Advantages of bottle feeding:
- Formula milk takes longer to digest and hence the baby will feel full for a long time and require fewer feeds.
- Bottle feeding allows new moms to relax as feeding responsibilities can be shared. It also makes it easier to leave the baby in the care of others.
- Bottle feeding offers convenience while travelling as new moms do not have to look out for nursing rooms where they can feed their baby.
- New moms who opt for formula feed do not have to worry about their lifestyle habits that could affect their baby.
Challenges of bottle feeding:
- Formula milk is not suitable for babies; it is only a substitute for breast feed. None of the important antibodies found in breast milk are found in formula milk.
- Formula milk does not provide the baby with added protection against infection and illness that breast milk does. Dr Jyoti Kulkarni says bottle fed babies do not develop a strong immune system as formula milk does not contain IGA antibodies that is present in breast milk”. She adds, “Children who are bottle fed are more prone to allergies as formula feed does not contain anti allergens that are secreted through breast milk.”
- Bottle fed babies do not develop a strong immune system and fall sick often with stomach upsets and gastrointestinal problems. Dr Jyoti Kulkarni explains, “Babies generally swallow gas while feeding through the bottle as milk flows very fast and they gulp larger quantities of gas along with milk. If all the gas is not burped out it passes to the intestine that leads to colic.”
- Studies suggest that mothers who do not breast feed their babies are more prone to developing breast cancer.
- Formula milk as well as the feeding bottles are expensive, so new parents experience increase in the overall expenditure.
Exclusive breast feeding until your baby is 6 months is recommended. It has been that there are many new moms who wish to breast feed their babies but also supplement with formula milk. Dr Jyoti Kulkarni advices,“It is not advisable to bottle feed babies for convenience. However, at times formula milk is suggested if the quantity of breast milk is insufficient for the babies.” She adds “Hygiene is another issue that needs to be taken care off when babies are bottle fed. If the bottles are not well sterilized and reused there are chances that the baby may develop infections.”
When you compare the benefits of breast feeding and bottle feeding, breast feeding scores a higher point, purely because of its varied advantages to the mother and the child.
Some new moms are aware that the advantages of breast feeding outweigh the advantages of formula feeding. However; some circumstances dictate the choices that they make. It is suggested that whatever nutritional option you choose, be sure to talk to your doctor to help you make a decision that is best for you and your baby.