Breast Feeding vs. Formula Feeding
There are advantages and disadvantages to both breastfeeding and formula feeding. Some things to consider when deciding which to choose are: cost, convenience, nutrition, and the health benefits to both the baby and to the mother. In terms of cost, an advantage to breastfeeding is that breast milk is free. It's estimated that breastfeeding can save you thousands of dollars a year, depending on the brand of formula that would have been used instead. According to the American Pregnancy Association, formula costs from $54 to $198 per month, as of 2011 (Coila, 2011). In addition to the cost of formula, bottle feeding mothers must also purchase bottles, nipples, and bottle sterilizers to keep the bottles clean. Breastfeeding mothers might need to purchase bottles, nipples, and breast pumps, but these are one-time expenses that don’t compare to the high cost of formula. When looking at convenience factors, there are pros and cons to both feeding methods. There is no preparation time involved with breastfeeding, as breast milk is always the perfect temperature, and you don't have to mix formula, or clean and sterilize bottles and nipples. Breast milk is readily available at any time and any place, as long as the mother is around. A big disadvantage to breastfeeding is that the mother is basically the only one who can feed the baby, unless she has used a breast pump to make extra bottles of milk ahead of time. Another disadvantage of breast feeding is that any medications and alcohol consumed by the mother can enter the breast milk and affect the baby, so the mother needs to pay careful attention to her alcohol and medication intake. A major advantage of bottle feeding is that anyone can feed the baby. The mother is able to return to work and social activities without the worry of breast feeding duty. The mother can eat and drink what she wants, without worrying about the milk being affected. In addition, the mother is...
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