Health experts believe breast milk is the best nutritional choice for infants. However breastfeeding may not be possible for all women. For many, the decision to either breastfeed or formula feed is based on their comfort level, lifestyle, and specific medical situations. For moms who can’t breastfeed or who decide not to, infant formula is a healthy alternative. Formula provides babies with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.
Some mothers worry that if they don’t breastfeed, they won’t bond with their baby. But the truth is, loving mothers will always create a special bond with their children. And feeding — no matter how — is a great time to strengthen that bond.
Here are some of the many benefits of breastfeeding:
– Fighting infections and other conditions. Breastfed babies have fewer infections and hospitalizations than formula-fed infants. During breastfeeding, antibodies and other germ-fighting factors pass from a mother to her baby and strengthen the immune system. Breastfeeding helps defend against allergies, and protect against a number of chronic conditions. It is particularly beneficial for premature babies.
– Free. Breast milk doesn’t cost a kobo, while the cost of formula adds up every time. And unless you’re pumping breast milk and giving it to your baby, there’s no need for bottles, nipples, and other supplies that can be costly. Since breastfed babies are less likely to be sick, that may mean they make fewer trips to the doctor’s office, so healthcare cost is saved.
– Nutrition and ease of digestion. Often called the “perfect food” for a human baby’s digestive system, breast milk’s components — lactose, protein (whey and casein), and fat — are easily digested by a newborn. Breast milk tends to be more easily digested so that breastfed babies have fewer bouts of diarrhea or constipation.
– “Skin-to-skin” contact. Many nursing mothers really enjoy the experience of bonding so closely with their babies. And the skin-to-skin contact can enhance the emotional connection between mother and child.
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