Breastfeeding vs. formula
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Becoming a parent is nerve racking at best. If you aren’t second guessing every tiny thing you do, those around you are. Just one of these scenarios is that of breastfeeding. What are the advantages of breastfeeding versus formula feeding anyway? For some women breast feeding is just weird, for others it feels like the most natural thing in the world. Regardless of the fact that the World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding, some women just cannot get their screaming new-born bundle of joy to latch.



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Infection fighting antibodies


The advantages of breastfeeding are numerous; undoubtedly the biggest being the natural antibodies contained in breast milk. These antibodies protect your baby from infections such as diarrhoea, respiratory and ear infections as well as preventing allergies. In short, breast milk keeps your baby healthy and out of the doctors rooms.


While formula is made with the intention of duplicating the nutritional value a mother’s milk contains, it still lacks the much needed antibodies. Formula is also more difficult for a baby to digest, which may lead to gas and constipation.


For some money doesn’t matter, but for others it’s very important to take into account. Simply put, breastfeeding is free. While you might feel you need to use a breast pump now and then, the cost of a breast pump can still be offset by the savings on formula (which is rather expensive). Also, this handy tool goes a long way to ensure equal participation in raising your child. Just because you choose to breastfeed, it does not mean you have to do all the work.


The disadvantages of breastfeeding


It is without doubt that the advantages of breast feeding outweigh the disadvantages. However, there are still a few disadvantages. Firstly, formula tends to satisfy your baby for longer, thereby extending the time between feeds. While breast milk is far better for baby because it digests more easily, it does also require more frequent feeds.


The other drawback of breast feeding is the matter of watching what you eat. You need to wait for two hours after a single drink before breast feeding. As with pregnancy, even the smallest amounts of alcohol will affect your breast milk, thereby affecting your baby too. Caffeine intake also needs to be limited, as do many other foods.



The best baby bottles


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Regardless of whether you breastfeed or formula feed, you will still need baby bottles. Finding the right one could be the difference between a good night’s sleep and no sleep.


There are a few which we are particularly fond of:


• Tommee Tippee Bottles – with their wide neck and flexible teats, these bottles feel more natural.


• Medela Calma Bottles – known for their breast pumps, they have also designed a unique teat from which the milk only flows when the baby sucks and causes a vacuum.


• Avent Bottles – made by Philips, this bottle has a well designed anti-colic twin valve system to prevent air from being swallowed by your baby.


Now that you know the advantages of breastfeeding versus formula feeding, regardless of which path you decide to follow, the most important thing is making sure your baby is getting enough nutrients and sustenance from their feeds. When in doubt, consult your doctor.