The decision to breastfeed or bottle-feed is an important yet personal decision that every mother must make. There are pros and cons to both breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. Though using formula is not as healthy as breastfeeding, there are still some possible benefits of bottle-feeding to consider.
Anyone Can Feed
The American Pregnancy Association states that one benefit of bottle-feeding is the fact that anyone can feed the baby formula. With breastfeeding, only the mom can feed the baby, which sometimes causes the baby to develop a stronger link to the mother than the father. Bottle-feeding allows friends and other family members to feed the baby.
Another argument on the pro side of bottle-feeding is that with feeding a baby formula, it is easy to see how much formula the baby consumes. FamilyPlanning.org reports that formula amounts are tracked in measurable amounts, something that's nearly impossible to do with breastfeeding. This also helps to show when a baby is going through a growth spurt.
Not as Nutritious
One downside to bottle-feeding is that formula is not as nutritious as breast milk. The American Pregnancy Association explains that breast milk contains the perfect amount of nutrients for a growing baby. Breast milk also contains antibodies that can protect babies from getting sick, while formula does not contain these important antibodies.
One advantage to breastfeeding is that it's free, since the milk is produced naturally in the mother's breasts after having a baby. Bottle-feeding, on the other hand, can get expensive, according to FamilyPlanning.org. Formula can cost several hundred dollars per month, plus the expense of bottles and other necessary equipment.
Not as Easily Digested
Another con to consider before bottle-feeding is the fact that formula is not as easily digested as breast milk is. The American Pregnancy Association states that the enzymes in breast milk allow it to be digested very easily. Some babies have problems digesting formula because the different ingredients are not broken down by the body as easily. This may cause some babies to develop constipation, gas or diarrhea.