This week, we’re discussing Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding. Lucky for you, I’m a fairly decent expert. I’ve breastfed both my children; Cheerio Champ until twelve months, and Princess Cheerio is currently fifteen months and still feeding once a day. I’ve been through the ups and downs and let me tell you: I am so SO glad that I chose to breastfeed. It has been such an amazing bonding experience for my kids and myself, and I feel better knowing that I gave them a great stepping stone in life.
So which is best? Well, the obvious choice is breastfeeding. Ever heard “Breast Is Best”? There are a lot of benefits.
- Free! Formula is expensive.
- Availability. Anytime, anywhere. Boobs are fairly portable.
- Immunity. You pass along antibodies through breast milk to help fight off illness. Breast milk is thought to help stave off ear infections and allergies as well.
- Breastfeeding may protect babies from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
- Decreased risk of cancer and disease in the mother. Studies suggest that breastfeeding lowers the risk for ovarian, uterine, and breast cancers.
- Easily digested. Babes don’t get too gassy from just breast milk, and the diaper changes are a lot less horrifying.
- Calories burned. After having a baby, who doesn’t need to get back into shape? When you are nursing, you have an excuse to consume 500 more calories a day AND you burn while cuddling with your child. Win win!
- Smarter babies. Hey. That’s what they told me.
- Bonding. It is amazing bonding time between mom and baby.
- You get to feel like a super hero! (I make milk. What’s your super power?)
- Your man will adore you. Breasts swell with milk production. ‘Nuff said.
There are a few downsides too.
- More late nights. No pawning off a bottle on your partner to catch some shut eye. You have to get up.
- Pumping can be difficult and uncomfortable, and breast pumps and supplies are not cheap by any means. Mastitis can occur, and let me tell you from experience, you do NOT want that.
- Breastfeeding can also be very challenging. Many new moms expect it to be a breeze. It’s such a natural thing, and it is exactly what nature intended, so it should be easy, right? Wrong. There’s a bit of a learning curve to it.
- Freedom outside the home is limited to your comfort level with nursing in public. Like it or not, there is a (very unfair) stigma against breastfeeding in public. Thus, if you are worried about the evil eye or modesty, your freedom is limited to how long baby can go between feedings and/or the availability of adequate privacy.
- It takes time. We’re talking hours of your day, serving your breasts on a platter for your wee one.
Keep in mind:
- Even though breastfeeding is best for baby, it isn’t necessarily the best choice for you. Some women are unable to breastfeed due to medical considerations in either the baby or the mother.
- Many women just plain don’t have the time to breastfeed. They have full time jobs to get back too pretty much the moment they pop out that little ray of sunshine.
- Breastfeeding for even a short amount of time has long-term benefits for mother and child.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for one year or longer.
- The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until two years of age or beyond.
- What matters most is a healthy, happy baby.