New mothers often face a difficult choice when it comes to feeding their newborns. The ongoing battle of breast feeding verses bottle feeding may never truly be resolved; there are pros and cons for both, and often little evidence to support that either feeding method significantly effects newborn growth and development. Many national health and childcare organizations typically stand behind breast feeding as opposed to bottle feeding. At the same time, many doctors support the notion that bottle feeding is just as safe and effective on a newborn. Historically, breast feeding is thought to be more beneficial, and research tends to slightly support this notion.
Choosing breast or bottle feeding, first of all, depends largely on the mother. Women that are too busy to pump, uncomfortable with breast feeding, possess sensitive breasts or suffer from certain medical conditions will not be able to breast feed. Mothers will also have to take their personal desires, comfort and beliefs into account when choosing a feeding method. Location, physical condition, family life, employment, mental state and socioeconomic status can all factor in to a mother’s decision to breast or bottle feed. Putting aside all of these other affecting factors, these are the basic pros and cons of each method:
There is very little concrete research perpetuating that one method of feeding is more beneficial than another, and experts are divided on which method to recommend. Basically, most medical research is more or less inconclusive on which method is better. If infants seem affected in one way or another, it is typically due to socioeconomic factors and not the feeding method itself. For more information, mothers can consult with their attending physicians, OBGY specialists or the American Pregnancy Association.