Choosing whether to breastfeed or bottle feed is one of the first choices mothers must make. Many expecting mothers must analyze the benefits of both before making a decision that will shape their lives as the baby grows and develops. There are numerous advantages and disadvantages to either decision such as the ingredients, health benefits, convenience, and the cost. Breast milk is the milk produced by a female for her infant offspring.The baby nursing from its mother is the most common form of obtaining milk after the first few days, weeks and months after the baby is born.
Breast milk can be supplied by a woman other than the baby’s mother (donor milk). Bottle feeding is another method of milk for the baby. It is used in replacement or addition to breast milk.Bottle feeding is done through formula, which is manufactured food designed for feeding infants under 12 months of age. There are many different brands and types of formula to choose from as your baby grows older.
Milk is the primary source of nutrition for newborns before they can eat and digest other foods, so breastfeeding or bottle feeding are both essential. Breast milk has a list of ingredients that goes on and on. Broken down, breast milk is made up of proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates. The milk contains two types of proteins, whey and casein. Approximately 60% of the milk is whey and 40% is casein, making this a perfect balance of proteins for the baby, making it a quick and easy digestion.
The fats in breast milk are a primary calorie source that is needed for the babies’ brain, retina, and nervous system development. The vitamins in breast milk are based off the mother’s vitamin intake. The vitamins A, D, E, and K are all significant to the infant’s health, which is why many doctors suggest nursing mothers to continue prenatal vitamins for the sake of the baby.
The primary carbohydrate in breast milk is lactose, it accounts for approximately 40% of the total calories provided to the infant through the milk.Lactose helps decrease the number of bacteria in the stomach, which improves the intake of calcium and other vitamins, which helps fight disease. To put breast milk ingredients into words it contains a little more than 100 ingredients that the formula industry cannot make themselves. The health benefits coming from breast milk are never ending. Breast milk has the perfect combination of proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates. In addition to containing all the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs in the first six months, breast milk is full of disease-fighting substances that protect the baby from illness.
Breast feeding can also protect a baby from developing allergies through secretory IgA (which is only found in breast milk). This immune factor helps prevent allergic reactions to food by providing a layer of protection to a baby’s intestinal tract. Without this protection, this can cause allergic reactions and health problems in the future. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding is a way to help reduce a child’s risk of becoming overweight or obese as a teen or adult. Studies show that breastfeed babies have a regular eating schedule and it leads to healthier eating as an adult.Breast feeding has an amount of health benefits for the mothers as well. Mothers who breastfeed have lower stress levels and it can prevent certain types of cancer.
The cost of breast feeding is little to none compared to other forms of milk. Breast feeding is free but that doesn’t mean there is no cost at all. Many mothers have to get nursing pads and bras and some even decide on a pump, which is optional but a very popular necessity to many breast-feeding mothers. Breast pumps range from $20 to $200 dollars, depending on the brand and quality of the pump.The only other thing that breast feeding costs for a family with a newborn is time. Some mothers aren’t as fortunate as others and cannot breastfeed their baby due to health issues, so formula is a manufactured duplicate’ of a mother’s breast milk that can help these families out. Formula is made up of complex combination of proteins, sugars, fats, and vitamins just like the mother’s breast milk.
Although companies try to compare it to breast milk, it is lacking a few things such as antibodies, which doesn’t provide the infant with protection against infections and illnesses.Even though many people would argue that the milk doesn’t match the complexity of a mother’s, some formula brands do a good job making it a replacement for infants that cannot be breast feed. This is also good for single father parents who cannot produce breast milk so that they can do the next best and available thing for their child. Bottle feeding a baby offers a list of health benefits as well as breastfeeding. Unlike breast milk, formula contains vitamin D and vitamin B12, giving the baby an extra source of vitamins. In addition to the extra vitamins, bottle fed babies have unlimited amount of choices when it comes to their formula.
So many different brands and a complex variety of ingredients are other advantages to the baby as well. If the baby is allergic to milk or soybeans, or maybe the baby is extremely sensitive, you can specialize the formula buy, satisfying the baby and the parents. The cost of formula and all of the supplies needed is pretty high when you break it down monthly. Depending on what type, what brand of formula is being bought, and the baby’s eating schedule, it can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 dollars a month to bottle feed a baby.
Don’t forget that the bottles can cost anywhere from ten to twenty dollars. During the first year of life, the cost of basic formula can run about $1,500. All families choose different routes due to the ingredients, health benefits, and costs. Maybe there might be added factors as well, but it all depends on the families’ expectations and of course, the baby. Some mothers choose to breast milk for personal reasons and some mothers simply just decide to stick with formula, whichever choice they make as a parent is exclusively up to them.
Deciding how you will feed your baby can be a hard decision. You’ll only know the right choice for your family when your baby comes. Many women decide on one method before the birth and then change their minds after their baby is born. And many women decide to breastfeed and supplement with formula because they find that is the best choice for their family and their lifestyle. While you’re weighing the pros and cons, talk to your doctor or lactation consultant. These health care providers can give you more information about your options and help you make the best decision for your family. But if the baby is being feed that is the most important thing.