Bottle Feeding Disadvantages
Whatever your reason for bottle feeding your baby it is probably best to be aware that there are some disadvantages to feeding your baby in this way.
The breast milk you naturally produce contains exactly the right amounts of nutrients, you have easy access to a constant supply and there's no need to measure it out or heat it up. Preparing bottles on the other hand can be time consuming and you have to be careful to measure precisely the right amounts of water and powder. Incorrect measurements can lead to your baby being malnourished or dehydrated.
When heating up bottles it is possible to make them too hot and risk burning your baby's throat. Never heat up bottles in a microwave and always test the temperature on your wrist before feeding it to your baby.
A lot of time also goes into sterilising and cleaning all the equipment needed for bottle feeding. Buying all the bits and pieces can be quite expensive and remember you may have to replace parts if they are damaged.
But other than the inconveniences caused to yourself, bottle fed babies tend to have weaker immune systems than breast fed babies, meaning they are more likely to become ill. Common illnesses include diarrhoea, chest infections, urine infections and ear infections. Premature babies that are bottle fed are also at a higher risk of developing necrotising enterocolitis or NEC. This is a rare but very serious illness affecting the intestines.
Studies show that bottle fed infants are more likely to become obese.
It is important that you are aware of all of these disadvantages before making a decision not to breastfeed. Once you have made the decision to bottle feed it can be very hard to change your mind and start breastfeeding instead.
The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and states that babies fed exclusively on breast milk for their first six months will develop most healthily.
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