Bottle-feeding vs. Breastfeeding: Pros and Cons

Among the many decisions every expecting mother must make, how we choose to feed our new little bundles is one of the most important. It probably seems everyone in your life has an opinion on this: your mother, your neighbor, your grandmother, your co-worker, your friend, your friend’s co-workers’ grandmother… and the list goes on. While advice and opinions on this matter may be well-intentioned, they can also tend to be overwhelming for a mother-to-be. Each mother must carefully consider both options and make an informed decision on what is best for her and her baby.

We have all heard the motto “Breast is Best”. It is plastered on our ob/gyn’s wall, in our pregnancy books and we even hear it on television. However, there are pros and cons for breastfeeding and bottle-feeding alike.

Breastfeeding

Pros:

  • Can create a unique closeness between you and your baby.
  • May help you lose weight faster – Breastfeeding burns up to 600 calories a day. Of course, a mother who is breastfeeding needs to consume more calories a day. Talk to your nutrition specialist about your diet so that you may optimize your weight loss while breastfeeding.
  • Helps the uterus to shrink faster and reduces bleeding
  • Decreases your risk of certain cancers, type 2 diabetes and strengthens bone density
  • Enhances your baby’s immune system – There is nothing on the market that will match the natural antibodies found in your breast milk.
  • Reduces your baby’s risk of upper respiratory problems (asthma, allergies, etc.), chronic diseases (diabetes, obesity, hypertension, etc.), and SIDS
  • Babies who are breastfed are more likely to excel in school
  • Breast milk may be easier for your child to digest – Some breastfed babies spit up less often than their formula-fed peers. This, however, is not a hard and fast rule.
  • Content in breast milk changes to suit your baby’s changing needs – The colostrum milk (a thick, sticky substance usually yellow to orange in color) produced during pregnancy and in the early days of breastfeeding works as a laxative to help your baby pass his early stools. It also works as a “vaccine” to protect your baby from environmental viruses in his early stages of life. After about two or three days, your milk supply will change to mature breast milk (thinner, opaque to white substance).
  • Less expensive than buying formula – Breastfeeding is not necessarily “free”. Breastfeeding mothers must invest in nursing bras and breast pads to prevent leaking. However, on a long term basis, this is still less expensive than buying formula.
  • Available anytime, anywhere

Cons:

  • Increases your risk for breast infection or mastitis
  • Higher levels of jaundice are found in babies who are breastfed
  • Baby may get dehydrated easier
  • Risk of cavities in infants who are breastfed for over a year – Please note, however, that the risk of cavities is still higher for formula-fed babies.
  • Risk of rickets (vitamin-D deficiency) – especially in darker skinned babies
  • Not necessarily convenient – Although promotion for breastfeeding has made leaps and bounds over the years, there are few places in public that cater to the breastfeeding mother. Many mothers can end up feeling very frustrated over this severe oversight.
  • Must always be available for feeding or provide pumped breast milk if absent – After a long pregnancy and grueling delivery, a new mother needs her rest to recover. Newborns must eat every two to three hours for the first weeks of life. The constant caring for her newborn can leave an already tired mother feeling even more fatigued.
  • First weeks of breastfeeding may be very painful
  • Certain medications can interrupt breastfeeding
  • Your diet can have an effect on the baby

Bottle-feeding

Pros:

  • Allows father and other family members to bond with baby – This also allows the mother to get some much needed rest or “alone” time.
  • Sometimes more convenient – Once the bottle is made you can feed your baby anytime anywhere.
  • You don’t have to worry so much about your diet as it won’t affect your baby
  • Easier to monitor the amount of food your baby is eating
  • Some formulas provide vitamins and nutrients that breastfed babies have to get through supplements
  • Since most formulas are richer than breast milk, frequency of feedings may be decreased

Cons:

  • Although nutritious on their own, formulas just don’t match the antibodies and nutrients of breast milk
  • You will have to strictly follow the preparation instructions – Unless you buy pre-made formula (which only lasts a few hours in the refrigerator once opened) you will have to go through the tedious process of boiling water for each bottle for at least the first six months.
  • According to your baby’s preference, you may have to warm up the bottle before each feeding – This is especially inconvenient while out and about.
  • Baby’s stomach may be more easily upset with formula as it is harder to digest
  • More expensive – Depending on the brand you choose, formula can cost between $50 and $200 per month.

There are so many decisions you have ahead of you with regards to yours and your baby’s well-being. You shouldn’t have to feel pressured to go one way or the other when it comes to whether you breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby.  Every mother’s set of circumstances is different. Every baby is different. Choose which option is best for both of you and move on with this wonderful new phase of your life. Afterall, the most important thing you can give to your baby is your love and affection – and that isn’t hard at all!

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24 Responses to “Bottle-feeding vs. Breastfeeding: Pros and Cons”

  1. The Runaway Lawyer The Runaway Lawyer Says:

    “Not necessarily convenient – Although promotion for breastfeeding has made leaps and bounds over the years, there are few places in public that cater to the breastfeeding mother. Many mothers can end up feeling very frustrated over this severe oversight.”

    In my state, like most states, it is legal to breastfeed wherever it is legal for the mother to be. Therefore, I consider the entire state of Texas to be catering to my breastfeeding needs. It’s a pretty big place and I have yet to be disappointed or frustrated by my lack of options.

  2. The Runaway Lawyer The Runaway Lawyer Says:

    You are also assuming that other family members have no other way of bonding with the baby (bathing, dressing, cuddling, rocking, burping….) and that they couldn’t otherwise fill this need with a bottle of expressed breastmilk.

    Further, some of your statements lack important clarifying details and thus sound far more frightening than the true level of risk, such as breastfeeding causing infant dehydration.

  3. Am Am Says:

    I take issue with a few points of the article, also. Vitamin D deficiency and even rickets can occur in breastfed OR formula fed babies. New research shows that neither group gets enough D, so babies generally need supplemental D. Also, even though I breastfed and will again in the future, I don’t know if breastfeeding has actually been shown to help children excel in school. In my understanding, a study of preemie babies showed that the breastfed ones had slightly higher IQs, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into BF=genius.

    Also, where do you get that formula is often richer than breastmilk? My pumped milk had a ton of cream on top of it, and my daughter still wanted to eat all the time.

    Breastfeeding is not free, you are correct, but the price of bras and nursing pads is a drop in the bucket. Pumping moms need pumps and milk collection accessories. Most breastfeeding moms require some extra food daily as well.

    I really think there are some major factual issues with this post.

  4. The Runaway Lawyer The Runaway Lawyer Says:

    I keep coming back to this because it’s bothering me a great deal.

    You state that “Since most formulas are richer than breast milk, frequency of feedings may be decreased.”

    “Richer” has a very loaded connotation in this context and erroneously implies that breastmilk is watery or otherwise insufficient. It’s a poor choice of words, to say the least. The truth is that breastmilk is naturally more easily digestible being as it is made specifically for the baby, thus is digests slightly more quickly. I don’t consider the fact that formula is more difficult to digest (and therefore takes longer and produces stinkier…results) a benefit, per se. Standard infant formula is manufactured to contain the same number of fat and calories as breastmilk because breastmilk is scientifically and nutritionally perfect.

    The bottom line is that if you aren’t going to do a thorough job covering this topic, it’s probably best just to link to someone who has rather than offer substandard advice – there are loads of very good resources out there such as kellymom.com or Dr. Sears: http://askdrsears.com/html/2/T020100.asp

    There are also real health risks associated with infant formula that should be seriously researched by anyone considering using it; a quick internet search will turn up plenty of legitimate sources on the subject.

  5. Michele_McCulloch Michele_McCulloch Says:

    Thank you for commenting. I certainly did not intend to frighten anyone, but according to my research, this is a true risk to breastfeeding and is more common than some people think.

    http://www.mcg.edu/pediatrics/ccnotebook/chapter1/breastfeeding.htm

    I’m also sorry you felt I was assuming that family members have no other way of bonding with the baby. My assignment was to write about the pros and cons of breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. If I am fortunate to be assigned with an article on how other family members can bond with a newborn, I will be sure to include your suggestions.

    As far as breastfeeding in public, it has been my personal experience that, while perhaps legal to breastfeed anywhere, it’s not necessarily comfortable. My first daughter did not like being covered up by a blanket as she nursed and I ended up exposed many times in public. Some public restrooms in my city have accomodated the breastfeeding mother by including a sitting area in the women’s restroom. If this were more common, those of us who are not as comfortable exposing ourselves anywhere would have a more private option.

  6. Blair Blair Says:

    Frankly this article seems very biased towards formula feeding. It seems to come from the perspective that formula feeding is the norm rather than breastfeeding being the norm. Even if formula is the norm in the US, it’s not the biological norm. For example, you say, “Reduces your baby’s risk of upper respiratory problems (asthma, allergies, etc.), chronic diseases (diabetes, obesity, hypertension, etc.), and SIDS.” From a breastfeeding normative point of view, breastfeeding does not reduce those risks. Rather, formula feeding INCREASES the risk for the above ailments.

    Further, some of this stuff is just silliness. Bottles help family members bond with the baby? That’s ludicrous–there are many, many ways to bond with a baby and I believe most parents of breastfed babies would agree that fathers can bond quite adequately through diaper changing, bathing, and just good old fashioned snuggling and skin to skin. I have bottlefed and I have breastfed “on the go” and I assure you that breastfeeding is much, MUCH more convenient. There’s no need to “monitor the amount of food your baby is eating” when he has free access to the breast and is receiving the perfect food for him. There are simple ways of telling if a baby is getting enough at the breast.

    Finally–while it’s true that “love and affection” are great gifts to give your child, I hope that along with that there is room for common sense. There is a lot of very compelling research in favor of breastfeeding. This decision is not like deciding what color to paint the nursery–it can have effects on your child’s health that last a lifetime. I feel that it’s misleading to present breastfeeding or formula feeding as equal choices when, while both are VALID choices, they are not equal.

  7. momof6 momof6 Says:

    “The bottom line is that if you aren’t going to do a thorough job covering this topic, it’s probably best just to link to someone who has rather than offer substandard advice”

    “Frankly this article seems very biased towards formula feeding.” … “I feel that it’s misleading to present breastfeeding or formula feeding as equal choices when, while both are VALID choices, they are not equal.”

    WOW – Where is all this animosity coming from?

    BIASED? How do you know if this writer bottle-fed or breastfed?

    The fact that she does not state it tells me she is trying to cover both OPTIONS in an UNBIASED way!

    I do not get where the writer is doing anything other than giving PROS and CONS.

    As the reader our responsibility is to continue to do research and these Pros & Cons give the reader a place to start.

    BUT having such mean comments and replies do absolutely nothing!

    I have had both pleasant and unpleasant breast feeding experiences with 6 of my children and I would venture to say NO TWO (or 6) experiences are the same.

    While I would have loved an article like this to help me, your replies are hurtful as they are absolutely BIASED.

    Whether you agree or disagree is of course your right but to slam the writer is NOT helping the new mothers who can benefit from reading these pros and cons and come to THEIR own UNBIASED conclusions without the BIASED comments in these replies.

    Thank you to the writer for opening this discussion up. I will now continue my research with weighing the pros and cons.

  8. Michele_McCulloch Michele_McCulloch Says:

    Just to clear up any confusion, I breast-fed my first daughter for 15 months and am happily breastfeeding my second.

  9. The Runaway Lawyer The Runaway Lawyer Says:

    Hi, Momof6 and Michelle

    Whether the writer breastfed or used formula is immaterial to me. Some (not all) of her assertations were poorly written or overgeneralizations, even, as Am pointed out, some of the “pro” breastfeeding ones.

    For example this one:

    “Risk of cavities in infants who are breastfed for over a year – Please note, however, that the risk of cavities is still higher for formula-fed babies. ”

    It is technically true, but the word choice seems to indicate that cavities are not an issue if you wean before a year is up. Some people might add this to the “reasons why I should wean at 12 months” list. Furthermore, if the incidence of cavities is higher in formula-fed babies, why is this even on the breastfeeding “con” list? It’s reaching, at the very least.

    As mentioned, “richer” is a very poor choice as well and the fact that formula is more difficult to digest probably is a “con” for formula rather than for breastfeeding.

    The truth is, there are vastly more “pros” to breastfeeding – anyone with common sense knows this. It may not be better for mom, but if it’s available, it is going to be better for the baby and that’s the priority here, right? There are some perfectly valid reasons for using formula, of course, but it does come with some pretty big negatives, if not on an individual basis, then on a larger scale.

    My opinion is that to make what appear to be an “unbiased” article, given the numerous positive aspects of nursing, the writer had to manufacture a few more “cons” for the breastfeeding list, but in doing so, made some overgeneralizations and some not-totally-true statements. I don’t think she’s a terrible person by any stretch. I do think more research could have been put into the article, some of her statements could have come with clarification, and her words could have been more carefully chosen.

    If someone came onto my blog and picked at my words, I’d be defensive too – I get it. Come on over and pick something apart if it helps. ;)

    And lastly, Momof6, you seem concerned about “bias.” I assume that means breastfeeding and formula should be treated equally? If so, that’s an impractical and irresponsible goal; they simply aren’t equal and treating them as such (which, to be clear, I do not believe this author has done) is not only willful ignorance, but a disservice to both mothers and babies. If a mother wants to use formula, that’s her prerogative, but she’s entitled to the facts concerning how it might affect her baby, facts which fall very clearly in favor of breastfeeding.

    If after all this, a mom wants to use formula, then accept the risks, own your educated decision and go for it, but minimizing the risks to rationalize that decision benefits no one. In fact, ignoring and marginalizing the risks also allows formula companies to remain complacent and avoid bettering their own product, which, for those who choose to use formula, is really something to think about. Demand better instead of defending the status quo.

  10. Bonnie Bonnie Says:

    Debate is good, just play nice, mommies, please…

    And remember, the podcasts linked here truly do have everything you need to know about breast and bottle feeding. They’re evidence-based and feature some of the most prominent experts in the field (and one of the mommies posting furiously on this thread!).

    We want good, evidence based info so we can make good decisions as parents, right? If you listen to the podcasts, you know I combo fed, and am as much of an expert as a mommy can be on both breast and bottle feeding.

    For the rest I spoke with the experts.

    There are pros and cons with both approaches, and with the combo approach, as well.

    These are our blogger’s interpretations of the pros and cons. Some are supported by evidence and experts, some are not.

    This is *her* take on it. I’m so glad she has shared it with us!

    I thank you all for sharing your insights and information, as well.

    Now listen to the podcasts, y’all!

    …and hug. Now! I said HUG! Thank you. <3

  11. The Runaway Lawyer The Runaway Lawyer Says:

    I don’t have a podthingie. You’ll have to call me and recite it over the phone, ok?

  12. momof6 momof6 Says:

    Sorry for 1 more post – I was writing this before Bonnie came on and told us to HUG ;)

    I just felt a different perspective had to be noted …

    First, thank you Michele for letting us know you have and are having a happy time breast feeding your children. Well Blair, I guess that clears it up as to whether or not she was writing with a biased view.

    Hi Runaway Lawyer,

    Simply put, I did not get the same strong feelings about the article as you did.

    What concerns me most is the fact that you are SO anti bottle-feeding under ALL circumstances.

    … “If a mother wants to use formula, that’s her prerogative, but she’s entitled to the facts concerning how it might affect her baby, facts which fall very clearly in favor of breastfeeding.” …

    In my opinion your words are clearly intended to intimidate those who do not breast feed.

    You fail 1 basic principle when taking such a hard a fast stance – Sometimes the very life of a baby can be in harms way if a mother fails to understand that as much as she wants to breastfeed, her milk may not be enough to nourish her baby.

    THOSE mothers are the ones you are intimidating with your words.

    Personally –I had to make the choice, literally for my child’s life, to put her on formula. But I had 5 other children that I was able to nurse and for that I was happy to have that experience.

    And that’s the point – Some mothers do not have any other experiences than 1 child.

    Ask yourself – What do you accomplish with taking such a stand when it comes to mothers who are not able to breast feed?

    Just another perspective to consider when blogging ;)

    That’s all I feel like saying. No hurt feelings intended for anyone – Just felt the writer was being slammed for an article in which she was clearly trying to be unbiased.

    Good Night All :)

  13. The Runaway Lawyer The Runaway Lawyer Says:

    “What concerns me most is the fact that you are SO anti bottle-feeding under ALL circumstances. ”

    Not true. I said specifically that IF breastmilk is available, it is the best option for the infant. If it is not available (physically not available or contaminated by medications, for example), clearly, it is not an option. If it is not available, in whole or in part, and you do not have access (usually by prescription, therefore unrealistic) to a milk bank or other viable source of mother’s milk, then formula is an acceptable alternative.

    “Baby formula” is really just a pretty name for human breastmilk substiture or artificial human milk and while it does the job it needs to do, it isn’t the same and will never be the same. I am convinced that fewer people would purchase it if it was actually labeled as “artificial human milk.” “Dried Plums” really does sound tastier than “Prunes,” doesn’t it?

    Consider blood: the medical industry has tried repeatedly to make a human blood substitute but it comes up short every time and it always will. Science is never going to be able to perfectly reproduce such a vital bodily fluid. The same goes for formula – it’s considerably better than what people with no access to breastmilk would use if they didn’t have formula, and it’s improved vastly over the first infant formulas, but it will never be equal to breastmilk, no matter how many how much is spent to advertise the product and make it look appealing. Consumers should know what they are getting when they buy that can.

    I’m not going to shy away from providing that information because it’s not an opinion, it’s an absolute fact. And I acknowledge it might be a scary fact if you are faced with the possibility of using formula because it’s your only option – I really do get that, but it’s not a reason for anyone to stick their head in the sand. And if you are faced with using formula, you inform yourself (see the last article below) and you do the very best that you can in every other regard.

    If I have an incompetant cervix and as a result give birth to a preemie who has health problems, I shouldn’t blame my body for “failing” or not trying hard enough to keep the baby in any more than I should blame myself for having a shellfish allergy or any other medical condition. No, it is what it is, you accept that, and you make the best of it.

    If you truly can’t breastfeed, it’s like any other medical condition – you do the best you can and don’t look back. There’s no need to harbor guilt or resentment about it, but it does no good to fear the facts either. Information is power, even if it makes you uncomfortable.

    Further, products improve because consumers demand it – ignoring information is akin to complacency. Formula companies are not benevolent entities – they are corporations like any other corporation and they strive for profits first and foremost.

    Keep in mind that there are unacceptable contaminants in many infant formulas. Families deserve better. We should demand better:

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/12/04/bpa.formula/
    http://www.foodqualitynews.com/Food-Alerts/Infant-formula-contamination-could-harm-brain-development-finds-study
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/26/us/26formula.html

    Lastly, here is a recent CNN article on the financial cost of formula: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/04/05/breastfeeding.costs/index.html?iref=allsearch

    “”The United States incurs $13 billion in excess costs annually and suffers 911 preventable deaths per year because our breastfeeding rates fall far below medical recommendations,” the report said.”

    Here is a very good compilation of information for people who are considering either supplementing or full time formula-feeding: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/milk/infant-formula.html

    And here is an interesting link on how to optimize the health of your formula-fed baby: http://thebabybond.com/FormulaFeedingNecessary.html

  14. Blair Blair Says:

    I still see bias in an article that attempts to treat formula and breast as equal. The author may be a breastfeeder herself, but the article is written from a formula normative perspective. Runaway Lawyer may have a point when she says that perhaps the author attempted to equalize the two in an effort to appear balanced.

    It’s true that I have my own bias–I am very in favor of breastfeeding for those who are able. Science happens to be on my side. Any article that attempts to equalize breast and bottlefeeding without thoroughly exploring the real and actual health risks of using formula. There was a huge study that was all over the news a week or two ago, also linked from this blog, that reported that 911 babies die in the US per year from lack of breastfeeding, all other things being equal.

    My heart goes out to women who cannot breastfeed. In fact, I am a volunteer who spends a portion of my time helping women to achieve their breastfeeding goals when possible, and that includes supporting women who have some physical barrier to breastfeeding. Many of those women are able to give their babies some breastmilk even if they are not able to breastfeed exclusively. As I mentioned previously, I used formula with my first daughter in her first month of life. For a woman who either can not or will not breastfeed, I thoroughly embrace the use of infant formula–how else would a baby get fed? As I said in my previous post, formula is a valid choice. But it’s not equal to breastfeeding.

    Momof6–I would argue that if there was a medical reason your baby was unable to breastfeed then it was not a “choice” to formula feed. So my comment about equalizing the choice of formula feeding would not be directed towards you. I’m not even really taking issue with women who choose to formula feed here. It’s the way the information is presented here that bugs me.

    This article is directed towards women who are trying to make the decision whether or not to breastfeed. My hope is that all mothers have access to thorough and evidence-based information when they are making this decision. I feel like this particular post, with its sketchy “facts” and omission of certain information about formula, misses the mark.

  15. Bonnie Petrie Bonnie Petrie Says:

    My only concern is the *evidence basis* of the info provided. This is as a journalist and someone well into a Masters Degree program in Child Development and Family Studies. That is why I push you back to the podcast. They include experts, evidence with a healthy dollop of mommy experience.

    This post we are discussing is a blog post. Blog posts are not held to journalistic standards. That’s just a fact.

    I appreciate all of the insight here. The original post and the follow ups. Some factual concerns with the original post are being cleared up, so yay!

    Every mommy and mommy to be has a voice here at Pea. Everyone has something valuable to contribute. This post, and every response, is helpful for those trying to make decisions about how to feed their baby. As are the podcasts.

    I heart you all!

  16. The Runaway Lawyer The Runaway Lawyer Says:

    Diplomacy aside, Bonnie, I would argue that a blog post on the official website of a parenting resource and a (fantastic) podcast series full of real experts should be held to a higher degree of accuracy when presenting opinion as fact. Maybe not to true journalistic standards, but certainly higher than your run of the mill mommy blog. Inaccurate, even if well-intentioned, Blog posts like this reflect on the entire site.

    One last point – and this is about poor word choice as much as anything, but the introduction states, “Each mother must carefully consider both options and make an informed decision on what is best for her and her baby.” With that assertation, the writer implies that formula “must” be considered as a viable option by women who are fully capable of breastfeeding.

    May they consider it? Certainly – and they should research it well. But “must” they? Of course not – they needn’t give formula a second thought (or even a first one!) if they don’t have a medical need for it. This is the type of insidious thinking that has formula manufacturers drooling with delight.

    Again – as Blair pointed out, the formula-normative language is pervasive. It’s probably so pervasive that the writer herself didn’t think anything of it and, honestly, most people wouldn’t – but it is hard evidence of how formula marketing works and how it has crept into our culture further than most people realize.

    Nothing I have written states that women cannot choose to use formula, but in an ideal-for-babies situation, breastfeeding would be perfectly accepted and the natural first choice for most mothers. There should also be a LOT more support out there from the health care professionals, at home, and in the workplace to allow this to happen, of course, but even without that, mothers should never EVER be told that we “must,” however fleetingly, consider formula.

  17. Victoria Victoria Says:

    Wow, what a robust conversation!

    From the perspective a very new mommy (our baby girl was born on 2/15/10), this is a multilayered issue.

    Regardless of whether this article is biased or not, there are pros and cons to both breastfeeding and bottle feeding. The bottom line is that parents have to make informed decisions as to what is best for their babies (with the guidance from a trained professional).

    My husband and I had very good, well intentioned plans for breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and working from home upon the birth of our child. Needless to day, what may be deemed “idea” isn’t always reality.

    With regard to breastfeeding, I wasn’t very successful. Two years prior to having my baby, I had breast reduction surgery to alleviate chronic back pain. I was well informed of the risks (not being able to breastfeed, etc.) However, I wouldn’t know if I could breastfeed until my baby was born. My doctor was confident that I would be able to breastfeed.

    As it turns out, my baby didn’t latch and I couldn’t pump enough milk to supplement her feedings. (Less than 1 oz. – both breasts combined!) Of course, I felt horrible but also reminded myself that babies can be nourished by breast milk or formula.

    So, down the formula path we went. We’ve had to change her formula two times since her birth due to a mild case of acid reflux. My husband and I have done a considerable amount of research and have dubbed ourselves “formula scientists”. We are trying very hard to figure out (with the guidance of our pediatrician) what works best for our daughter.

    It is important that parents seek reliable, empirical information in order to make informed decisions.

    A couple of things to consider:

    1) Breastfeeding isn’t always the “natural choice” for mothers. There are several factors that play into a woman’s decision to or not to breastfeed (i.e. physical health, emotional, mental, lifestyle). However, this does not negate the benefits of breastfeeding.

    2) One of the major benefits of breastfeeding is the attaching/bonding component. There are some fathers who feel left out of the feeding experience when a mother breastfeeds. My husband had major concerns about this. Sure he diapers, dresses, and plays with our little girl. But he also wanted to feed our daughter. In order to include him, we made the decision for me to pump and feed directly from the breast ( but…this never came to be). This is a very valid and real concern of many fathers…we should not trivialize this.

  18. Bonnie Bonnie Says:

    I love y’all waaay more than my luggage!

  19. Sylva Sylva Says:

    Why aren’t the true risks of bottlefeeding given? They are all very genuinely given as “pros” of breastfeeding – but honestly, give breastfeeding the credit it deserves in terms of health and normalcy. Bottlefeeding has an incredible number of risks – and a lifetime of greater expense than formula. Higher risks of diabetes, obesity, cancers, for mom and baby.

    No, not all women will be able to nurse their children successfully. And our culture and health care (ie: hospitals where your baby starts his/her life) really undermine women’s desires to breastfeed their children, so that far fewer women succeed than attempt (about 75% of all moms attempt to nurse at least once. By 3 months, the breastfeeding babies number far less – 33%!). Give women the credit they deserve and let’s devote our energies to how to succeed at breastfeeding!

    How can we support more moms in breastfeeding and eliminate the poor “information” from formula sources. Even webMD’s section on breastfeeding is paid for by – get this – a formula company!! Vile. It undermines all good intentions and the accurate information out there

  20. Puddin Puddin' Pie Says:

    I think that while everyone has excellent points, everyone is also overlooking one very serious point, and possibly contributing to it: Post Partum Depression. Women who recently had a baby have to deal with more than just herself and the baby- she has to deal with her other immediate family, family that lives close, family that lives far away, perfect strangers on the street, friends, best friends, creepy men in trenchcoats..
    And instead of asking her how SHE is doing, these people want to dictate to her how she should be managing her life and her baby’s nutritional needs.
    Get a life of your own, and stop acting like any choice that someone makes is not going to be good enough. The moment we live to please the rest of the world is the moment we become slaves to it as well.

    There are pros and cons that come with both breast and bottle feeding- and sitting here bickering about which way is best or which is safest or smartest is completely counterproductive, not to mention hurtful and damaging to women who want the best for their babies. It is nice to let people know the facts, the risks, and the benefits, but there is absolutely no reason to turn this into some kind of personal vendetta against each other.

    I did both- and I did it because people pressured me too much when I had my son, and I had very bad post partum depression, anyways. Actually, using both formula and nursing, my son was overall very healthy, aside from having reflux due to an underdeveloped esophagal valve. If you care to know about how I was doing- Well I was exhausted and by the 8th week, I was fed up with snooty uppity people like yourselves who were on a constant power trip, because it made me feel like I could not weigh out my options and make an informed decision on my own.

    Sometimes you have to let things GO.. it’s okay- the world will keep on spinning.. no harm no foul. <3

  21. Blair Blair Says:

    Just FYI, I’m taking issue with the punctuation in the first sentence of the second paragraph.

  22. Danielle Danielle Says:

    “Babies who are breastfed are more likely to excel in school.”

    This has been proven to be a fallacy.

  23. shawn shawn Says:

    Boy you can see how “touchy” the hardcore breast women are from the comments on here! The things they read into the facts the author states are very funny at times. If option “A” is 1% more likely then option B” to occur…it’s still a fact and true statement.

    The hardcores with breast vs. bottle are right up there with Jesus, abortion and immigration reform…a hardcore topic dominated by those on one side!

  24. Susan Susan Says:

    I’m glad to see that women are getting bold enough to challenge the “experts” on breastfeeding. Afterall, it was the experts on infant feeding from 30 years ago who were challenged by women leading to a turnaround towards breastfeeding. Unfortunately, governments have realized that with breastfeeding and our total motherhood culture they have a way of shifting all burden for infant feeding to women without having to provide the right conditions for breastfeeding that is why breastfeeding is so much easier for white, middle-class women with money and mat leaves(see Linda Blum’s book). I don’t trust the thrust towards breastfeeding because governments have motives for pushing it. It is cheap for them to tell women to breastfeed and it makes it look as though infant health is a women’s sole responsibility. There are many other factors which are equally, if not more important to infant health which are more expensive for governments even if they are more fair to women such as better, affordable daycare, better healthcare, less pollution to inhale, better foods, etc.




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