Wondering whether to breastfeed or bottle feed your soon-to-come newborn? Sometimes, breast vs. bottle is an emotionally charged issue. So, at Surfside Pediatrics in Ventura, CA, Dr. Kevin White and Dr. Stacey Lowen and their team want to give you basic facts to help you decide what's best for you, your baby and your family.
The advantages of nursing
Family health organizations typically endorse breastfeeding in Ventura as the optimal option for your baby's health and well-being--and yours, too. The American Pregnancy Association cautions, however, that if you feel ambivalent about it, talk to your pediatrician, lactation specialist, local hospital, or breastfeeding support group.
In general, nursing creates an intense bond with your infant. Face-to-face contact helps your baby recognize you quickly, and as a mom, your physiological and emotional well-being improves during early postpartum weeks as you breastfeed.
Nutritionally, nothing is as complete and as well-tolerated as breast milk. It confers substantial natural immunity against a variety of diseases as it transfers immunoglobulins to the baby. The medical professional calls this process passive immunity.
In addition, your baby self-regulates his or her intake, taking as much as is needed to feel full. Also, breast milk costs nothing; requires no bottles, measuring, or preparation; and is always available.
The advantages of bottle feeding
While your pediatrician highly recommends breastfeeding, some moms cannot nurse their babies because of a medical condition, family situation, or medication they are taking. That's where bottle feeding comes in as a wise alternative.
Bottle feeding has some distinct benefits, including:
- A caregiver or family member can feed the baby
- Ability to "stretch" time intervals between feedings
- Easier to keep a baby on a regular feeding schedule (as opposed to demand feedings when you nurse)
- No difficulties feeding the infant if mom is suddenly ill or gone in an emergency
The best trend
Women all over the world breastfeed their babies for six months to one year, says the World Health Organization. They see a quicker return to their pre-pregnancy weight and shape and later in life, enjoy lower rates of breast and uterine cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and more. Babies grow more quickly and have fewer allergies and ear infections when they are nursed--even for short periods of time. Truly, mom's breast milk is a "high test" fuel.
If you wish to know more about feeding your newborn, please contact Surfside Pediatrics in Ventura, CA, for more information. We want you and your baby to experience a great first year and beyond. Call (805) 643-7500.