Breastfeeding is a natural way for a woman to feed her baby. Many women, after having given birth find that they have a desire to breastfeed their newborn and this may be seen as a natural desire for the mother to bond with her baby.
If a woman chooses, for whatever reason, not to breastfeed but decides she wants to bottle feed instead, then that is her prerogative and no-one should make her feel guilty for opting to choose bottle-feeding over breast-feeding. Indeed, there are advantages and disadvantages to both breast and bottle feeding and both must be weighed up against the other.
Bottle-feeding can be more convenient – especially when out in public. It’s easier to whip out a bottle to feed your child than to sit there albeit discreetly, feeding your baby from your breast. In the Western world, especially, breast feeding in public places still raises eyebrows. That said, the quality of breast-milk and the goodness that it contains therein, are markedly superior to anything you will find on the market.
However, whichever way you look at it, there’s no denying it – overall, breast is best.
There are many advantages to breast-feeding:
– Research studies have consistently shown that babies who are nurtured on breast milk, tend to suffer less from illness than their bottle-fed counterparts. This is because, especially in the early days, when the baby starts to take in colostrum – this is mother’s first milk and contains all antibodies that the mother has to viral and bacterial infections. Therefore, the newborn is also protected by these very same antibodies when it is drinking’s it’s mother’s breast milk.
– Breastfed babies tend to exhibit less signs of chest infections, gastroenteritis and measles
– Breastfeeding enables a closeness and intimacy between a mother and her baby and greatly helps in the bonding process.
– Breast milk has the correct amount of minerals and proteins
– we know that the fat content in breast milk is high in polyunsaturated and low in cholesterol which may provide some protection in later years against heart disease.
– When mum’s breastfeed, they are able to get their figures back into shape much more quickly. This is because most of the weight (fat) gained during pregnancy is lost when a woman starts to breastfeed.
– when a mother breastfeeds, the process of breastfeeding releases a hormone called oxytocin which encourages the uterus to contract and get back to is pre-pregnancy size.
– you never need to sterilise any equipment or store milk in a fridge before use or even heat it up before feeding the baby. Breast milk is a very convenient storage system as well and day or night!