We all know there is a real pressure to breastfeed your baby. Some people couldn’t imagine doing anything other than breastfeed and others don’t necessarily mind whether their baby is breastfed or formula fed. As long as their baby is fed! You’ll find no matter what you read or which healthcare professional you speak to they will all favour breastfeeding.
So I have written this blog to give you a real overview on feeding as a whole. You can then make up your mind as to whether you breastfeed or formula feed.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
According to the NHS In the UK alone, more than 73% of mothers start breastfeeding their babies. It is a fact that formula milk does not give the same protection to your baby from illness and does not benefit you in any way at all. The NHS have given 5 reasons as to why mothers decide to breastfeed which I have listed below:
- your breast milk is perfectly designed for your baby
- breast milk protects your baby from infections and diseases
- breastfeeding provides health benefits for you
- breast milk is available for your baby whenever your baby needs it
- breastfeeding can build a strong emotional bond between you and your baby
They have explained that breastfeeding provides health benefits for you as a mum and your baby. I feel these benefits are important for you to know before making your decision.
Breastfeeding reduces your baby’s risk of:
- infections, with fewer visits to hospital as a result
- diarrhoea and vomiting, with fewer visits to hospital as a result
- sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- childhood leukaemia
- cardiovascular disease in adulthood
Breastfeeding lowers mums risk of:
- breast cancer
- ovarian cancer
- osteoporosis (weak bones)
- cardiovascular disease
Practically breastfeeding is quick and simple. Baby wakes up in the night you don’t need to worry about making a bottle you can just feed immediately. It’s practical. However it’s not so practical when you are out in public. Some mum’s wont feed in public, so breastfeeding becomes difficult.
Benefits of combination feeding
After doing some research I must say it appears to be very difficult to find an article where they are not in favour of breastfeeding. I aim to remain very non bias and give you the pros and cons of combination feeding.
One of the main reasons mums will combination feed is because they are perhaps heading back to work and need someone else to look after the baby and therefore need to make sure they have enough milk. These days, I personally believe more work places are making it easier and more comfortable for mums to express privately during working hours in order to keep up their milk production. However, I personally would not feel comfortable doing this and I’m sure others wouldn’t either.
According to the NHS (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/combining-breast-and-bottle/) reasons for combination feeding are:
- are breastfeeding and want to use a bottle to offer your baby some expressed breast milk
- want to breastfeed for some of your baby’s feeds, but give bottles of formula for one or more feeds
- are bottle feeding your baby and want to start breastfeeding
- need to leave your baby and want to make sure they have some milk while you’re away
They do also explain that introducing formula feeds will probably reduce the amount of breast milk you produce. If this is the route you decide to take you may find it easier to exclusively breastfeed for the first 4-6 weeks so you and your baby have established breastfeeding before introducing a bottle. When you introduce a bottle your baby needs to learn how to use a different kind of suck.
Personally, as a mum I think combination feeding is great to get all the benefits of breastfeeding whilst also having some freedom. You can leave your little one with someone else knowing they will be ok with feeding.
If you don’t want to breastfeed in public then you don’t have to. But if you want to breastfeed your baby at home, you can. It’s the best of both worlds providing you ensure you keep your milk supply going.
Benefits of formula feeding
So I must be 100% honest and tell you that I could not find anything to explain any benefits to formula feeding. This personally I find disgusting. Of course there are benefits. There are pros and cons to everything. I understand that there are more health benefits to breastfeeding, but there must be some pro’s to formula feeding. So this is my personal opinion on the benefits of formula feeding:
- Both you and Your partner can feed
- You don’t have to get undressed to feed in public
- Your partner can help out at night so you can sleep
- When you breastfeed you should also supplement with Vitamin D. whilst formula feeding you don’t.
- You don’t need to supplement with Vitamin D
I really hope my blog on breastfeeding Vs Formula feeding has really helped you make a decision on what type of feeding best suits you, your baby and the rest of your family. It makes no difference to anyone else whether you chose to breastfeed or formula feed, it just needs to be right for you.