You must feed your newborn as soon as you are able to after childbirth. Typically, you can decide whether to breastfeed or use a bottle right away. Whether you choose to breastfeed or not is an individual preference, so you should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of both feeding methods for both the mother and the infant.
You could also do both, in varying amounts and for varying lengths of time, so you are not forced to make a decision and stick to one.
Hospitals may feed premature newborns baby formula if the mother is unable to breastfeed. Sadly, in premature and low birth weight infants, the formula may result in necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a potentially fatal gastrointestinal condition. In cases like these, people may file lawsuits against the hospital. For instance, check out this lawsuit against Enfamil.
Each option has its own pros and cons, and we’ve highlighted the main ones below to help you make a choice. Keep reading to find out.
What is Breastfeeding?
Usually, while you nurse, you give your infant milk directly from your breast. The other name for this is breastfeeding. The decision to nurse or not is an individual one. Additionally, it is something that is likely to cause reactions in friends and family members. How often you should breastfeed depends on whether your baby enjoys brief, frequent meals or lengthy feedings. With age, this will change for your child. The majority of babies crave food every 2 to 3 hours. Babies usually start eating every 3 to 4 hours by 2 months, and by six months, most infants are eating every 4 to 5 hours.
Pros of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding has numerous advantages for both the mom and baby. One of the most natural approaches to nourishing your child is breastfeeding. Let us look at some of the primary motivations for nursing your baby.
- Breastfeeding gives your baby the ideal, uniquely suited nourishment supply that nature has designed just for them. This is the food that they can digest the quickest, thus it can result in fewer acid and indigestion.
- Your kid is protected from disease throughout infancy by breastfeeding, especially the first milk, notably from stomach bugs and ear infections. Additionally, it lowers the number of neonatal deaths (infant death syndrome).
- Your child’s metabolic system will profit from breast milk in the long run, which lowers the risk of obesity, diabetes, and infections like eczema in the future.
- Breastfeeding makes feeding easier because a breastfed infant doesn’t need any extra liquids, like water. In warmer conditions, breast milk’s composition adjusts to accommodate all of your child’s needs.
- The bowel motions of a breastfed baby are much less stinky and do not irritate the baby’s skin. Thus, diaper rashes are less likely to occur in breastfed infants.
- Constipation or diarrhea is typically not a concern for breast-fed infants.
- Babies that have been breastfed typically wean more easily.
- Infants who are breastfed show a small improvement on early IQ tests.
Cons of Breastfeeding
Although breastfeeding your kid has many benefits, not everyone should do it. Here are a few reasons why women decide not to breastfeed:
- When you are nursing, you are constantly available. You must be present for each and every feeding, day or night, with your breasts. It can be demanding, particularly in the initial few days when you’ll be nursing your child every 2 to 3 hours the whole day.
- Some ladies could feel awkward and ashamed when nursing in front of people or in public. It may become increasingly difficult for you to leave the house with your infant, which could make you feel lonesome or alienated.
- Not all infants latch on right away or breastfeed successfully. You might find that nursing is more difficult than you anticipated and experience disappointment or discouragement. Some people are still learning how to breastfeed.
- When breastfeeding, you need to consider your food and lifestyle. Various things in your diet could cause an allergic response in your infant. As a result, you might have to give up dairy or meat.
What is Baby Formula Feeding?
Commercially made infant formulae are a healthy substitute for mother’s milk and even include several nutrients and minerals that breastfed infants require supplementation for. Commercial formulas are produced in sterile environments and mimic mom’s milk by combining a broad mix of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins which are impossible to make yourself. Therefore, it’s crucial to only use professionally made formula and not attempt to manufacture your own if you do not nurse your infant.
Pros of Baby Formula Feeding
- If you need to go to work, for instance, you have greater leeway in how long you can be away from your child.
- Particularly over the initial few stages while you are nursing your infant on demand, breastfeeding can be exhausting. When you are exhausted, bottle-feeding is simpler to trust, allowing you to get a good night’s sleep and have much more energy.
- Nursing can be uncomfortable; frequent issues include engorgement, leakage, irritated nipples, and breast infections. Your breasts will settle more rapidly after pregnancy if you bottle-feed.
- It could be hard to leave the home with your baby because it might be painful and uncomfortable for you to breastfeed in public. With bottle feeding, this fear is eliminated.
- Some women fear that they won’t be able to supply their baby with adequate milk, and formula feeding eliminates this anxiety.
- Formula feeding is better and safer for mothers suffering from illnesses.
Cons of Baby Formula Feeding
When determining if to formula feed, there are several difficulties to take into account, just like with nursing:
- The produced formula contains no antibodies as seen in mother’s milk. Therefore, the formula cannot offer a newborn the additional defense against viruses and bacteria that breast milk provides.
- It simply can not compete with breast milk’s richness. Breast milk is more sophisticated than manufactured formulae can ever hope to be since it adapts to the child’s changing demands.
- Formula feeding your infant involves preparation and planning to ensure that you do have whatever you need when you really need it, unlike breastmilk, which is infinite, always accessible, and given at the proper temperature. In order to avoid making late-night grocery visits, parents must purchase formula and ensure it is constantly available.
- Additionally, it’s crucial to always keep the appropriate materials clean, handy, and prepared to use; otherwise, you’ll have an extremely hungry, very cranky baby to deal with.
- The formula can get expensive. The lowest-priced form of formula is in the form of powder, next is concentrated, and ready-to-feed is perhaps the most costly.
Choose Combination Feeding
It is not necessary to choose between formula feeding or exclusively breastfeeding. You can partially or completely breastfeed, and many mothers mix breastfeeding, bottle feeding, and breast milk extraction in varying ratios. Combination feeding is best started after 6 weeks of exclusively breastfeeding such that your supply is properly established, but you can attempt it earlier if you ever need to or would like to.
Since breastmilk, especially early breastfeeding, is so good for your baby, many mothers who wish to bottle-feed still choose to nurse during the first few weeks. This indicates that parents give their infant the crucial first milk before introducing formula. In nearly every situation, breastfeeding your child for the first 6 months is the greatest choice for both your wellness and that of your child. This recommendation is made by professionals, even in nations where infant formula is widely available and the water is clean and safe.
However, whether you choose to do it is an individual preference, so you should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of both feeding methods for the mother and the infant. You could do both, in varying amounts and for varying lengths of time, so you are not forced to make a decision.