Baby bottle feeding good or bad?

Detailed discussion on ‘baby bottle feeding good or bad?’

 What is baby bottle feeding?

  • Breastfeeding is ideal and best for babies.
  • Sometimes bottles are used to feed the babies instead of providing breast milk.
  • Bottle feeding means feeding infants with specialized bottle.
  • These bottles can be made up of glass, fiber or plastic.
  • They usually have a silicon or rubber nipple when pressed releases milk.
  • These bottles can be filled with breast milk or formula milk or animal milk.
  • They are supposed to be cleaned and washed before use.
Baby bottle feeding good or bad?
Baby bottle for feeding

Why some mothers prefer baby bottle feeding?

  • Some mothers think breast feeding can be harmful to them. 
  • Some mothers are busy making their career ignoring infants.
  • Some mothers think breast feeding will lead to weight gain.
  • Mother can be low in confidence that she can adequately breast feed the baby.
  • Mother can wrongly think that breast feeding is getting inadequate and baby needs more.
  • To some mothers no proper guidance and counseling is available.
  • To some mothers families may not be supportive to establish or carry out breast feeding practices. 
  • For some mothers breast feeding is not possible because of their work schedule.
  • Nowadays human behavior becoming more comfort seeking it is very natural that everyone wants to save the efforts. 
  • Sometimes conditions are unavoidable like absence of mother or health conditions of mother or if mother is no more.
  • Some business houses projecting bottle feeding superior to breast feeding.

What are benefits of baby bottle feeding?

  • It can be done by anyone.
  • Presence of mother is not needed for bottle feeding, father or any other family member can do that with little attention in mother’s absence too.
  • Bottle feeding can be done anywhere like even at public places when privacy is an issue.
  • There is no risk of infant getting HIV from formula feed if mother is infected with and unless baby gets that infection at the time of birth.
  • Infant formulas can be fortified.
  • Bottle feeding is easy during travel again the place and privacy can be issue in such situation.
  • It is easy for babies to suck the nipple of bottle than that of mother.
  • As it is easy not much motivation is needed to mother unlike breast feeding.
  • Bottle feeding can be less time consuming and requiring less efforts.
  • If mother is addicted to drugs nicotine and heroines baby is saved by bottle feeding.

How is baby bottle feeding harmful to babies?

  • Bottles are artificial and are no match to natural breast and breast milk. Artificial formulas usually have different protein and fat composition than breast milk
  • Artificial formula are prepared industrially and stored in containers for many days to months before consumption. They are not fresh.
  • Though artificial formulas claim various nutrients those values are at the time of packing the formula. They don’t necessarily depict what your baby is getting at the time of consumption.
  • Laxity and ignorance by workers at industry can lead to harmful effects to your babies.
  • Artificial formula may contain preservatives and coloring agents that can be harmful to babies.
  • Artificial formula contain pesticides  
  • Bottles cannot be cleaned and sterilized even with best efforts causing contamination by bacterial agents or other harmful agents.
  • If you try to boil the bottle the material and color from it can get mixed to milk and can be consumed by baby which can be harmful.
  • It is almost next to impossible to sterilize the nipple of bottle.
  • Lazy infants – since it is very easy to suck the nipple of bottle baby starts preferring it over breast and then refusing to take breast milk.
  • Infant used to bottle nipple tries to suck breast in same way as bottle nipple and then the breast milk secretion cannot occur. This condition is called as nipple ‘confusion’.
  • When the nipple of bottle is pressed the milk flow comes easily and not necessarily when baby is ready to drink. This can go to babies wind pipe and baby may get pneumonia.
  • As a risk of contamination is their bottle fed babies are likely to get many infections like pneumonia and diarrhea.
  • Additionally infant milk formula does not contain immunity factors like antibodies and lysozymes and enzymes bottle fed babies are not protected from the life threatening infections.
  • Infant formulas if not diluted as directed it can lead variety of problems even life threatening ones and malnutrition to.
  • No infant formula contains the nutrients similar to breast milk that are essential for overall healthy growth of the baby.
  • Bottle fed babies are likely to be overweight and are more likely to get diabetes mellitus and hypertension when they grow older.
  • Bottle fed babies are more likely get allergies and asthmatic conditions. 
  • Bottle feeding cannot form physical and emotional bonding between mother and baby. Baby also has emotional requirements to grow as the healthy child. Those requirements cannot be met with bottle.
  • Babies get feeling of security when mother breast feeds baby. This feeling of security cannot come from bottle.
  • Bottle fed babies are more likely to get dental carries and tooth decays.
  • If given animal milk, human babies can get variety of problem as it contains large amount of solutes difficult to be handled by infant kidney.
  • If animal milk is diluted to reduce solute load the energy contents become inadequate leading to malnutrition in infants.

How baby bottle feeding is harmful to mothers?

  • Mother or family member needs to take care of cleaning and sterilizing bottle which is difficult and time consuming task to be done.
  • As mother is not adequately breast feeding when bottle feeding the breast milk can accumulate in breast and can lead to large, red, hot, painful breast the condition called mastitis.
  • Because of inadequate breast feeding due to bottle feeding breasts become engorged leading to flattening of nipples and making it difficult for babies to suckle.
  • Babies which are used to bottle feeding try to suck only nipple and then this can lead to cracking of nipple. 
  • The condition of mastitis if not paid attention can lead to sever condition like breast abscess which many need surgical treatment.
  • Breast feeding is good way of losing weight and maintaining health to pre pregnancy level so bottle feeding is lost opportunity to do so for mothers.
  • Those mothers who haven’t breast fed babies are more likely to get breast cancers which is not certainly the desirable thing in long run.
  • A healthy emotional boding is formed between mother and baby by breast feeding which is not possible by bottle feeding.
  • Mother need not to worry about preparation and dilution of milk with breast feeding which is a major concern for bottle feeding.
  • Breast milk is just right choice for the baby no need to worry about what type of formula and which brand. This is usually not possible with artificial bottle feeding.
  • Even if mother decides to bottle feed the expressed milk she needs to express it by hand or pump which can be tedious and painful task to do.

How baby bottle feeding is harmful to family?

  • As we know buying and maintaining bottle is costly and time consuming thing.
  • Artificial infant milk formulas come with astronomically high cost, which can come as financial shock to many families poor and even middle class alike.
  • Bottle fed babies are likely to get many diseases and requiring more frequent hospitalizations to add to the cost.
  • Moreover not being the ideal way of feeding of feeding and not beneficial to baby, mother or families alike taking so much efforts on it just to replace simple natural breast feeding is not desirable.
  • The same amount of physical and financial efforts can be utilized elsewhere for the progress of the families and in turn for the progress of the society overall.

How the society can discourage use of baby bottle feeding?

  • As a society we are failure if we are not addressing the important issue of breast feeding and mothers are selecting bottle feeding.
  • Mothers should be given respect and confidence that they can breast feed while working or roaming around maintaining privacy.
  • Mothers wanting to go to work should be provided residence near work.
  • Day care unit or crèche should be made available at workplace where mother can breast feed.
  • Mother should be given timely break to adequately breast feed baby.
  • Mother and baby should be given adequate privacy for breast feeding.
  • If possible mother should be given paid or at least half paid leave for 6 months after child birth.
  • If not possible mother should leave the job at least for 6 months for the well being of the baby.
  • Separate feeding rooms should be available at public places like bus stations and railway stations.
  • There should be ban on advertising of formula feeds on media and breast feeding should be promoted as superior feed even on infant milk formula packets.
  • School education should teach importance of breast feeding and discouraging bottle feeding.
  • At every visit to healthcare facility breast feeding should be promoted discouraging bottle feeding.

What working mothers should do to avoid baby bottle feeding?

  • Try to get holidays paid or unpaid alike till baby becomes 6 months age.
  • Try to get facility of day care or crèche for baby at workplace. If not available take initiative to make it available.
  • Try to find work near house or try to find house near place of work.
  • Whenever possible breast feed baby like when you are at home or on holiday.
  • Keep expressed milk at home and feed the baby with spoon or paladai spoon (gokarnam) in your absence.
  • If work hours are prolonged visit your pediatrician for advice regarding choosing the infant milk formula. That to be given properly diluted and hygienic practices and with spoon not with bottle.
  • Continue breast feeding till at least 2 years of age. You can stop breastfeeding it when your baby is 2 years old.

For babies who have cleft palate how to avoid baby bottle feeding?

  • For babies who are unfortunately suffering from defects like cleft palate many times it is not possible to breast feed as they have inability to suckle.
  • For such babies long spoons like palada spoon can be used to feed expressed milk.
  • Dental opinion should be sought to get artificial palate or feeding cap which can be made easily and helps baby to breast feed.

What should HIV positive mother do to avoid baby bottle feeding?

  • This advice is to be given at time of the birth.
  • This issue should be discussed in pregnancy itself explaining its benefits and cons and implications on babies health and family finances.
  • Mother and baby should be Anti Rrtroviral Therapy for decided period.
  • If mother decides to give artificial formula she should be adequately counseled regarding hygienic practices and choosing formula.
  • If artificial formula is the selected mode of feeding by mother it should be given by spoon.
  • Mother should have access to expert advice and medicine and testing facilities timely as required for her and her baby.

Bhole Children’s Clinic Vaccination center, Ravet, Near to Punawale, Kiwale, and Akurdi

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