If you are a first-time mom, the biggest decision you have to make is to choose whether to breastfeed or formula-feed your infant. No doubt, breastfeeding has been recommended by most organizations and associations related to health care, but feeding formula to your infant has advantages too.
Whatever your reason is, if you have decided to feed formula to your baby, you shouldn’t feel guilty because you are the one who cares for your child the most and will make the best decision for them. The advantages and disadvantages of feeding baby formula are discussed here to help you make an informed decision.
Note: If you want to find the best formula for your breastfeeding babies, make sure to read this review.
The Advantages of Using Baby Formula
Anyone Can Feed the Baby
One of the main benefits of formula feeding is that it isn’t necessary that the mother should feed the baby. You can give formula to the infant in a bottle, so it can be fed to the baby by the dad or anyone else in the house.
As the mother doesn’t have to attend the baby while feeding, this can be very convenient for her as she can have enough time to rest and do her work while the baby is being fed. Hence, without any restrictions of maternal care, the baby can be taken care of by anyone in the house while the mother gets time to relax.
You Can Measure the Volume
Another big advantage of formula feeding is that you know how much your baby is being fed. With this information, you have an idea that your baby has gotten enough milk for the day.
Different age groups of babies have different recommendations for feeding, and only with bottle feeding can you measure the exact amount your baby is getting. When you know how much your baby is eating, you can increase or decrease the volume of the baby formula according to the baby’s age requirements.
Time and Frequency of Feedings
As you can measure the volume of formula your baby is getting, it gets easier for the mother to plan the baby’s diet accordingly. According to the KidsHealth blog, formula milk takes more time to digest as compared to breastmilk, so a formula-fed baby doesn’t feel hungry frequently.
You can feed your baby once and then for a few hours, according to the infant age group, your baby won’t feel hungry and will appear calm.
No Need to Worry About Your Diet
If your baby is formula fed, they won’t be affected by your diet or physical condition. Medicinenet suggests that no matter what the condition of the mother is, a formula-fed baby will not be affected due to her.
For example, if the mother is taking some medicines to cure her medical condition, a breastfed baby will get it from her, while a formula-fed baby will be free from this concern.
Moreover, a breastfeeding mother has to be very cautious about her diet as the infant gets nutrition from what she eats. If your baby is formula fed, you can eat whatever you want to without being concerned about your infant’s tummy.
The Disadvantages of Baby Formula
Lack of Essential Nutrients and Antibodies
According to the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), breastfeeding is considered to be the best choice as compared with organic formula because it is more nutritious and helps in the proper growth and development of the body.
The American Pregnancy Association also recommends breastfeeding as it improves the baby’s immunity and helps them fight against various diseases. Formula milk doesn’t protect the baby in a way which breast milk does, and this is the biggest disadvantage of it.
Formula Is Expensive
Formula can be expensive as it is made up of specialty ingredients. The hypoallergenic and soy formula can cost even more than normal formula milk brands available on the market. On the other hand, breast milk is free as it is a gift of nature, and you don’t have to pay anyone for that.
While one box of formula doesn’t cost that much, an infant needs to be fed frequently and buying lots of organic formula boxes for the baby can be expensive if you are tight on budget. Moreover, you have to go through different brands of baby formula available and decide which one is the best.
It Can Cause Allergies
According to various studies, some infants can be allergic to organic baby formula. This may be a great concern for parents as they don’t know what is causing this allergy. Formula milk is made up of different ingredients, and an infant can be allergic to any one of them.
Formula-fed babies are also more allergic and prone to various health conditions such as diabetes and obesity in their lives.
It Can Cause Digestion Issues
In a study done at the University of North Carolina, breastfeeding is helpful for digestion. This is because breast milk contains ingredients which ease the digestion and make a baby feel lighter. Formula-fed babies are constipated more often, and they find it difficult to digest easily. This is the reason why breastfed babies poop more as compared to formula-fed babies.
The formula milk is made up of such ingredients that affect the gut bacteria of infants and disturb the overall digestive system. The gut bacteria play an important role in digestion, and it converts the milk into solid food to extract all the nutrition from it.
In the end, the choice of feeding your little one is completely yours as you know your baby and yourself better than others. In most cases and according to most of the recommendations by health organizations, breastfeeding is considered as the ideal nutrition for babies.
Both ways of feeding an infant require extra care, and it is best to make an informed decision. No matter what you choose to feed your baby, do it guilt-free as you know your situation better than anyone else.