When it comes to the question of breast feeding versus bottle feeding, it seems like everyone has an opinion. There are folks that know what they think is best for you and your baby. In some cases, you can be under a lot of pressure to either breastfeed or bottle feed. The fact of the matter is, however, that the choice is up to you. No one else can make that decision for you.
Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether you want to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby:
- Breast feeding is healthier. The fact of the matter is that mother’s milk is made specifically for baby. There is some evidence to suggest that breastfed babies wind up being healthier overall, although it isn’t a hard and fast rule. Bottle fed babies can grow up to be just as healthy and happy as breastfed babies.
- Breastfeeding is a commitment. Even if you use a pump to produce breast milk that can be fed to your baby when you’re not available, it’s a commitment. For as long as you’re breast feeding, you need to continue a disciplined regimen of feeding and/or pumping. It’s not always easy, either.
- Both feeding types risk allergy issues. Sometimes, your baby will be allergic to something in your breast milk. For example, if your baby is allergic to milk protein and you consume a lot of dairy products, she could react. The same is true for milk-based formula. No matter how you feed your baby, allergies are something to think about.
- The decision is yours, but you should make an informed decision. Talk to your doctor, and your baby’s doctor. Talk to advocates of breast feeding, but do your research on bottle feeding as well. If you get all of your information from a single source, it’s bound to be biased.
- Don’t stress too much about the situation. Yes, it’s an important decision, but that decision isn’t going to determine your baby’s entire destiny. Some women can’t breast feed for a variety of reasons, and it doesn’t mean they’re not good mothers.