese.
- Contains fatty acids that encourage brain development.
- Includes the best percentage of the nutrients that your baby needs. These include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and calcium.
- The bonding experience is priceless.
- Breastfeeding is good for development in premature babies.
- Helps new mothers lose weight more easily.
- Allows your body to release hormones that help you bond with baby.
- Many, many more benefits.
Cons for Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is healthy for both you and your baby. However, despite all the normalize breastfeeding pamphlets, brochures, literature, and recommendations, there are times when it can be challenging for you.
- Breastfeeding may feel uncomfortable during the first few feedings.
- It is difficult to measure how much your baby is eating.
- You need to watch what you eat, your medication use, alcohol intake, and caffeine usage. Things you eat or that go into your body are passed to your baby through breastmilk.
- Newborns eat frequently. Keeping up with a feeding schedule can be difficult if you need to return to work. Breastfeeding may not be natural for you.
Pros of Bottle-Feeding your Baby
There are so many advantages of breast milk that if you don’t breastfeed your baby, you might feel guilty. Medical professionals say, absolutely not! Sometimes, breastfeeding is not right for you. Remember the advice from the doctor, “The happiest baby is a fed baby.”
Today’s formulas are nutritious and match the ingredients and proportions to that of a human mother’s milk. It is also a proven fact that while breastfed babies may get fewer infections. However, studies state that most babies don’t get severe infections in the first few months after birth. It doesn’t matter if they are breast or bottle-fed.
The best scenario is a mom and baby who are happy and unstressed. If you feel that bottle feeding is best for your needs, then it may be best for your baby. Trying to force your baby to take the breast will cause trauma, an unhappy baby, and a stressed mom.
If you bottle-feed, you can give your baby breast milk from a bottle. Breast milk given from a bottle has the same nutrients as actual breastfeeding, but you do have more flexibility with your schedule. You baby isn’t relying on your body for food.
The convenience of bottle feeding may include:
- A caretaker can give your baby a bottle when you aren’t there.
- Check how much your baby is eating at every feeding.
- Formula-fed babies need not eat as often as breastfed babies.
- Fathers, siblings, and other family members can bond with the baby during feeding time.
- Using formula means you need not worry about how your diet affects the baby.
Cons of Bottle-Feeding your Baby
- The formula doesn’t provide the same nutrition and protection as breast milk.
- You need to mix and prepare the formula.
- The formula often causes digestive trouble like gas and constipation.
- Bottles, formula and breast pumps are expensive.
Tips for Bottle Feeding
Generations ago moms boiled baby bottles, heated formula and fussed with the temperature. Temperature isn’t necessary with today’s formulas. Feeding your baby formula that is room temperature is fine.
The formula is manufactured and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It contains lots of nutrients, even if it’s not the perfect match for breast milk.
Do remember that once the baby has nursed from a bottle, the formula should be discarded. You can give your baby unused formula that hasn’t been used for the next feeding, however.
If finances are a factor, pick up a less expensive brand of formula. Fantastic formulas can be found at big box stores like Costco and Sam’s Club. Expensive does not mean better since most formulas are basically the same.
Don’t go for low-iron formulas. There are many formulas on the market, and most have acceptable levels of iron, but you do need to check that the iron is fortified when you purchase it. Iron deficiencies in the first years of life hurt brain development. Don’t listen to others who talk about the side effects of iron – gas, constipation, colic. These side effects are actually infrequent. Breastfed babies can get gas, constipation, colic, and discomfort, too.
Choose cow’s milk formulas over soy to begin with; you can always switch if the formula doesn’t seem right for your baby.
It doesn’t matter if you choose powder, concentrate or ready-to-feed. Choose whatever is most convenient for you. There is no nutritional difference between the styles of formula. Note that powdered formula is the least expensive, but ready-to-feed is very convenient.
If you breast-feed or bottle-feed, you will still need to wean your baby or stop breast milk or formula completely. Don’t wean your baby until nine to 12 months or later. The general rule-of-thumb states that babies need only breast or an augmented formula for the first six months of life.
After introducing other foods, your doctor will advise you to allow the baby to abreast or bottle feed for as long as it is comfortable for both of you. WHO recommends continuing breastfeeding as an additional food source until a little one is age two.
Follow your baby’s lead and let them decide when to reduce breastfeeding. Allowing your baby to choose when he/she is weaned might be difficult since babies are attached to breastfeeding, but it will work. The best way to wean your baby, however, will start slowly and gradually reduce the amount you are feeding your baby. It will help your baby, and it will help your body get used to not producing milk.
Keep yourself comfortable while breast or bottle-feeding with Bobbie Juice by Design. These are mom style fashions that provide ease of taking care of your little one. Not only is it a good idea to keep your baby well-fed, but you need to be at ease with your baby. Clothing that is not binding and provides you protection will help keep you stress-free.