Breast vs. bottle remains a very controversial subject. Many parents who choose not to breastfeed make that choice thinking they won’t have time to devote to nursing, they won’t produce enough milk or they simply can’t breastfeed because mom works outside the home. The truth is, none of these concerns need to prevent a mom from nursing her child.
Many working moms nurse their children successfully. Pumping breast milk and freezing it is the easiest way to continue working while still being able to give your baby breast milk. The child receives the nutrient-rich breast milk it needs while being able to be fed by the daycare provider. This will also give dad the chance to feed the baby and enjoy some very important bonding time. Pumping breast milk that baby can have when you’re not available eliminates concerns working moms may have about not having enough time to nurse or not being available to nurse.
Not producing enough breast milk is a rare occurrence, but if you are concerned, discuss it with your doctor. You baby will also be weighed at each doctor visit and weight gain is a sure sign that your baby is definitely getting enough breast milk. Your baby’s doctor can also instruct you on how to watch wet and dirty diapers and what’s enough and what’s not enough. If, on the off chance you are producing breast milk but not enough, formula can be used to supplement breast feeding.
While most babies do great on formula only, when you consider the benefits of what breast milk can do for you baby, and for you, it’s easy to see what the best choice is. But exactly what is it about breast milk that makes it so incredibly good for your baby? I decided to take a closer look at the ingredients of breast milk, and have broken those down for you.
There are two types of proteins in breast milk: casein and whey. These proteins are easily digested by babies – not so with formulas. Breast milk also contains fats that are essential to the development of retinas, the brain and the nervous system.
Other great ingredients are vitamins, and lots of them. Vitamins A, D, C and K can be found in breast milk, as can niacin and riboflavin. Many nursing moms need to stay on prenatal vitamins during the time they are nursing and this is something that should be discussed with your doctor.
Lactose helps reduce unhealthy bacteria in baby’s tummy, and breast milk is rich with lactose. It’s great for fighting disease. Four specific proteins found in breast milk can help baby fight off viruses, bacteria and allergies.
The list of nutritional and health benefits for nursing babies goes on and on. But there are benefits for mom and dad, too.
Nursing will contract moms uterus and help it get back into shape sooner and decrease bleeding. Studies suggest nursing may also lower the risk of breast and uterine cancer in women. Plus, the bonding that occurs during nursing is good for both mom and baby. Baby is held close to moms body and can feel and smell mom. But what about dad?
Dad will enjoy bonding time with baby when breast milk is pumped and given to baby by bottle. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with Dad removing his shirt to give baby skin-to-skin contact. Baby will smell daddy’s skin and feel his warmth, a pleasurable and bonding experience for both dad and baby.
Another benefit is the thousands of dollars that will be saved by breast feeding. Formula is expensive. Speaking of formula, the reason it is the second best choice is because there are simply some ingredients found in breast milk that can never be found in formula, ingredients such as enzymes and hormones, to name a few.
During night feedings, there is no hassle of measuring formula and warming up a bottle. Baby doesn’t have to wait to be fed and mom and dad don’t have to try and be alert enough to see small numbers on a bottle to measure the amount of formula.
While breastfeeding is certainly convenient and cheap, it is truly the nutritional benefits baby receives from breast milk. It is those nutritional benefits that will last through your child’s entire life.
More information on breastfeeding and breast milk can be found at www.babycenter.com or visit WebMD and search “breast milk.” The Mayo Clinic website also offers valuable information at www.mayoclinic.com.