In earlier days there was no concept of pumping breast milk as such. Women generally used to be stay-at-home mothers, hence all their time was devoted to the care and looking after the child’s needs. However, with the major shift in the lifestyle where women are becoming more independent and they go back to work after 3 to 4 after childbirth, it became a necessity to figure out a way to not let the milk generated go to waste. Then the breast pump came into the picture, and it became essential for busy mothers. Now, a lot of discussion goes around this topic asking whether breastfeeding is better for the child or pumping milk is better. Let us get into it.
Here are some pros and cons of breastfeeding and Breast Pumping shared and approved by Dr. Archana Wadkar, Consultant Lactation Expert, Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi, Pune.
Pros And Cons Of Breast Feeding
Pros Of Breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding means that your baby is getting fed on demand and it is customized food for the baby. The contact of the baby’s saliva with your body kinds of sends a message about the needs of the baby and the baby is thus fed accordingly. The mother's body also recognizes the antibodies that the baby requires.
- The body is very intelligent, and it supplies milk to the needs and demands of the baby. If the baby wants to feed for longer, the mother’s body recognizes that and supplies more milk to the baby also ensuring that the baby is not overfed.
- Breastfeeding encourages a healthy bond between the mother and the baby as that is a time fully devoted to the baby. The skin-on-skin interaction or touch also helps the baby bond with the mother.
- Breastfeeding a baby is very calming for a baby. It can really calm soothe a baby in distress.
- Breastfeeding has no extra cost. It is affordable and very convenient for every new mother out there. Breastfeeding compared to formula feeding a baby is much better as the formula is expensive.
Cons Of Breastfeeding
- While breastfeeding, the mother is restricted to the timings and needs of the baby. The mother will be confined to the timeline of the infant’s hunger and may not have a lot of time to herself and for herself.
- Breastfeeding can be economically not taxing; however, it is taxing for a new mother emotionally as well as physically. The nipples might become sore and may hurt at one point in time and if the baby does not latch etc., it can become frustrating for the mother.
Pros And Cons Of Breast Pumping
Pros Of Breast Pumping
- The mother will have the reigns and will be able to take out time for herself and her work. The mother can control the timings of feeding the baby and will not be restricted to the baby’s daily schedule.
- The mother can return to work as she pleases and can conveniently pump her milk in a private area.
- The mother can share the feedings over to the other parents or a caregiver when the milk is pumped. The milk can be stored in bottles. When the mother shares the responsibility of feeding the baby it also encourages a positive balance in the caretaking between the 2 parents.
- Pumping milk may also help one in creating a stockpile of milk in the freezer for the time when the mother is away.
- Pumping milk can be a way to take a break and may be able to give the mother a breather for once, to catch up with sleep, etc.
Cons Of Breast Pumping
- The equipment for pumping breast milk is costly and not everyone can afford it.
- The lack of contact between the mother and the baby leads to a lack of the baby’s needs. The milk will not be customized for the baby as there is no skin-on-skin contact.
- At times you may find yourself with a pump but without a private space to pump your milk.
- Both aspects have their pros and cons. One needs to take a decision according to their needs, choices, surroundings, and the aspect of going back to work.
Do consult your doctor to make a better decision and opt for whatever is more comfortable and healthier for you and your baby.
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