Today breastfeeding is recommended by WHO for a minimum of 6 months and remains the most beneficial choice for the baby. Mothers who choose to bottle-feed, however, should not feel guilty or worry. Breastfeeding or bottle feeding? Either way, the baby will get everything he or she needs: milk and love.
For some, breastfeeding is obvious, a decision sometimes taken long before pregnancy. For others, it’s a little more complicated. Whatever your decision, you risk facing pressure from those around you, the medical profession, and sometimes your own spouse. However, the choice of breast or bottle is an intimate one. Even if you discuss it with your other half, your mother, your friends, etc… in the end, the decision is yours, and it will always be the right one. Breast-fed or bottle-fed, don’t force yourself to respond to outside advice. It won’t be good for you or the baby. For a calm decision, take your time.
Ask yourself the right questions and get support
While the trend is towards breastfeeding, there is indeed nothing wrong with bottle-feeding. Of course, breastfeeding or bottle feeding raises questions, especially for mothers who are experiencing their first pregnancy. However, to make the choice that’s best for you, you should ask yourself a number of questions: What is best for my baby? Are there any contraindications to breastfeeding? Will breastfeeding keep me from getting fit quickly? Will I have enough milk? If I bottle-feed, can daddy be more involved? What are the benefits of breastfeeding formula? Do not hesitate to share your doubts with healthcare and hospital staff during your pregnancy. They are there to inform you and reassure you.
The benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and the baby
Breastfeeding with breast milk helps prevent and/or reduce many conditions such as:
Advantages for the mother
In the intimacy of skin to skin, very strong bonds are woven between mother and her little one. It is often this notion of close bond that animates breastfeeding mothers. And contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding does not exclude the dad. He will easily find his place in this new trio. Bathing or changing are also tender moments of complicity that can allow the mother to forge unique bonds with her baby.
Breastfeeding is also good for losing weight: a breastfeeding woman burns an average of 500 calories per day. A hell of a helping hand in the fight against the post-pregnancy diet! Not to mention that breastfeeds cause uterine contraction which helps to get a flat stomach more quickly. From a practical point of view, breastfeeding costs less than a bottle and allows you to have ready milk at the right temperature. On the health side, breastfeeding also protects mothers by reducing the risk of cancer (breast and ovarian) and osteoporosis.
Finally, breastfeeding does not mean a lack of freedom for mothers. On the contrary, they can express their milk to fill two or three bottles and be away for a few hours without the baby.
Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, keep in mind that breastfeeding that takes place under the best conditions is a fully and freely chosen breastfeeding.
Vanessa is originally from the Ukraine. She has been living in Florida for the last 10 years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Central Florida and a Master’s degree in Technical Writing from the University of South Florida. She covers mostly health and health-related issues for the Scientific Origin.