Breast Feeding vs Bottle FeedingWednesday 24th of October 2012 | Category: Baby News | Written by: Rosanne Moulding
The decision new mums face on whether to breastfeed or bottle-feed their baby is often surrounded by controversy, evoking strong reactions and opinions from the public. It has long been agreed upon that "breast is best", however, no one should be made to feel guilty if they have chosen to bottle-feed.
Encouraging the idea that a mother has 'failed' if she does not breastfeed her child is an archaic and damaging act. Postnatal depression now affects one in ten mums, according to the charity Straight Talking, and symptoms include feeling as though you have 'failed' at being a mum, or shouldn't have had a baby at all. It is clear then, that encouraging the idea of failure through opinions and views on bottle feeding, could be extremely damaging.
One advertisement campaign has even compared bottle-feeding a child to riding a bull while pregnant. Many people believe that the makers of these adverts don't understand the pain and hardship some mothers go through trying to breastfeed. Surely, if your child won't breastfeed whatsoever, then it is better to bottle-feed than to let them go hungry? There are certainly health benefits to breastfeeding, but there are also stress risks for women who are constantly battered by the opinion that they MUST breastfeed or 'must try harder' to. A mother is far more able to be a good mum if she is as relaxed and stress-free as possible.
What is it that makes breastfeeding the promoted option? Well, breastfeeding has numerous benefits to both mother and baby. For one thing, it is free and readily available. It can help a mother lose her extra baby weight if she wishes to, as well as helping to prevent obesity in the child in later years. Its main benefits are those passed on to the baby. Benefits include: helping to prevent infection in the first few months of the baby's life; containing the perfect amount of nutrients tailored to your baby's needs; possible protection against asthma and allergies, and fatty acids which promote brain development.
With all these benefits, it is no wonder that experts agree that breastfeeding is preferable over bottle-feeding. The American Academy of Paediatrics state that human milk is the preferred feeding for all infants. However, if breast feeding isn't an option, then bottle feeding is a fine alternative. Recipes have improved over the last couple of years and companies are always finding new ways to replicate some of the goodness found in breast milk. Only a mother can decide what is best for her and neither breastfeeding mothers or bottle-feeding mothers should be judged by others.