The choice is yours. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. Remember, you don’t have to opt exclusively for either the breast or the bottle alone. Many parents find that a combination of both methods works well and lets them enjoy the advantages of each.
Advantages of Breastfed Babies
Breastfed babies are less likely to become ill in the first year of life, because breast milk provides your infant with antibodies to fight off some common childhood illnesses. Plus, immune factors in breast milk help protect your baby until his or her own immune system has developed. Living cells in breast milk, such as white cells, fight infection and are important in helping your baby stay healthy. Babies who are strictly breastfed , with no added formula, until at least four months of age, suffer half the number of ear infections as those who are never breastfed.
It’s more convenient. It can be done anywhere, at any time, whenever your baby shows signs of being hungry. No bottles to prepare, no sterilizing and breast milk is always just the right temperature; you never have to keep your baby waiting.
Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer and also ovarian cancer. When breastfeeding for three months or longer, the risk is cut in half.
Nursing helps speed the shrinking of the uterus back to it’s pre-pregnancy size; helping your body recover more quickly from giving birth. Hormones, such as oxytocin , are released when your baby sucks, which causes your uterus to contract a bit each time your baby nurses. You can also lose weight more quickly if you breastfeed, because nursing uses up the fat you stored up in pregnancy.