All new mothers are advised to breastfeed. We’re told that breast milk is best and that there are so many benefits to breastfeeding. So, is bottle feeding second best? Are there no advantages to bottle feeding your baby?
Many mothers today are made to feel guilty about bottle feeding their baby. The medical profession, the media, family, strangers in the street, all eulogize the benefits of breastfeeding. We’re told; it’s natural; it has just the right nutrients for your baby; it promotes better bonding between mother and child; it’s environmentally friendly! All of these things are true to an extent but the plain fact is, many mothers do not breastfeed their child and many are made to feel like a pariah if they opt for the bottle. Promoting breastfeeding as being best is fine, but disparaging mothers who bottle feed is not.
If you are a mother who has chosen not to breastfeed, and who can’t breastfeed, you must never, ever feel guilty about doing so. Today’s baby milk formula is the closest it has ever been to breast milk. It also comes fortified with many nutrients that are low or absent in many mother’s breast milk. Formula milk is fortified with iron and vitamin D. Fact: Iron-fortified infant formulas have actually been credited for the declining incidence of anemia in infants. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics highly recommends that mothers who are not breastfeeding use an iron-fortified infant formula. So, as far as nutrition goes, a mother need have no worries about giving her baby milk formula.
Being a mother is very tiring. Infant formula milk is not as easily digested as mother’s milk. Consequently, the baby feels satiated for longer periods and this extends the time between feedings at an earlier stage. So a mother who bottle feeds can get more rest between feeds than a mother who breastfeeds.
One major cause of concern for breastfeeding mothers is knowing whether or not her baby is getting enough milk. Not so with infant formula. A mother who bottle feeds her baby knows exactly how much she has fed her child and can rest easy knowing her child has received its recommended daily allowance.
A mother who bottle feeds her child can return to a more normal life than a mother who breastfeeds. A mother who bottle feeds can wear the clothes she wants; a nursing mother has to wear clothes to accommodate her hungry baby. A mother who bottle feeds can eat the diet she chooses and not have to worry about drinking alcohol; a breastfeeding mother’s diet is a much duller affair. Bottle feeding mothers can take medication when the need to; a breastfeeding mother has to be very careful about any medication she takes as this will be passed on to baby through her breast milk, in fact some medication may even stop her milk production.
Lovemaking is sometimes not easy for the breastfeeding woman because the hormonal changes associated with lactation leaves her vagina dry. In addition, breastfeeding can lead to sore nipples and leaky breasts, which are not conducive to lovemaking. A bottle feeding mother should not have these problems. She also has the added benefit of being able to choose the contraception of her choice. A breastfeeding mother cannot take the oral pill as its hormones will be passed on to baby through her breast milk.
A mother who bottle feeds her child can begin to diet six weeks after delivery. A breastfeeding mother on the other hand, has to be careful about her diet.
Bottle feeding in public tends to be far less embarrassing for a mother than does breastfeeding. A consequence is that many mothers who choose to bottle feed generally venture outdoors much more than those who breastfeeding; society has not made public breastfeeding easy for mothers.
So, next time you may feel as though you’re letting yourself and baby down, remember that they are many advantages to giving your baby infant formula, for both mother and child.