Breastfeeding or Bottle Feeding; Advantages And Disadvantages



Breast Feeding

*Breast milk is ideally suited to a

baby’s energy and nutrient requirements

*Composition of breast milk changes to meet baby’s needs


*Readily available

*Can protect mother against breast and ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and obesity

*Access to clean water not needed

*Creates a bond between mother and baby

*Enhances development of baby’s immune and gut systems and reduces risk of infection and allergies

*Studies have shown those that were breastfed have advanced cognitive development later in childhood, less allergies, lower cholesterol and obesity

*Longer a baby is breast fed the longer and greater the benefits

*Mother needs to supplement her diet to ensure she is providing correct energy and nutrients for producing breast milk and maintaining own health

*Breast milk is low in vitamin D and K so supplementation is needed

*Only the mother can feed the baby

*Can’t tell how much the baby is having

*Some mothers may feel uncomfortable feeding in public places, other people may make the mother feel uncomfortable

*Returning to work while breastfeeding can be difficult

*Baby can need feeding more often

*drugs, alcohol, nicotine can all be passed from mother to baby while breastfeeding

Bottle Feeding

*Family and friends can feed the baby, this gives the mother time for herself and allows others to develop a bond with the baby and help

*Easy to measure how much the baby is having

*Some mothers don’t like the idea of breast feeding so this is a helpful option to ensure the baby is well nourished

*It is an option for when breastfeeding isn’t working due to a medical condition of either the baby or the mother

*Baby can stay fuller for longer as the protein in formula milk takes longer to digest

*Allergens can be removed from certain formulas

* Can be expensive; sterilising equipment, bottles, teats, formula

*Can be a delay between baby needing milk and receiving as formula needs preparing

*Access to clean water needed (can be problematic in developing countries)

*Attention to hygiene of mother and equipment needed during preparation, feeding, storing and cleaning

*Some nutrient benefits and immunity enhancement of breast milk can not be replicated, these are then missing from the baby’s diet

*Health benefits of breastfeeding are not available to those mothers who bottle feed

*Care needs to be taken with correct proportion of formula made up and given to baby to avoid dehydration, constipation, over/ under feeding

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