Your family is expecting a newborn baby within the next couple of months. This event in someone’s life will change their lives forever and can be a very exciting and exhausting change. Although you may be excited and impatient for the baby’s arrival, this event can cause a lot of stress on the family. While your lives are completely changing; there are things you need to do to prepare yourself and there are many important decisions that need to be made. Decisions need to be made regarding what you are going to name the baby, where you will deliver, how you will give birth, how you will feed your new baby, and the list continues to go on. I am expecting a baby in five months and the toughest decision I am being faced with is whether to breast feed or formula feed my newborn.
Deciding to breast feed or formula feed can be one of the most important and one of the most difficult decisions an expectant mother and/or family is forced to make. Making a final decision on this involves a lot of thought, time, and research. Each choice has their advantages and disadvantages; but there is no right way or wrong way to feed your baby; considering the fact that their nutritional and emotional needs will be met either way. When making this decision, remember; the final choice that is made; whether to breast feed or formula feed your newborn, can ultimately affect the family’s health, finances, and emotions.
The health of the baby is very important to an expectant family. The decision that is made to breast feed or formula feed will affect not only the baby’s health, but the mother’s health as well. Of course, the health of your baby is generally an expectant mother and/or family’s first priority, but either choice that is made will provide your baby with the nutrients that are needed.
There are many advantages of breastfeeding that affect a baby’s health. Breastfeeding helps the baby defend against infections and illness while formula feeding does not provide this because only the human body produces antibodies. Breastfeeding allows antibodies to be passed from the mother to the baby. These antibodies can help reduce the occurrence of many conditions because they can destroy bacteria, viruses, and other germs that make babies sick. Breast milk lowers the occurrence of conditions including: ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory infections, and meningitis. Breast milk can ward off everything from strep throat and tetanus to chicken pox and measles. Breast milk also has the capability of increasing a baby’s resistance to many allergens (Kids Health: from Nemours ). As a group, breastfed babies have fewer infections and hospitalizations than formula fed infants (Breastfeeding Versus Bottle-Feeding-FamilyEducation).
Breast milk is easily digested by babies while formula fed infants have more difficulty with digestion (Breast Feeding vs Bottle Feeding ). A baby’s digestive system is still immature so it is easier for the baby to break down and absorb the minerals and nutrients in breast milk rather than formula. Since breast milk is easier to digest, babies suffer less from constipation and/or diarrhea. Because it is easier to break down and digest; breast fed babies tend to eat more frequently, therefore they will need to have their diaper changed more frequently; which can be a major disadvantage. On the other hand, formula is not easily digested by babies. Because of this, the baby will stay full longer, wont eat as frequently, and wont need changed as often (Braidwood). Breast milk naturally contains most of the vitamins and minerals that a newborn requires (Kids Health: from Nemours ). If you choose to formula feed you may have to provide additional nutrients to the baby because breast milk has the “perfect” make of the nutrients and amount needed, and it is hard to commercially make an exact duplicate of breast milk and its ingredients. Babies go through...