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When being pregnant, you have lots of things to worry about and decide on. One of the major things you need to decide on is weather to breastfeed or formula feed. This is also a very controversial subject and raises many arguments and debates in society. I chose to formula feed my daughter and I will choose to formula feed the child Im pregnant with also. My decision is based on the fact that it was/is more convenient for my family this way, physical restrictions also prevent me from breastfeeding. I also receive WIC in order to help pay for formula. I also feel that breastfeeding is too much of a sexual act. Again, these are my personal reasons as to why I chose to formula feed and not everyone will agree with my actions and that is just fine because everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
Breastfeeding your baby has many advantages over formula feeding. One advantage is that breast milk is free where as formula can cost around $1,200 a year. However, moms who choose to formula feed may also apply for state help such as WIC (Woman, Infants, and Children) to help them pay for formula. Breast milk is always available where as you may run out of formula at 2am or you go to the store and they are sold out of the kind you use. Breast milk is also easily digestible, where as formula can lead to gas, constipation, and spitting up. Breastfeeding can also help the mother lose weight a lot faster than if she were formula feeding. This is because the production of breast milk burns an average of 200 to 500 calories a day. A formula feeding mother would have to swim 30 laps in a pool to burn that many calories. Various studies show that breastfeeding mothers have an edge on losing weight and keeping it off, where formula feeding mothers lose less weight and do not keep it off as long. Now, this is just some of the advantages that breastfeeding has over formula feeding and you can be better informed by using the internet as research.
Formula feeding also has many advantages over breastfeeding. Formula feeding gives the mother more flexibility with her schedule, where breastfeeding does not. Formula feeding you can feed a baby anywhere you choose, with breastfeeding you cannot due to having your breast exposed in public places. Dads and other caregivers can easily step in and feed the baby, where breastfeeding is only done by the mom. When formula feeding you can easily tell how much your baby is drinking in a day by measuring it and with breastfeeding you cannot because you cannot measure it out. Formula fed babies can go longer between feedings because they digest their formula slower than breastfed babies. There are also many disadvantages to the mother from both formula feeding and breast feeding.
Some disadvantages to the mother from formula feeding are ovarian cancer (Ovarian cancer is cancer that starts in the ovaries. The ovaries are the female reproductive organs that produce eggs. PubMed Health) and endometrial cancer (Endometrial cancer is cancer that starts in the endometrium, the lining of the uterus (womb). PubMed Health). The mother can also develop osteoporosis (where the bones become weak and brittle) and diabetes. The mother may also have a hard time losing the baby weight and keeping it off, thus becoming overweight and risking even more health problems in the future. Breast cancer is the number one concern to formula feeding mothers. Studies have shown that the risk of breast cancer is decreased by 4% for each year of breastfeeding (D Hollander, International Family Planning Perspectives, Vol.28, 2002).
There are some disadvantages to breastfeeding mothers as well. One disadvantage is that breastfeeding is more demanding and physically painful to the mother. Some mothers may not be able to breast feed due to having inverted nipples, breast implants or reductions, certain sexually transmitted diseases (that can be passed through human fluid), or having HIV/AIDS. Mothers may not be able to breast feed due to certain medications they are taking as well. Smoking mothers should not breastfeed because the nicotine is passed to the baby through breast milk, unless she stops smoking prior to when milk production starts. A breastfeeding mother also has to change her diet and consume more calories for proper milk production. Some women are very self-conscious when it comes to breastfeeding in public and that may steer them not to breastfeed at all.
Again there are many advantages and disadvantages to both the mother and baby when it comes to formula feeding and breastfeeding. This is a major decision that can only be made by the mother and not be push or persuaded into one choice or the other. As a new mother myself I highly suggest that new moms do their research on both breastfeeding and formula feeding. Personally I never did any research until this assignment and I have been given lots of helpful information, but I still do not believe that I could fully commit to breastfeeding.
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