Breastfeeding vs Pumping: Pros and Cons for Lovely Mothers

By
0 0 0 No comments

To give birth to your baby is one of the most wonderful feeling ever. When you hold your baby and look into their eyes for the first time, it’s a feeling of pure joy.

However, you have to feed your baby to make them grow as healthy as possible. This is one of the most important decisions you have to take when your baby is born. There are generally 3 ways of feeding a newborn baby:

  • Breastfeeding

  • Breast milk pumped into a bottle

  • Infant Formula

In this post, I’ll talk about the first two. Are you going to breastfeed your child or you’re going to use a breast pump to provide milk in a bottle for your child?

We’re going to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each as we go through the post. First of all, breastfeeding your baby is the best form of feeding but the best alternative to it is pumping breast milk into a bottle for your child. In some cases, pumping is the best choice you have.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the feeding of babies with milk from a woman’s breast. Often times, from the mom.

Source: United States Department of Agriculture

Breastfeeding is important to both the child and the mother. According to research, increase in breastfeeding could prevent 823,000 annual deaths in children younger than 5 years and 20,000 annual deaths from breast cancer.

What are the pros of breastfeeding?

  • Breastfeeding improves bonding between mother and child. There’s skin to skin contact and this is an experience that most mothers treasure. It also reduces cancer risks for mother and makes it easier to lose pregnancy weight.

  • Breast milk from breastfeeding is more nutritious as it comes from the mother’s body into the child’s body. When there is a period of time in which breast milk has been out of your body but not in your child’s body, it starts to lose nutrients especially vitamin C. It decreases with time for pumped breast milk as you preserve for a long period of time. Breastfeeding prevents this as your child can get the maximum amount of nutrients possible.

  • Breastfeeding follows a simple process. When your child is hungry, you just have to uncover your breast and feed your child.

  • There’s no worry of feeding your baby with milk that has gone bad. After a period of time preserving breast milk, it loses its nutritional values as it spends more time in your fridge. Breastfeeding eliminates this worry as the milk you give your baby is fresh from your breast and in its best condition.

The cons of breastfeeding

  • As simple as the process of breastfeeding is, it can also be a strain on your time. You can do little else while breastfeeding as you pay attention to your baby. Considering that you will feed your baby every few hours, it may be a lot of stress or even impossible due to your job.

  • Breastfeeding also takes more time for your baby to take in an amount of breast milk compared to a bottle. Your baby has to draw the milk from your breast and this takes more time than say if the baby is taking the milk from a bottle.

  • Due to the fact that there is still public shaming of breastfeeding in most societies of the world, it is difficult to breastfeed your kid in an open place. You want to avoid eyes staring at you. This could prove to be a difficulty when your child starts crying in public because of hunger. You have to start looking for a private place to breastfeed your child. This can lead to additional stress for you. This problem has been solved with some establishments having nursing area.

 

  • In some cases, your job may not allow you to bring your child to the place of work and breastfeeding becomes impossible during work hours. Even in workplaces where bringing your child is allowed, there’ll probably be a daycare dedicated to babies. It can be a source of distraction at work if you have to leave your work and go to the daycare every few hours just to breastfeed your child. This can lead to a loss in productivity which you want to avoid.

  • Breastfeeding can be more painful. For some mothers with sensitive nipples, their nipples can get sore after a period of breastfeeding their baby. This can even get worse when the baby begins to develop teeth. Then you’ll have to worry about bites on your nipples which can get really painful.

  • In some cases, the strong bond created during breastfeeding can make a child too attached to their mother. They may find it difficult to stay with other people apart from their mother and this can be a problem for you if you have to leave your child with someone else. Even someone as close as their daddy.

Pumping

To pump breast milk for your child, you need a breast pump. A breast pump is a mechanical device that extracts milk from the breasts of a lactating woman. A breast pump could be manual which is powered by your hand or foot movements. It can also be an electrical device which powered by batteries or electric supply.

Another thing you need is bottles. These hold your milk while you preserve it in a refrigerator or freezer. Most breast pumps allow you to collect breast milk directly into the bottles. With some pumps, you can only use the bottles that come with the pumps while some pumps allow other bottles.

What are the pros of pumping breast milk?

  • Someone else can feed your baby through a bottle. When you have to finish your chores at home and your child starts crying endlessly, it can be a source of frustration to leave your chores as you can get delayed. With a bottle, however, your husband can take over the duty of feeding your baby. This way, your husband can also bond with your baby while feeding him/her. And if your child starts crying at a daycare while you’re at work, you don’t have to be distracted at work as your nanny can feed your baby while you’re away.

  • There’s less stress for you. With breast milk in the bottle, you have eliminated one of the major elements of stress as a mother with a new baby.

  • You can concentrate at work. As important as your baby is, you still have to eat. One of the major issues that employers have with nursing mothers is too many distractions while at work. By having your breast milk in a bottle, you can take care of your baby as effectively as possible without hurting your employer through a drop in productivity.

  • Feeding your baby from a bottle is faster. Even if you have to do the feeding yourself, it’s still faster than breastfeeding. Since a baby doesn’t have to draw the milk from your breast, it’s faster through the bottle. You can feed your baby in a short time and move on to other activities.

  • A breast pump is able to draw milk faster than your child and this makes the process faster.

  • It is easier to feed your child in a public space as no one can shame you for feeding your child with a bottle.

  • There is less pain. You don’t have to worry about having sore nipples or your child biting your nipples.

The cons of pumping breast milk

  • It involves many processes. You have to buy a breast pump, you have to buy bottles to store the breast milk, and you have to provide space in your freezer for storage of the bottles. You have to wash the bottles to make them as clean as possible for the better health of your child.

  • More worries of germs. Unlike breast milk where there is a little avenue for your child to consume germs, there is a real possibility if you’re feeding your baby through a bottle. You have to sterilize your breast pump and your nipples regularly to prevent your child from consuming germs.

  • Your baby can gain weight faster. Although feeding your baby through a bottle is faster, it can also lead to a disadvantage: your child gaining weight unnecessarily. Since your child can consume more through the bottle, if you give them the same amount of time to feed on a bottle as they do from the breast, they’ll consume much more than they do from the breast. And this can lead to your child gaining weight. While feeding your baby through a bottle, you have to determine the maximum amount of milk your baby will take during each feeding session.

  • There may be worries that your milk has gone bad. When you preserve breast milk, it loses some of its nutrients over time especially vitamin C. If you’re feeding your child breast milk through a bottle, you have to keep track of the time you pumped the breast to determine that it has not lost its nutritional value. And no matter how much you try, you’ll sometimes feed your child with milk that has lost its major nutritional content.

  • Your baby can swallow excess air while feeding through a bottle. This can make them gassy. Even though there are bottles to prevent this, there’s still a higher probability of your child swallowing excess air through a feeding bottle than through your breast.

  • You have to thaw your milk when you take it out of your freezer before you can give your child. This can take a bit of time which you don’t have when your child starts crying.

  • If you have to go on a vacation, it may be a bit of stress to pack your breast pump and bottles when going. It definitely increases your load for the journey.

Reasons to pump instead of breastfeeding

  • Hectic schedule or job: when you have a job where you have to spend many hours daily, it is more practical to pump breast milk into bottles to help your child feed during work hours.

  • Latching issues: if your child will not latch on, then you’ll have to use a bottle. The correct latch on position is for the mouth of your child to cover the areola and the child’s lips are flanged out.

  • Medical issues: If your child has medical issues, it can be recommended by your doctor to feed your child through a bottle.

  • Public places: It may be necessary to feed your child through a bottle if you have to feed them in a public place due to shaming.

They are not mutually exclusive.

If you want your child to gain the benefits of breastfeeding but you’re unable to do it during the day due to work commitments, then you can breastfeed your child in the evening and early in the morning before you leave for work.

Or you can use a breast pump during the week and breastfeed your child during weekends when you have more time. There is no hard and fast rule that you must only stick to one of it. You can also combine the two as you see fit.

Wrapping it Up

Feeding your baby is a big commitment and there are many factors to consider to pick a suitable method that will last for at least a year when your baby has to depend on breast milk.

You have to consider the amount of time you can spare daily to feed your baby and how many times your baby will be fed during the course of a day.

One other thing you have to consider is that you must meet the nutritional needs of your child. Whatever method you choose or combination, it must be able to meet the nutritional needs of your child.

Raven at 3 Jacks and a Queen has done both exclusively with her two kids and she says if she had to do it again, she would do a combination of the two to create a bond between her and the baby and also between the baby and his/her daddy and their other family members.

Go through the pros and cons of each method and see which method or combination suits you and your baby best.