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Aug 24, 2021

It’s a debate almost as old as time itself: breastfeeding vs bottle feeding your baby. We know that every mom and baby is different, so you should decide what is best. Here are some of the advantages of both feeding methods: bottle and breast!

Advantages of bottle feeding

Whether you decide to bottle feed your baby expressed breast milk or formula, there are advantages to bottle feeding your baby:

  1. Formula doesn’t run low
    There are a few moms who are unable to breastfeed as often as they would like or are not able to breastfeed at all due to a low supply of breast milk. Your baby may also struggle to latch on to your breast to feed. Bottle feeding a suitable formula milk helps to ensure that your baby gets the nutrients they need. 
  2. You can keep track of intake
    Measurements are usually visible on feeding bottles. It’s, therefore, easier to keep track of your baby’s daily intake than it is when you’re breastfeeding. You will also get a better idea of much your baby needs to feel full.
  3. Formula may help your baby feel full for longer
    If your baby drinks formula, you may experience fewer feeding times. This is because formula takes longer to digest than breast milk. Breastfed babies usually need feeding every two to three hours.
  4. Anyone can feed your baby anywhere, anytime
    Dad can get on-board to help feed baby in the early morning hours, giving them a good opportunity to bond. Babysitting and day care also become easier for external caregivers, whether you choose to bottle feed formula or expressed breast milk. You may also feel less awkward feeding your baby in public with a bottle, and you do not need to worry about not being able to breastfeed should you become ill.
  5. Formula helps with lactose intolerance
    If your baby is lactose intolerant – a rare occurrence in babies – a suitable formula could be fed from a bottle instead of breastmilk.

Advantages of breastfeeding

Even though it may take some time for you and your baby to get right, there are many advantages to breastfeeding if you decide to go this route.

  1. Health benefits for baby
    Breast milk not only has the right balance of nutrients that your baby needs, it also naturally has antioxidants and antibodies to help your baby build a strong immune system. Breastfeeding also helps to prevent allergies, eczema, stomach problems, ear infections, respiratory illness, childhood obesity and diabetes.
  2. Health benefits for mom
    You could also reap the health benefits of breastfeeding. You may find it easier to lose weight after pregnancy. Breastfeeding also helps your uterus to contract to its normal size and, because your body produces stress-relieving hormones while breastfeeding, you’re less likely to be at risk of postpartum depression. More importantly, breastfeeding may help you to lower your risk of various diseases, including ovarian and breast cancers, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, endometriosis, and osteoporosis.
  3. Save time and money
    You don’t need to spend time sterilising bottles, measuring formula, and making sure that the milk is at the right temperature before feeding your baby. Breast milk is always available, if you are able to breastfeed, is clean and always at the right temperature for feeding. You will also save money on bottles and formula.

Bottle or breast?

Nutrition and hydration are important for your baby’s growth and development. Whatever you decide – bottle or breast – be confident that you are doing your best for your baby. Bestmed Medical Scheme offers three baby growth and development assessments per year at a Bestmed Tempo partner pharmacy clinic as part of the Bestmed Tempo wellness programme.

References

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