Breastfeeding is indeed the best alternative for feeding your baby, and for keeping him healthy and strong. According to experts, breast milk has fats, proteins, and antibodies that will keep the baby safe from diseases and infections. Breast milk also has enzymes necessary for the baby’s digestion. However, although there are so many advantages to breastfeeding, there are still some mothers who do not opt for it because of time constraints and low milk production. There are also those who combine breast milk with formula feeding. Basically, there are no disadvantages to breastfeeding, but factors preventing mothers from breastfeeding.
The main advantages of breast milk are that it has antibodies that help the baby fight off infections like otitis media and other respiratory problems like meningitis and bronchitis. It also reduced the incidence and intensity of atopic diseases. Breastfed babies also tend to suffer less from colds and have less colic. Breast milk has vitamins and minerals, along with enzymes that help in the digestion of the baby and also prevents diarrhea. Breast milk provides protection for the baby from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), as well as sepsis in pre-term babies. With the high protein content in breast milk, it helps in the development of the brain to give higher IQ.
There is no need to pay for breast milk, so there is a saving in money from spending for formula milk. There is no worry of availability of milk as it is readily available. Breast milk is also beneficial for the mother as it helps her lose weight and to get back to the original size before pregnancy. The risk of developing pre-menopausal breast and ovarian cancer in mothers is reduced through breastfeeding. It helps in bringing the uterus back to its original size and to prevent post-natal depression. Breastfeeding strengthens the bond that exists between child and mother while protecting the child from food allergies that may develop.
There are some disadvantages to breastfeeding, like the possibility of blood-borne virus and other diseases being passed from parent to child. Some likable diseases are Hepatitis B and HIV. So it is important that the mother has a thorough check-up before breastfeeding. Breastfed babies have to be fed more than their bottle-fed counterparts. Breastfeeding does enhance the relationship between the mother and the child; but in the progress, the father is excluded from the bond! Breastfeeding can be painful at times for the mother as she may develop wounds and soreness in the nipples due to the baby’s sucking reflex.
The pumping of breast milk proves to be a painful and difficult task; requiring expensive equipment like numerous bottles and breast pumps. It has been seen that breastfed babies sleep shorter than babies drinking formula milk. This gives less time for the mother for herself and her work. Sometimes, milk will not be available as some moms produce less milk than others do. This is why most mothers prefer combining breastfeeding with formula milk for the baby. There has also been evidence of breastfeeding causing breast milk jaundice, a hormonal problem, carries and dehydration when done for more than one year.