Breast feeding a newborn at least in the first six months post-partum, is the most organic and natural method for a healthy baby and a healthier mother. It increases their bond, digests the milk properly and ensures good hormonal functioning in the mother.
But, due to reasons such as mastitis, premature birth, breast tumor, cracked and sore nipples – it is often advised to bottle feed the baby.
Bottle fed milk is usually pumped milk of the lactating mother or it could be formula-based milk, as advised by the physician.
Advantages of bottle feeding:
- Bottle feeding allows flexibility to mothers, especially working mothers. It is not necessary to be around the baby at the feeding time. A caregiver can also feed the baby using the bottle.
- It is hassle free, easy to carry and makes travel or feeding in public convenient.
- Once the child is old enough to hold a bottle, they can drink themselves. A sense of autonomy is instilled early on in life.
- In rare cases, if the baby is lactose intolerant or is allergic to breast milk, then bottle feeding using a formula is the best.
- It allows other members of the family to bond with the baby.
- In case the mother is ill or hospitalized for some reason, then the only option is to bottle feed the child.
Disadvantages of bottle feeding:
- Bottle feeding causes nipple confusion. If a mother is breast feeding and bottle feeding to adjust her needs, then that causes confusion in the newborn. They take time getting used to both or might not like either the nipple or the bottle.
- Breast feeding enhances the bond between the mother and the baby, this body touch is necessary for good digestion and growth in the baby. For the same reason, bottle fed babies are likely to get colic more often.
NOTE: even if the baby is bottle fed, offer both the breasts to the child. Or keep the baby close to the body for warmth. This will ensure health.
- It is a possibility that the bottle is not sanitized properly always, which causes bacterial accumulation and will lead to infections in the baby. It can also cause allergies.
- Bottle fed babies and in particular formula fed babies are likely to develop obesity and diabetes in the future.
- If the mother is pumping into the bottle, then a lot of her time goes by pumping and keeping reserves for the next feed. This can be a tiresome process.
Choose to bottle feed as per requirement only. It is advised even for working mothers to schedule their life according to the babies feeding habits, at least for the first six months. This guarantees optimum weight loss post-partum, maintains good mental health for the mother and is the best time to bond with the baby.