Mothers everywhere have had to ask themselves an age-old question in terms of feeding their newborn babies: breast vs. bottle?
There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to both.
Breast feeding is cheaper (as in free) than formula. It also contains more essential nutrients, vitamins, proteins and fatty acids, which help in development and helps to stave off infection. And let us not forget the intangible benefits in terms of helping to create a special bond between mother and child.
But breastfeeding isn't without its detractors. There can often be pain and/or discomfort associated with breastfeeding, including sore nipples and swelling. Additionally, breast milk leakage can be embarrassing and inconvenient. Not to mention the social stigma, whether justified or not, about breastfeeding in public.
Bottle feeding has the advantage of convenience. Whether you are at home or in out public, pulling out a bottle is often much easier than pulling out a breast. There have been many advancements in baby formula in recent years, in terms of matching ingredients and the proportions of nutrients to that of breast milk. If breast feeding is a stressful endeavor for a mother, bottle feeding may be a more than suitable alternative.
But bottle feeding, too, has its disadvantages. Mixing formula should be an exact science, and it's possible for formula to have incorrect measurements, making it too strong or too weak. Additionally, gauging the correct temperature of the formula can sometimes prove tricky. There is also the inconvenience of having to constantly wash and sanitize bottles and plastic nipples.
What has worked for you as a new mother? Are there other advantages and disadvantages you can think of? Please comment below and share your stories.