After a successful pregnancy has been carried to term and a baby has been born, one of the most common questions is whether to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby. Proponents and advocates on both sides can be as outspoken as they are passionate about an otherwise personal decision on how to feed your own child.
Bottle-feeding these days is as convenient as it has ever been. Bottles can be sterilized in a dishwasher, and many bottles come with sterilized disposable inserts that can be discarded after each feeding. There are bottles with special grips for the baby to hold when he is old enough to grab things on his own. Bottle-feeding is both convenient and portable, making it a perfectly viable choice for feeding. Women who choose the bottle method often find that maintaining a breastfeeding schedule is difficult and inconvenient, especially when they have to be away from home, or work on a daily basis. These women tend to have a very busy lifestyle and value their independence. They enjoy sharing feeding responsibilities with their partners, as well as the freedom of not having to fill bottles of expressed breast milk.
For some mothers, breastfeeding is like a religion. They can be passionate; often citing that breastfeeding breastfeeding a baby for the first year improves the baby’s immune systems. The baby all the nourishment for her body through her mother’s milk. No other food exists that is so perfectly designed for the human infant.
Another important reason to consider nursing your newborn is that it provides the opportunity for a unique type of bond. Through breastfeeding, a mother and her baby are intimately connected in a way that will eventually be replaced when her baby starts seeking his own independence. These quiet moments are so precious and peaceful, and for many nursing mothers, these can produce meaningful, powerful memories.
Breastfeeding gives a mother the feeling that this is something she can give the baby that no one else can give. However, nursing is not for all moms. It can be painful, and requires women to get used to it.
Additionally, some women are so uncomfortable with their bodies that they feel self-conscious or inhibited about nursing. This may also be due to a mixed sense of female identity; since breasts are so sexualized it is sometimes difficult for women to see themselves as mothers and not the object of sexual attention. Other women report feeling like cows when they try nursing. Having a negative self-image makes it difficult to relax, and nursing will be uncomfortable.
Whether you choose to feed your baby via breast or bottle, be sure to choose the method that works best for you.