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Breast Feeding Versus Bottle Feeding - Essay Example

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Breast Feeding Versus Bottle Feeding

Theories about Breast Feeding Often linked inextricably with the phrase ‘the most natural thing in the world’, breast feeding remains the most recommended and professionally supported method of feeding your newborn. Medical professionals recommend feeding your baby breast milk exclusively for the first 6 months (LICH Pediatrics, 2011). Other foods or formula should only be introduced gradually after this. The NHS website (2012) outlines the numerous advantages of breastfeeding for both you and your baby. The main benefits are; it is a source of optimal and natural nutrition which cannot be replicated, it builds babies immune system, it promotes a bond between mother and baby and it lowers the risk of infections, other common baby ailments and developing certain chronic diseases. Breast milk is also more easily absorbed and digested by babies compared to formula. Of course the practicality of breastfeeding is also a plus; it’s available anytime, it’s always a suitable temperature and it’s free. It also has health benefits for mum as it speeds up metabolism and helps in losing excess weight after childbirth. Studies have also shown that breast feeding yields a protective effect in mums against developing premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis (Kumar, 2012). Theories about Bottle Feeding Bottle feeding is an option many mothers choose. Very often, mothers simply are not comfortable breast feeding and turn to bottle feeding as an alternative. Nowadays, commercially prepared infant formulas are of a very high nutritional quality and are designed to mimic breast milk as much as possible (LICH Paediatrics, 2011). Though most feeding theories recommend the breast over the bottle, they do still acknowledge the many advantages bottle feeding offers. It is convenient and flexible, and makes public feeding an easier and less worrisome event for some mothers compared to breast feeding. It can also be pre-prepared when needed and the fact that anyone can bottle feed the baby means that mum does not need to be present at all feeding sessions, which is especially relevant to busy or working mothers.. However, it is important to remember that is has been proven that formula cannot match the nutritional composition of breast milk. Studies have even found an association between artificial formula feeding and an increased risk of childhood cancer (Kumar, 2012). Other studies have suggested that artificial feeding increases the risk of some medical conditions such as celiac disease, compared to breast fed babies. More practical disadvantages are that it is also the more expensive feeding method, costing new mums anywhere up to ?80 per week. What Do Most Mothers Go For And Why? It seems that the majority of new mothers in the UK choose to breast feed. The NHS (2011) reported that initial breastfeeding rates in 2010 were 83% in England, 74% in Scotland, 71% in Wales, and 64% in Northern Ireland. It also reported a significant increase in breastfeeding since 2005. The fact that more and more research supports breast feeding over formula, and society is slowly becoming more comfortable with the naturalness of breast feeding, means that an increasing number of women see breast feeding as the best choice for them and for their baby. It is also interesting to note that the Milupa Aptamil ...Show more

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Your Name: Professor Name: Course Code: Date Submitted: Breast Feeding Versus Bottle Feeding For new mothers there is one question which can easily become a source of confusion, stress and even guilt; should I breast feed or bottle feed? It can often be difficult to find a straightforward answer to this, as it is an entirely personal decision and so many factors must be taken into account…
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