Formula Feeding

 



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Advantages

      Although breastfeeding is the highly recommended, there are some women who are unable to breastfeed. In this case, iron-fortified formula, which also contains supplemental vitamins and minerals, is used as an alternative for breastfeeding. The first benefit of infant formula is that it is convenient for either parent. The duties can be shared between the mother and father, and the father is given the opportunity to bond with his child while bottle feeding. It also provides flexibility because the mother does not have to worry about pumping milk, and both parents can feed at any time. The second benefit is that bottle fed babies are usually less fed because formula digests slower than breast milk. Finally, the third benefit of bottlefeeding is that a mother does not have to worry about the types of food and drinks she consumes, because it will not affect the baby.

Challenges 

      One of the first challenges of bottlefeeding is that enough bottles need to be prepared ahead of time, which can be a little time consuming because powder needs to be mixed into the bottle with sterile water (boiled water). Fortunately, there are already prepared formulas, which do not require any mixing or water, but these types of products can be expensive. "During the first year of life, the cost of basic formula can run about 1,500" (Homeier, B. P., 2005). The second challenge is to make sure all bottles and nipples are washed before using them. If they are not washed properly, then they can possibly spread bacteria. It is also important to throw away any formula, which has been out of the refridgerator for longer than 1 hour.

     The next disadvantage of formula feeding is that every bottle must be warmed up before each feeding. However, bottles should not be warmed up in the microwave because it can create "hot spots," which can be very harmful. Instead it is preferred that bottler be warmed up under warm water or placed in a pan of hot water for only a few minutes. Another disadvantage is that formula lacks antibodies, which are usually found in breast milk. These antibodies are important because they fight against infections and illnesses. Formula also produces more gas and constipation than breast milk, which can cause the infant to become uncomfortable and fussy.