Breastfeeding vs Formula
Breastfeeding and formula are two options for feeding a baby. In breastfeeding, the babies have a reflex which makes them suck and swallow the milk fed by breast. Human breast milk is said to be the healthiest milk and it is recommended to feed the babies at least for 6 months without any supplement. It is said that the mother’s milk is enough to suffice the needs of the baby till 6 months of his age. Many mothers can breastfeed for 6 months or more without giving them infant formula milk or any solid food. The dark yellow milk secreted in the first one hour of the delivery called colostrum is considered very nutritious and provides immunity to many diseases. Breast milk is composed of right amount of fat, sugar, water and protein that is necessary for baby’s growth. Formula feeding is feeding the baby with prepared milk rather than breast feeding. It is generally required when mother is not able to express the milk, is on some medication that can pass through mother milk to the baby or mother is having some disease which can pass to the baby.
Breastfeeding is very cost effective method to feed the baby along with the benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can also help you in birth control as it delays the return of fertility through lactational amenorrhea. During breastfeeding antibodies from mother pass to the baby providing him better immune system and immunity to many diseases. Breastfeeding thus help promote health, reduces healthcare and feeding cost.
Formula milk is a custom made milk to feed infants. The baby formulas are generally made from cow’s milk, however, dairy free formulas are also prepared. The milk in babies stomach breaks down into whey and curd. The curd formed from formula milk is hard and not easy to digest. The formula milk is creamier and looks richer than the breast milk but it is not so. Formula feeding is generally not recommended until unless mother is unable to feed the baby due to some disease which can pass to the baby.
Comparison of Breastfeeding vs Formula
• Breast milk is natural whereas formula is a custom made milk simulating breast milk.
• Breastfeeding is done directly from mother’s breast whereas formula feeding is done with bottle or other container.
• When milk breaks down in stomach it forms curd and whey. The breast milk has more of whey and the curd is soft and easy to digest whereas formula milk has more of curd which is hard and difficult to digest.
• Breastfeeding help pass antibodies to the baby helping them develop immunity which is lacking in formula feeding.
• The colostrum is highly nutritive and can be only fed through breastfeeding, formula feeding does not provide colostrum to the baby.
• Breast milk contain more than 100 ingredients which can never be duplicated in the formula milk.
• Since breast fed milk gets easily digested the babies feel hungry more often than the formula fed babies as formula milk is a bit difficult to digest.
It is always nutritious for your baby to feed on breast milk rather than formula milk. It is important to check the length of time baby feeds on each breast as the milk in the beginning is thin called the fore milk and the hind milk is thicker. Hence check on that baby feeds each breast for a length of time.