Formula feeding: benefit over Breastfeeding
Commercially prepared infant formulas are a nutritious alternative to breast milk, and even contain some vitamins and nutrients that breastfed babies need to get from supplements.
Manufactured under sterile conditions, commercial formulas attempt to duplicate mother’s milk using a complex combination of proteins, sugars, fats, and vitamins that aren’t possible to create at home. So if you don’t breastfeed your baby, it’s important to use only commercially prepared formula and not try to make your own.
Besides medical concerns that may prevent breastfeeding, for some women, breastfeeding may be too difficult or stressful.
Here are other reasons women may choose to formula feed:
Either parent (or another caregiver) can feed the baby a bottle at any time. This allows mom to share the feeding duties and helps her partner to feel more involved in the crucial feeding process and the bonding that often comes with it.
Once the bottles are made, a formula-feeding mother can leave her baby with a partner or caregiver and know that her little one’s feedings are taken care of.
There’s no need to pump or to schedule work or other obligations and activities around the baby’s feeding schedule. And formula-feeding moms don’t need to find a private place to nurse in public.
Time and frequency of feedings
Because the formula is less digestible than breast milk, formula-fed babies usually need to eat less often than breastfed babies.
Women who opt to formula feed don’t have to worry about the things they eat or drink that could affect their babies.
Making a Choice
Deciding how you will feed your baby can be a hard decision. You’ll really only know the right choice for your family when your baby comes.
Many women decide on one method before birth and then change their minds after their baby is born. And many women decide to breastfeed and supplement with formula because they find that is the best choice for their family and their lifestyle.
While you’re weighing the pros and cons, talk to your doctor or lactation consultant. These health care providers can give you more information about your options and help you make the best decision for your family.
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