The Negative Effects of Bottle Feeding

The American Academy of Pediatrics and other medical institutions encourage breastfeeding, pointing out its many health benefits for both you and your baby. If you are unable to breastfeed for medical reasons, bottle-feeding with formula is necessary despite its disadvantages. If your reasons for not breastfeeding are personal rather than medical, bottle-feeding your baby expressed breast milk is a possibility.

Father bottle feeding baby in outdoor setting. Credit: Dmitrii Kotin/iStock/Getty Images

Preparation

Breastfed babies can nurse on demand. If you bottle feed your infant, preparation is required. You need to regularly wash and sterilize the bottles, find time to express your milk or prepare the formula, store the bottles at the proper temperature, and warm them before feeding your baby.

Nutrition

Breast milk contains the right balance of nutrients your baby needs, notes MayoClinic.com. For most babies, breast milk is also easier to digest than formula. Formula-feeding your baby might also result in an increased risk of obesity during early childhood.

Immune System

Breast milk boosts your baby's immune system, according to MayoClinic.com. Formula milk doesn't contain the immunity-boosting elements of breast milk. Formula-fed babies can develop certain illnesses such as diarrhea, or a chest, ear, or urine infection.

Cost

Bottle-feeding is an added expense. In addition to purchasing and replacing bottles and nipples, you will either need to invest in an effective breast pump, if you plan to express your milk, or buy formula on a regular basis. While the price of formula differs depending on the brand and variety, it can affect your monthly budget. According to the American Pregnancy Association, as of 2011, formula can cost around $200 per month.

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