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Breastfeeding Versus Bottle Feeding

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Breastfeeding Versus Bottle Feeding

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Discuss about the Breastfeeding Versus Bottle Feeding.

Breastfeeding is the provision of nutrition to a baby through breast milk of the mother by the baby suckling. It is the most commonly used method of feeding infants by mothers due to various reasons as outlined throughout this writing (Hall, 2012). On the other hand, bottle-feeding is an alternative method of feeding a baby in which a baby is fed using a feeding bottle instead of the breast. Bottle feeding can be used to either feed the baby with breast milk that has been expressed or other prepared liquid foods. This method has increasingly gained popularity in most societies over time as one of the best alternatives for breastfeeding due to a number of reasons as well that are discussed herein. There are several other methods of feeding a baby, but this writing focuses on these two approaches and aims to outline reasons for using each of these techniques, advantages, disadvantages, procedures and instances under which they can or cannot be utilized (Samour & King, 2012).
Besides the benefits and cons of using these means of feeding a child playing a significant role in determining the choice of a method of breastfeeding, several other factors influence the choice as well. These factors include physical, social, economic, cultural and health issues (Biddy & Gardner-Webb University, 2012). The mental status of the mother can, for instance, dictate the kind of feeding to be used. In some cases mothers develop puerperal psychosis son after delivery, a factor that hinders breastfeeding because of the injury risks posed by the mother to her baby and therefore bottle feeding is used. Breastfeeding as well requires a lot of support from the family members to the mother in order for it to be used reliably. Breastfeeding and nursing of the baby demand dedication and commitment besides being time-consuming. For that reason, the mother should be supported both socially and emotionally by other family members throughout this process by exempting her from performing some duties.
On the other hand, the physical well-being of the mother and the baby are crucial determinants in the choice of baby feeding. Breastfeeding can be impossible if a mother has an injury or tenderness on her breast due to some reasons. In such circumstances, they resort to bottle feeding. In extreme cases when a mother is hospitalized for severe medical conditions, they can’t also breastfeed. Notably, exclusive breastfeeding is advocated for under normal conditions for at least six months before introducing other foods besides it (Cole, 2014). However, for mothers who are infected with HIV, breastfeeding is halted at the sixth month after conception before bottle feeding is used for the baby to reduce the chances of exposing the child to the HIV virus. Equally, bottle feeding is encouraged and carried out in situations when the mother is under medical therapy involving drugs that are secreted in milk and associated with some adverse effects on the child.
Furthermore, nutritional status of the mother, educational levels, cultural background and beliefs impact the perception towards breastfeeding in various societies. Moreover, the baby’s condition influences the method of use. Infants born prematurely have no suckling reflex and therefore are unable to breastfeed. In the same way, those with mouth deformities such as cleft lip and palate fail to suckle hence breastfeeding may be contraindicated due to the risks of aspiration. It has also been noted that there is the higher tendency of breastfeeding in younger mothers as compared to those with advanced age. Moreover, economic status also plays a significant role in influencing the technique of use. Women with higher economic status in most instances consider bottle feeding as a better option of feeding their babies (Wambach & Riordan, 2014).
Despite all these factors, there are other associated advantages and disadvantages for each method. In the case of breastfeeding, it can be preferred since it is non-allergic; it meets the infant’s nutritional needs without supplementation besides boosting of their immunity by antibodies present in breast milk. Constipation is rarely experienced as milk is easily digested. It is also economical, easy to use; no need for preparation and it enhances mother-infant attachment. It has also contributed to eating a well-balanced diet by the mother, losing weight gained during pregnancy as well as oxytocin released during breastfeeding aiding in involution.
However, certain shortcomings are associated with breastfeeding such as the need for more frequent food intake by the child as well as the time to time changing of diapers due to increased frequency of passing stools. It’s also hard to determine the amount of milk consumed per day if such information is required (Newman, 2014). The medication secreted in milk can affect the health and development of the infant as some are less tolerated at that tender age. It poses a challenge to mothers too since some may have discomfort breastfeeding in public.
On the other hand, there are benefits associated with bottle feedings such as the baby being fed by anyone who is available at any given time whether day or night. Infants too tend to feed less frequently approximately three to four hours. Besides, the amount of milk consumed per feeding is known, and such information can be useful in tracking input and output of the baby. The caretaker can thus plan well on the amount from such information by approximating daily intake in instances when the mother may be unavailable such as when attending to other activities (Cobb-Barston, 2012).
The disadvantage of this method is that it is relatively expensive as compared to breastfeeding since the formula given and the feeding bottles are bought and maintained by refrigeration. The maintenance of these bottles involves washing them and disinfecting. One can also forget to carry with them the formula and feeding bottle when traveling. This method has also been implicated in the development of constipation in infants (Hall, 2012).
Biddy, D. A., & Gardner-Webb University. (2012). Why do mothers choose not to breastfeed? Boiling Springs, North Carolina: Gardner-Webb University.
Cole, S. (2014). Breastfeeding challenges made easy for late preterm infants: The go-to guide for nurses and lactation consultants. New York : Springer Publishing Company
Cobb-Barston, S. M. (2012). Bottled up: How the way we feed babies has come to define motherhood, and why it shouldn’t. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Hall, T. (2012). Save our sleep feeding: A parent’s guide to healthy eating from nursing to family meals. Sydney, N.S.W: Pan Macmillan.
Newman, J. (2014). Dr. Jack Newman’s guide to breastfeeding. New York: Pinter & Martin
Samour, P. Q., & King, K. (2012). Pediatric nutrition. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Wambach, K., & Riordan, J. (2014). Breastfeeding and human lactation. Burlington, MA : Jones & Bartlett Learning

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