Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding

Published on: 21/08/2022

A healthy baby, a happy mom. In this Breastfeeding Awareness Month, all moms and soon-to-be-moms must be aware of the benefits and risks of breastfeeding. See the pros and cons of breastfeeding, both for mommy and for the little one.

Breastfeeding: The Pros and Cons

Upon coming into the world, babies need milk to survive. It is their primary food in the first stage of early life as it contains all the nutrients that are essential for their growth, such as calcium for the bones, protein for growth and energy, Vitamin A for eyesight and immunity, Vitamin B12 for healthy cell production, Iodine for good metabolism, Magnesium for muscle function, Phosphorous for energy release, and many others.

The Importance of Breastfeeding

Upon giving birth to their little ones, mothers decide whether to breastfeed or formula-feed milk their little bundle of joy. However, as advised by doctors globally, breastfeeding is still the best for babies until they reach the age of 2 years old. It is clinically proven that breast milk is the safest and healthiest food for a baby, especially during the early thick liquid discharge called colostrums which is rich in antibodies and suitable for the baby's immunity. It helps reduce a baby's risk of common and rare illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, pneumonia, coughs and colds, vomiting, diarrhea, urinary tract infection, and many others. It is further proven that breastfed babies have an advantage in mental development and emotional security.

The Advantages

Breastfeeding is good not only for babies but also for mothers. If babies get all the nutrients and have more advantages compared to formula-feeding, mothers do benefit as well. Breastfeeding moms are observed to recover faster from postpartum bleeding. They also tend to quickly return to their pre-pregnancy weight by losing 500 extra calories daily. It also serves as natural birth control as it helps delay the monthly period.

Additionally, aside from providing nutrients and convenience, breastfeeding helps moms and their little ones bond well. It comforts babies while helping increase confidence in moms when it comes to parenting. Furthermore, and economically speaking, breastfeeding helps save pennies since formula milk is quite expensive. Moreover, it is time-saving as it is ready whenever the baby demands it.

The Disadvantages

When there are pros, cons are to be expected. The same goes for breastfeeding, which makes new moms resort to formula-feeding their neonates.

One of the top cons of breastfeeding is less freedom for moms, as you and your breasts have to be readily available whenever the baby needs it, which usually happens every two to three hours. A working mom faces this problem as it would be hard for mom to go to work when there is a little darling who depends on her for his/her food supply.

The second catch is the pain. Uncomfortable or painful feelings are normal when breastfeeding, especially when the baby is in their teething period, as babies do not only suck on the nips but playfully bite as well. When this happens, sore nipples are to be expected. Other medical and painful conditions to expect when breastfeeding are mastitis, breast engorgement, and plugged milk ducts.

Other problems with breastfeeding include having to watch what moms eat and how they live because what they eat will be passed on to the baby, not having enough milk, which can cause the baby to throw tantrums because it's hungry, and the fact that only moms can feed the baby.

When a woman agrees to take on the challenge of being a mother, she also accepts that she will be called a mother and have to breastfeed her children.

Despite its disadvantages, the mother's number one concern is the health and growth of the baby. There may be discomfort and pain, but what is more important is what is good for the little one.

Ultimately, every mom has a reason for which feeding option is suitable for her babies. However, this should be given thought and sound judgment as this will affect not only the present stage of the baby's growth but also the long-term phase of the baby's life.

Some moms may tend to supplement breast milk with formula milk, but as medical professionals often remind every mom, please remember that breast milk is the best for babies.