The Pros and Cons of Breast Feeding

Every woman has her own opinion about breast feeding. Some women are set on it from the very beginning, while others would rather not, and still others, for whatever reason just can’t. Before you make up your mind about whether or not you will breastfeed your baby, consider this pro and con list and make a list of your own in order to make the best decision for you and your baby.

Pros of Breastfeeding

  • It Helps Keep the Baby Healthy – Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby’s immune system fight against illnesses
  • It Helps You Get Your Body Back – One day of breastfeeding burns as many calories as a 7-mile walk!
  • It’s More Economical – While formula costs upwards of $4 per ounce, breast milk is free
  • It’s More Efficient – There are no bottles to prepare and warm up, which saves a substantial amount of time considering you’ll be feeding every couple of hours
  • It’s Nutritious – Breast milk has the perfect proportion of protein, fat, carbohydrates and calcium for your baby

Cons of Breastfeeding

  • It’s Not Ideal for Working Moms – Breastfeeding means finding time to pump while you’re at the office
  • You’ve Got to Watch Your Diet – Just as when you were pregnant, what you consume while you’re breastfeeding gets passed on to the baby
  • Breastfeeding Can be Painful – Many women suffer from cracked skin caused by breastfeeding
  • You Can’t Delegate the Task of Feeding to Someone Else – This one’s pretty self-explanatory…chances are your husband won’t be producing milk anytime soon
  • You May Not Be Able to Take Certain Medications – Some medications may disrupt breastfeeding or cause harm to your baby

Your decision about whether or not you breastfeed your baby is a personal one. Even though it’s really nobody else’s business, people will ask which route you’re going to take with your baby. Not that you have to tell them one way or the other, but it helps to have an answer prepared so that you’re not taken off guard and say something you regret; even if that response is simply, ‘I don’t feel comfortable sharing that information.’ If you’re still unsure about whether or not to breastfeed your baby, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. He or she might have some additional insight, especially given their knowledge of your medical history and what they think is best for you personally.