Breastfeeding Or Bottle Feeding: The Better Choice In Parenting

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As a new mother, there are many decisions that she must make on how to raise her child the way she wants to raise him or her. One of the most important decisions that mothers have to make is whether they are going to breastfeed or bottle feed. As with many decisions in life, there are always pros and cons to either decisions. Dr. Hinde states that “breast milk is considered liquid gold and breastfeeding is a gold standard” (Bock, 2016). Through my research I do believe that the pros; however, do outweigh the cons for breastfeeding.

Among many of the pros to breastfeeding a child, are the short and long term health benefits that both the mother and child can receive. Research has shown the breastfeeding a child can help prevent infections, diseases, and obesity as well as increase cognitive development and ensure normal growth (Anatolitou, 2012). Breast milk is the best source of nutrients because it contains different antibodies, enzymes, hormones, and lives cell that help fight infections and provides all nourishments for a new born baby that cannot be added to formula (What’s in Breast Milk?, 2017). All the nourishments found in breast milk can help babies maintain healthy weights and works well with their gastrointestinal system. Since it conforms well with the human digestion system it can decrease the chances of a baby developing bad cases of diarrhea as seen with formula fed babies. (Rathus, 2018). Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is a something that all parents fear, and some studies have found that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of SIDS by around 36 percent (Anatolitou, 2012).

Additionally, breastfeeding not only has health benefits for a child but it also has it for the mother as well. Mothers who are breastfeeding can have a quicker recovery after delivery allowing the uterus to shrink quicker and have less uterine bleeding. This is all due to the increased concentrations of oxytocin from breastfeeding. Along with a quicker recovery, mothers can decrease their likelihood of developing ovarian or breast cancer later in life. Studies have also shown that breastfeeding can have a positive impact on women’s mental health by helping to prevent postpartum depression (Anatolitou, 2012). According to Rathus (2018), postpartum depression is where “of new mothers have periods of tearfulness, sadness, and irritability’ after delivering their child and this occurs in about 70 percent of new mothers (pg. 57).

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Furthermore, in an economic standpoint, formula is expensive whereas breast milk is natural and free. Depending of the brand, the price of a one-month supply of formula can cost between $54 to $298. Also, you will need all of the supplies to be able to feed a baby formula, such as bottles and nipples, which can increase the cost of bottle feeding compared to breastfeeding (Breastfeeding Vs Bottle Feeding, 2018). There are many things that are not in formula that a child may need that is in breast milk. This could add on more cost if a child needs a certain nutrition or supplement added to their formula. Even if a mother just breastfeeds for a few months, that decrease the cost of feeding a baby milk by a large amount. In addition, the cost of medical bills due to a sick baby may decrease if you breastfeed because the different antibodies that you baby receives from breast milk can help fight infections. Financially, it would be more cost efficient for women to breastfeed rather the bottle feed formula.

Finally, even though there are many benefits to breastfeeding, there are all disadvantages to it. There is a risk of mothers transferring infections such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through breastfeeding since breast milk is a bodily fluid (Rathus, 2018). Another disadvantage would be that it is more time consuming then formula feeding. It only takes a few minutes to make a bottle of formula compared to breastfeeding a baby. Mothers also will have to pump if they have missed a feeding since this can cause their breast swell and to become painful if not relieved (Breastfeeding Vs Bottle Feeding, 2018). Lastly, mother have to be careful what the eat and drink while breastfeeding since that can affect the contents of their breast milk so she will need to eat a proper and healthy diet (Rathus, 2018).

All in all, the pros seem to outweigh the cons of breastfeeding. There more mothers are now breastfeeding because of their new knowledge on the health benefits for both her and her baby (Rathus, 2018). With all of the health and cost benefits of breastfeeding, I would recommend breastfeeding for any mother given the benefits it has for both mother and child. I also know that there are a lot of mothers out there who physically cannot breastfeed whether it is medical concerns or their baby has issues trying to latch. The best saying I have heard around my town is that “A fed baby is the best baby”.

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