The Advantages of Bottle Feeding

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Most people are of the opinion that breast feeding is the best method of feeding an infant, and for good reason. Breast feeding provides a newborn baby with a variety of anti bodies in order to help ward off a number of illnesses. Studies show that infants who are breast fed have a much lower risk of certain illnesses during childhood. With that being said, bottle feeding is not without its advantages. There are many reasons that bottle feeding is a popular choice among women today. Following are some of the reasons that women find bottle feeding preferential.

Convenience

The main reason that women bottle feed rather than breast feed their babies is for convenience. It is much easier on a mother, especially if she also works outside of the home. Bottle feeding does not necessarily mean that breast milk will not be used. Many women breast feed their infants while they are at home and then choose to use a breast pump to extract milk and refrigerate it for use when they are away. On the other hand there are also some women who choose to forego breast feeding entirely and use infant formula instead. Either way, having your baby on a bottle can be a lot easier if you lead a busy lifestyle and cannot always be there to offer your breast.

Chance for Other Family Members to Bond With Baby

One of the best ways to bond with a newborn baby is during feeding time. Just as babies bond with their mothers while they are feeding, they also bond with other people who are feeding them. If there are siblings present then allowing them to bottle feed the baby is a very good way to give them a chance to make an intimate connection with their new little brother or sister. Bottle feeding also allows dad quiet time with the baby in which he can use feeding time as a way to bond with his new son or daughter. If you have ever bottle fed a baby then you already know what it is like to make eye contact during feeding time. Feeding time is of the most important aspects of spending time with a baby.

Scheduling

One of the main reasons that women choose to bottle feed, whether they are using breast milk which has been extracted by a breast pump one infant formula, is because it is much easier to keep the baby on a consistent schedule if there is always a bottle present. There are many situations which may cause a mother to be absent from her child during a scheduled feeding time. In cases such as this some people find it much more convenient to have a bottle packed and ready to go. In households with multiple children this is even more important as mom may find herself busy with one of the other children when feeding time comes along. There are also sometimes emergency situations which could occur, causing mom to be away during feeding time. If a baby is the bottle fed then anyone that has been left in charge of the baby can see him or her.

Longer Intervals Between Feedings

Babies who are breast-fed tend to eat more often. This means that there will be shorter intervals between feedings. Most of the time breast-fed babies will eat as often as once every hour and a half to two hours. Babies who are being bottle fed and infant formula may go anywhere between 2 1/2 to 4 hours between feedings. Some mothers dread the idea of having a baby attached to their breasts constantly throughout the day. For this reason these women often choose to use an infant supplemental formula, rather than breast milk.

Lactose Intolerance/Breast Milk Allergy

While it is rare there are some infants who cannot process breast milk or any other type of animal milk for that matter. This condition is often called lactose intolerance and usually calls for an alternative such as soy milk. There are infant supplemental formulas that are made with absolutely no milk product. These formulas utilize soy protein as a healthy alternative. If a baby is showing signs of lactose intolerance, his or her pediatrician may choose to put him or her on a soy alternative.

No Worries If Mom Becomes Ill

There are many medical conditions that can arise after childbirth. On some of these occasions a new mother will be urged to take some sort of medication that can be harmful to her baby and passed through breast milk. In situations like this is usually necessary to use infant formula and bottle feed. There are also some chronic illnesses which require mom to take medication on a daily basis. Bottle feeding offers parents a safe alternative to providing sustenance for their babies in the event that an illness should arise, causing mother to be unable to breast-feed. Unfortunately, there are also emergencies such as accidents which could occur, causing mom to have to be hospitalized. When something like this happens it is always good to know that there is an alternative in terms of feeding baby.

Prior to the development of infant formulas a wet nurse would have been reply your in order to provide an alternate method of feeding for nursing babies. Fortunately today women are offered a much better option through the use of infant supplemental formulas. There are also some women choose a combination of breast-feeding and bottle feeding or choose to breast-feed only for the first six weeks of the baby’s life. As long as your baby is getting the daily recommended amount of vitamins and nutrients it is of no matter which method of feeding is used. The best way to determine the most optimal source of nutrition for your baby is to discuss the situation with your pediatrician then follow his or her recommendations.

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Johanna Carlson

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  • My daughter is a little over 4 months now. About 5 weeks ago, I started supplementing with formula on occasion because I was having trouble pumping enough milk to sustain her (she began to refuse the breast after having the bottle during the days and breast at night). After a while of not breast feeding and only pumping, the milk starts to go down, so eventually she is mainly on formula. It is perfectly fine to give your baby formula and breast feed; I would suggest asking your paediatrician what brand he/she recommends for your baby. Keep in mind that if you do give some formula, it is likely that once you start, it will be a slow progression to solely formula. I was comfortable with that, as I was happy that she had formula solely for the first 3 months and she received the important immune building nutrients from me that were best. As for number of ounces, I always let her drink as much as she would like. During growth spurts she wants more, sometimes she wants less. Right now she drinks about 4 oz. per feeding, and she is thriving well.

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Johanna Carlson

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