The Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding
With the birth of your bundle of joy, your life has been forever transformed. New routines will need to be developed, from naps to diaper changing, as well as feeding. This last point has been one of controversy in the past decade, as many mothers have expressed an interest to move off what they consider to be the impersonal experience of feeding their child industry-made formula and back to the mother-baby bonding that breastfeeding provides.
While this shift has taken many by surprise, as many women have not breastfed babies in public in quite a few generations, offending some people in the process, breastfeeding is back and here to stay. For many soon-to-be mothers though, the pros and cons of breastfeeding versus using formula milk is still not clear.
Below, we outline the most common strong points of connecting with your newborn child through breastfeeding, while underlining the problems that can arise with embracing this age-old experience…
PRO: It’s a net health benefit for your newborn baby
The breast milk that women carry contains a wide array of elements that formula milk simply do not have, like white blood cells that can help your baby fight infections more readily. Of course, this milk also has nutrients your baby needs in balanced amounts (provided you eat a healthy diet).
PRO: It burns calories at an impressive rate
It might not seem like it now, but the act of feeding a baby in the manner evolution intended is a major calorie burner for you, as it torches 500 calories per day. So have that ice cream after dinner sometimes: your baby has your back!
PRO: Easy and convenient for busy moms
When you feed a baby with formula milk, you’ll need to clean the bottle, boil water, let it cool for 30 minutes, mix it up with the powder, and then feed your demanding customer. With breastfeeding, you just open your shirt, and let your child have at it. All without spending a dime at the grocery store!
CON: You are the sole provider of breast milk
While you can kick your hubby you of bed every other time your baby cries out for food when you feed it with formula, you and you alone are the provider of milk when you embrace breastfeeding. You can pump your own milk though, but producing a backlog of milk bottles is hampered by the amount of milk you can produce at any given time.
CON: You need to eat a healthy diet for your milk to be healthy for your baby
Referring back to the pro above that refers to the healthiness of breast milk, your milk will only be as healthy as the diet you consume. If all you eat are Twinkies, fried chicken, and Coca-Cola, then your baby is probably better off with formula.
CON: Breastfeeding can be painful for some women
When your baby begins feeding from you, the act of breastfeeding isn’t so bad. However, even then, the long periods of sucking can leave your skin raw, and when their teeth begin to emerge, they can sometimes inadvertently draw blood. If this is happening to you regularly, switching back to formula might not be the worst thing.
Generally speaking, breastfeeding have a tonnes of benefits for both mother and baby. However, some of the drawbacks may not make it the best option for either of you, so don’t let your peers judge you negatively if you feel a move to formula is warranted, as most brands have the wide array of nutrients that your infant needs.