|Pros of Breastfeeding||Cons of Breastfeeding|
|Forces moms to stop and sit still||It can be stressful|
|Healthier for the baby||Being in public is a roller-coaster|
|Milk is produced at the exact temperature needed||You need to find nursing clothes that are comfortable and that fit|
|Fewer bottles to clean||It is harder to get out of the house|
|Babies are less likely to get constipated||Takes more time|
|Babies are less likely to reject breastmilk||Breastfeeding is harder with a baby with a stuffy nose|
|Helps mom loose some of birth weight||Breastfeeding can feel isolating|
|No need to deal with others judgement ||Not as much of a schedule with breastfeeding |
|It is a lot cheaper||You are the baby's food source|
Feeding a baby is hard! I supplemented with formula while my milk came in but went solely to breastfeeding not long after. Through this journey, I have learned the benefits and disadvantages of breastfeeding. My list is not medical advice; my list contains things I wish I had been aware of at the start of this journey.
Note: I know that breastfeeding can be a sensitive topic. Some women desire to breastfeed but can't and feel guilty. Other women want nothing to do with breastfeeding but feel guilty about their choice. If you are one of these women, know that what you are doing is good enough. Motherhood is hard, don't add unnecessary guilt!
Pros of Breastfeeding: What are the Benefits of Breastfeeding?
- It forces me to stop and sit still. While in the mayhem of dirty diapers, loads of laundry, and a sink full of dishes, I have to stop and feed the baby. My to-dos list is long, but breastfeeding pulls me back to realize what is most important in my day. Breastfeeding can be a beautiful time for just the baby and me. I love feeling her tiny fingers wrap around mine as she eats. I love her making eye contact with me and breaking away for a smile.
- It is healthier for the baby. Breastmilk is individualized milk to meet the baby's needs. It outranks all brands of baby formula. Does your baby need antibodies? Your breastmilk provides. Does your baby need more fats? Your breastmilk provides.
- It is the exact temperature I need. The baby formula requires room temperature water that has boiled. When feeding my baby breastmilk, I know it is the right temperature. If you choose to pump and store ahead, this benefit doesn't apply to you.
- Breastfeeding means there are fewer bottles to clean and sanitize. During the first few months of motherhood, I would pump around two times a day. Then I would spend time washing, sanitizing, and air drying the bottles. This was a pain! I can't imagine having up to 12 bottles to clean every 24 hours during the first few weeks!
- Breastfeeding is less likely to cause constipation. When a baby isn't happy, no one is happy. When a baby has constipation, a baby isn't happy. With formula, this is more common, and all I can say to you moms out there is good luck!
- Babies are less likely to reject breastmilk. Although babies can be lactose intolerant to breastmilk, it is uncommon. On the other hand, baby formula can be a nightmare. Some babies have allergies to formula, and you have to search around to see what formula works for your child. My little girl would vomit when fed formula and choke on the throw-up. It was a nightmare!
- Breastfeeding helps you lose weight gained in pregnancy. This fact is a nice perk!!!
- You don't have to deal with guilt trips from others. It seems to be common knowledge that breastfeeding is a healthy option. Some people feel they must inform all formula feeding moms that their choices are__________. Luckily breastfeeding moms don't have to deal with this unacceptable criticism.
- It is so much cheaper! Breastmilk costs a mother eating a few extra calories a day (I won't complain:)) Formula costs a fortune! The chart below shows how much you pay for baby formula when your baby is drinking 4 oz. six times a day .
How much does formula cost?
|Type of formula||Price/ oz. of powdered formula in 2022 on Amazon||Price for 4 oz.||How much you will pay daily if your baby is drinking 4 oz. 8 times a day?||How much you will pay monthly(28 days) if your baby is drinking 4 oz. 8 times a day?|
|Similac: Pro Advance||$1.24/oz.||.72¢ ||$5.78||$161.84|
|Similac: Pro-Sensitive||$1.24/oz.||.77¢ ||$6.61||$172.48|
|Similac: 360 Total Care Sensitive||$1.54/oz.||.96¢ ||$7.65||$214.16|
|Enfamil NeuroPro||$1.27/oz.||.71¢ ||$5.68||$159.04|
|Enfamil Gentlease ||$1.29/oz.||.73¢ ||$5.84||$163.79|
|Gerber Good Start SmoothPro||$1.49/oz.||.91¢ ||$7.32||$204.86|
|Gerber Good Start Gentile Supreme||$1.52/oz.||.93¢||$7.46||$208.98|
Cons of Breastfeeding: What are the Disadvantages of Breastfeeding?
- It can be so stressful. Since we had supplemented with formula at first, my little girl grew to prefer the bottle. I remember sobbing on my bed as I tried to get a screaming hungry child to eat. I was almost at breaking point. This instance is only one of several stressful experiences.
- Being in public is a rollercoaster. Public places usually aren't built for breastfeeding moms. Many times the most socially acceptable place to feed your baby is the bathroom. Adding to that, my little girl (and countless other babies) doesn't always like a cover, which is incredibly difficult when we are out and about. Sometimes it is just easier if I stay home.
- You have to find nursing clothes that work. Postpartum clothes are hard enough to get. Now you need to make those postpartum clothes also nursing friendly. I wore my husband's t-shirts for over a month after giving birth.
- Breastfeeding can feel isolating. I have left many parties to sit in another room and feed the baby. As a new mom, you won't get out of the house as much. Honestly, sometimes it feels like you are in timeout and should be ashamed.
- There isn't as much of a schedule with breastfeeding. Formula is a more consistent schedule. Breastfeeding takes place whenever the baby wants food. I feed anywhere from every hour and a half to six hours.
- You are the baby's food source. Why make my husband take a night shift when I provide the food? There has been more than once I have longed for uninterrupted sleep. Sleep is a lot harder when you contain the baby's food. Note: You can pump ahead and store milk, but this is a hassle and is more likely to harbor unwanted bacteria.
- Breastfeeding makes it harder to get out of the house. Unless you master pumping and storing ahead, your time is limited. Breastfeeding makes it hard to work outside the home, have a date night, and so many more activities.
- When you are out of milk, you have to wait for more to come. I am lucky and usually produce what I need. However, there have been times when I haven't had enough milk. This leads to stress, which in turn cuts your remaining milk supply. It is a vicious cycle!
- You can produce too much milk. Overproducing milk isn't fun. You will feel engorged, wet, and uncomfortable. These poor women wake up in the middle of the night soaked in milk.
- You may need to cut down on chocolate. I have a minor addiction to chocolate. Sadly, too much chocolate can lead to a fussy, gassy baby. Note: Not all women have this problem. Sadly, I can't eat much chocolate and am having chocolate withdrawals as I write.
- You may need to get a pump. A pump is nice to have but is also just one more expensive thing. NOTE: Our well loved "Medela Pump" was 100% paid for through insurance. Please see if your insurance will cover a pump before you buy one. To view the Medela Pump that I would recommend click here.
- Breastfeeding takes more time! It is so exciting when your baby learns to hold their bottle all by themselves. If you choose baby formula, you can hand your child a quickly prepared bottle, and you can be on your way. This isn't the case for moms that choose to breastfeed. Yes, you can hand the child a bottle after you have pumped for X amount of time.
- Breastfeeding can be painful. Women who breastfeed can face cracked nipples, sore nipples, Mastitis, engorged breasts, teething babies, and so much more.
- Babies don't come with amazing abilities to breastfeed. Some babies struggle to latch, others have tied tongues, others don't open their mouth wide enough, etc. To think that before giving birth, I wondered why lactation specialists exist.
- Breastfeeding saps energy. You are fueling your baby, which takes a lot of energy. I am excited when I can have this energy return!!
- It is harder to Breastfeed when the baby has a runny or stuffy nose. I noticed my baby would only drink for a minute, play for 15, then return for a minute feeding. It didn't make any sense until I started to notice a cold coming on the next day. Bottle feeding is much easier for the baby to guzzle down. Also, it allows you to determine their intake.
"Our goal is to help the world make decisions with a list of Pros and Cons. We invite all to add to our lists to help others make the most educated decision possible. We are all in this world together to help each other and learn from what others have learned from their lives journey." - Pros and Cons Team
Written by: Kristen