Breastfeeding is the most recommended method for new moms who want their babies to grow healthy and strong. If breastfeeding has many benefits for both the newborn and the mother, breastfeeding also involves a number of disadvantages and is not always possible. In this situation the feeding with the bottle occurs, which can effectively counterbalance the natural nourishment.
The benefits of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding the baby offers a lot of benefits to the newborn, from establishing a strong bond with the one who gave her life to creating a sense of security and strengthening the immune system.
During this time, the mother enjoys, in turn, a series of positive effects of breastfeeding that successfully compensate for the discomfort sometimes present in sucking.
Here are the most important benefits of breastfeeding, both for the baby and for the mother:
- Breast milk is the ideal baby food in the first months of life.
Milk composition is optimal for each newborn, including a balanced combination of nutrients, adapted to the needs of the baby. In addition, the composition of milk changes as the baby develops, so that it continues to provide the necessary nutrients.
- Breastfeeding helps strengthen the baby's immune system and protects it from a variety of diseases. Thus, the incidence of respiratory diseases, ear infections, meningitis or stomach viruses is much lower in newborns who are exclusively breastfed in the first 6 months of life. The secret lies in the presence of secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA), found in a high amount in colostrum, the first fluid secreted by the mother's breasts after the baby is born.
- The risk of sudden death is also greatly diminished if the mother prefers breastfeeding to the detriment of bottle feeding. A large study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences showed that babies who are breastfed have a 20% lower risk of sudden death between the ages of 28 days and 1 year, compared to babies who are not breastfed.
- Mother's milk also protects the baby against allergies. Thus, specialists consider that substances such as IgA offer a protective layer in the small intestine tract against allergic reactions to food. Without this protection, inflammation and subsequently allergic reactions and other health problems can occur.
- Breastfeeding is not only beneficial in the first stage of baby development. Its positive effects are visible later in life, with breast milk providing protection against various types of cancer that can occur in childhood. Also, breast milk also protects against type 1 and 2 diabetes, increased cholesterol and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Breastfeeding has a number of important benefits for the mother as well. Thus, this practice offers protection against breast and ovarian cancer, as well as against osteoporosis. It also contributes to the recovery of the body after birth, through the production of oxytocin, and to the loss of excess fat accumulated during pregnancy.
Disadvantages of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding also has a number of disadvantages, but these are few in number. Here are some of the most important:
- Breastfeeding can cause problems such as painful and cracked nipples, breast infections (mastitis) or blockage of the breast ducts.
- In fact, during pregnancy, during breastfeeding, the mother must have a balanced diet that involves avoiding the consumption of certain foods (cakes, fast food, etc.), but also alcohol. The latter can be consumed in moderation, but not in the first weeks of life of the baby, when breastfeeding occurs with a very high frequency.
- Exclusive breastfeeding involves the total dependence of the baby on its mother. Thus, immediately after birth, the mother must be permanently with the newborn, the trips, or even for 1-2 days in the absence of the baby, unable to be performed.
The benefits of bottle feeding
Although recommended in the first months of life of the baby, breastfeeding is not always possible. Insufficient lactation or different health problems of the mother or newborn can prevent natural feeding. In this case, the option is feeding with the bottle, the baby being offered milk formula.
The feeding with the bottle presents many benefits, of which the most important are the following:
- The feeding with the bottle can involve the father more in the care of the newborn, allowing to establish a close bond between the two.
- Milk-formula, although not as nutritious as the mother's, provides the nutrients needed for proper baby development.
- Breastfeeding allows the mother to rest longer for at least two reasons: first, the father can take over some of the duties; Secondly, the milk formula is digested slower, so the baby will feel less hungry.
- The feeding with the bottle allows a more flexible program. The mother can leave the house without her baby and even go back to work.
Disadvantages of bottle feeding
The feeding with the bottle cannot be avoided in some cases, but, since breast feeding of the newborn baby remains the optimal option for the baby, it is important to consider the disadvantages that the first one implies. Here are some of them:
- The feeding with the bottle is more expensive than the natural one. Powdered milk, bottle, nipples, etc. they involve no small costs, sometimes difficult to bear for the family.
- Feeding with the bottle involves careful preparation, which can take a long time. The milk should be heated to the right temperature for the newborn, paying close attention to hygiene during the process (inadequate hygiene risks the baby getting sick).
- Milk-formula may cause colic to the baby. To prevent the newborn from drawing air during sucking, use nipples that do not allow air to enter while the baby is sucking.
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