Kids Home > Breastfeeding Vs. Formula Feeding
There is an ongoing debate between the benefits of breastfeeding versus formula feeding. It is a common belief that breastfeeding is the best option, but formula is actually a nutritious alternative to breast milk. There are many benefits and drawbacks to each; discuss these with your partner or healthcare provider before making a decision.
Breastfeeding Versus Formula Feeding: Weighing the Options
The Benefits of Breastfeeding
- Providing antibodies that help build up their immune system.
- Getting sick less often and needing to see the doctor fewer times in their first year due to illness. Studies show that babies who are breastfed are less likely to get ear infections, respiratory infections (such as the common cold or flu), urinary tract infections (UTIs), vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
- Improved digestive system function and decreased chance for infections within the digestive tract.
- Possible long-term health benefits. Some studies show a decreased chance for obesity, cardiovascular disease, allergic conditions, type 1 diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease in infants who were breastfed.
- Quicker recovery from childbirth
- Reduced levels of stress due to certain hormones released during breastfeeding
- Increased weight loss after pregnancy (if breastfeeding continues for at least six months)
- A possible decreased risk of breast cancer (before menopause) or ovarian cancer.
- It is cost-effective
- There is nothing to mix or measure
- Food is always available
- There are no bottles and nipples to sterilize.