This is a hot topic at the moment, with many mums being advised that “breast is best” breast milk rather than opting for formula milk. However, there are many pros and cons of both methods of providing the right nutrients for your baby, I have summarised a few of the reasons below.
Breast Milk – Pro
The benefits of breast milk are undeniable, they provide your baby with all of the essential nutrients and energy that they require to grow and develop. Breast milk contains natural antibodies to protect your baby against diseases whilst you are breastfeeding. It is not just the benefits for your baby that are apparent, the bond you can form as a pair through breastfeeding is amazing and it can be something that makes you feel like a superstar being able to provide everything to feed your baby. There is a huge benefit in the fact that it is free to breastfeed and alongside that, it is said to help improve weight loss after you have given birth to get your pre-baby body back.
Breast Milk – Con’s
There are some downsides however, the first one is that you are solely responsible for feeding your baby, which could mean nightly feeds and less sleep as well as not being able to leave your baby with anyone. There is a way of solving this, which is to express your milk, which some people find a difficult experience but others people find very easy. The other downside is problems that some women face with sore nipples and problems breastfeeding. Quite often nipples can be treated with creams and lotions but sometimes it is too painful for women to do, and some women just are unable to breastfeed. One of my friends wanted to breastfeed her son but her milk did not contain enough nutrients to provide for her baby the formula worked really well and her little boy is strong and healthy now!
Formula – Pros
The positive points of using a formula are that it means that you can share the responsibility for feeding with someone else. You can prepare a few batches of milk, this can be especially useful for night feeds when you are exhausted. Another positive part of this is that it can increase the bond between your partner and your baby because it allows them to feed your baby, which gives you a bit more ‘me time’. The formula is a good alternative for mums who just do not like the idea of breastfeeding or are unable to do so, it provides your baby with the nutrition they need to grow and develop.
Formula – Con’s
There are a few downsides to using formula milk instead of breast milk, the first one being that there is a large cost involved with buying formula. Different formulas cost different amounts and unfortunately, some babies cannot have certain formulas. This may mean that you cannot bulk buy your formula in case your baby is unable to feed using it. Another downside is that you need to have bottles and equipment that need to be sterilized, which can take some time to do.
Whatever you decide to do is a personal decision and one that depends upon a number of factors, ensure that if necessary you discuss your decision with your midwife or doctor.