The practice of bottle feeding is common among some nursing mothers as an alternative to breast feeding. This can either be breast milk that is pumped out from the mom and transferred to the bottle or formula milk. In this particular discussion, the topic will be centered on formula feeding. Let us look at the particular contentions on the advantages and disadvantages of this feeding method for babies.
List of Pros of Bottle Feeding
1. Convenient to Prepare.
One of the benefits of bottle feeding is the convenience it gives mothers in the preparation of milk. Mothers can prepare several bottles filled with water and pre-measure the formula and place them on containers. By simply pouring the formula inside the bottle and a little shaking to dissolve it in water, it can now be given to the infant. Conversely, with breast milk, some mothers find the method uncomfortable and painful at times.
2. Anyone Can Feed the Baby.
Bottle feeding is advantageous if the mother is working and cannot attend to the baby at all times. By simply having someone to take care of the baby, say, the dad, nanny or an older sibling, working mothers will be at-ease to know their little ones are given the nutrients they need even on her absence.
3. Always Available.
Mothers who prefer bottle feeding claim that apart from convenience, formula milk is available from supermarkets all the time unlike breast milk which, at times, needs to be pumped but still is not enough. There are nursing mothers who do not have sufficient breast milk and early on have to shift to using formula milk.
List of Cons of Bottle Feeding
1. Can Cause Allergies.
Some mothers are hesitant to bottle feed their babies since studies have been conducted and results showed that infants who are given formula milk are more prone to allergies as well as obesity and diabetes later in life. A study made at the University of North Carolina revealed that breastfeeding improves the digestion of babies. On the other hand, formula feeding affects the gut bacteria in babies that is important to food digestion and the transition from milk to solid food.
2. Not Free.
Another drawback of formula feeding is that it needs to be bought and not really inexpensive unlike breast milk which is free and can be given to babies at night without having to get up and prepare the milk.
3. Lack Nutrients and Prone to Bacteria.
Critics of bottle feeding posit that infants should be given breast milk in the first six months since formula milk do not have natural nutrients that are needed to have healthier babies and more improved immune system of infants. Apart from the possible allergies babies can get, mishandling of the formula milk and poor preparation of feeding bottles can accumulate bacteria and contaminate water which can lead to diseases.
Bottle feeding is a common alternative for breast milk but it does not come without disadvantages. Mothers should carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of formula feeding to ensure babies are getting the enough nutrients they need.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.