- Breast milk is the best option for exclusive feeding for the first 6 months of life according to major medical associations, but not all mothers are able to or choose to breastfeed.
- Commercial formulas can provide adequate nutrition for infants and offer advantages such as comfort, flexibility, convenience, and no dietary restrictions.
- Bottle-feeding involves cons such as organization and preparation, cost, and not being tailor-made for the baby.
- The decision to breastfeed or formula feed is up to the mother, and there are cases where breastfeeding is not physically possible or does not work for the mother and baby.
Although the major medical associations recommend breastfeeding as the best choice of exclusive feeding for the first 6 months of life, this is not always the best option for all moms. In this case, there are commercial formulas that provide adequate nutrition for infants and can meet your requirements since they contain the following advantages:
- Comfort: The father and other relatives are able to help moms in sharing the responsibility of feeding the baby.
- Flexibility and convenience: Mom can have more freedom to go out and transfer the responsibility to another caregiver, allowing her to plan ahead and organize her time.
- Time: The formula digests slower than breast milk so you have more time between each feeding.
- No dietary restrictions: Mom doesn’t have to worry about the type of food she consumes.
Now, like breastfeeding, bottle-feeding involves several cons that must be kept in mind:
- Organization and preparation: It is important to have fresh formula available for use. If needed, you have to carry bottles and formula when the baby is out and about. Also, if the milk is not at the right temperature for your baby, it has to be heated under warm water, or be taken preheated.
- Cost: Generally, formulas are costly and have an impact on the family budget.
- It is not tailor-made for your baby. Formula can’t change according to the needs of every baby as breast milk does. Furthermore, it doesn’t contain all the antibodies that breast milk provides.
Despite the pros and cons of using formula, the final decision is yours and you know what is best for you and your baby! Breast milk can provoke physical or emotional difficulties, so if you decide that formula is for you, great! Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about it. Furthermore, there are cases where it is not physically possible to breastfeed or your baby can’t digest breast milk. This doesn’t mean that you can’t give your baby the same love, nutrition, or affection. With the use of formula, you will be able to create an affectionate bond with your baby and assure good nutrition. Just remember to talk to your doctor so that you find the type and brand that best meets the needs of your baby and family.