The subject of breastfeeding and formula feeding has been of the utmost interest for many decades. Even though some researchers provide crucial evidence towards the risks of breastfeeding, most scholars still advocate that potential benefits generally outweigh such risks (Gellert et al., 2016). Scientific evidence states that natural feeding is essential for successful physiological development in early ages and is far more beneficial than formula feeding (Teller et al., 2016). This research paper will describe the main advantages and disadvantages of breastfeeding and formula use, as well as provide an overview of work-related and legal difficulties associated with natural feeding.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Breastfeeding
Natural feeding can be described as one of the most popular ways of sustaining a healthy diet for a new-born. Indisputable evidence supporting the benefits of breastfeeding has been provided by Binns et al. (2016), who suggest that natural milk supplies infants with protection against chronic diseases. According to Binns et al. (2016), sustained breastfeeding can shield new-borns, as well as their mothers, from various immedicable conditions, such as diabetes or cancer. Additionally, balanced neurodevelopment can be seen only in children who were breastfed from an early age, not in those raised using formula (Bar et al., 2016). Research conducted by Krysko et al. (2019) also states a lower risk of postpartum depression relapses while using natural feeding as a crucial benefit towards a woman’s health. Overall, breastfeeding is seen as a much higher acclaimed option when compared to formula use.
Extra research into the specifics of natural feeding uncovered adverse outcomes that have to be taken into consideration. Gellert et al. (2016) provide worrisome findings of vitamin D deficiency in women who breastfed their children in their youth. Moreover, iron deficiency is stated to occur in naturally fed new-borns, while formula-fed infants have not shown any signs of lowered iron levels (Clark et al., 2017). Lastly, women commonly suffer from various physiological difficulties such as sore areolas and a child’s inability to latch on, leading to severe discomfort and exhaustion (Feenstra et al., 2018). Altogether, even though breastfeeding is claimed to be a more favorable option, it still bears negative outcomes for both mother and infant.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Formula Feeding
A lucrative replacement to breastfeeding that is commonly used around the world is a formula supplement. As advantage of formula feeding, scholars define higher weight gain in infants with artificial diets (Teller et al., 2016). Authors explain that such children also have increased head circumference and basic growth parameters (Teller et al., 2016). It is vital to note that formula feeding might be the only option for mothers with breastfeeding problems, such as various lactation diseases (Feenstra et al., 2018). In addition, some authors have proven that breastfeeding is closely related to negative experiences and feelings (Fallon et al., 2016). Women with such incidents are far more likely to refrain from breastfeeding, while those who chose formulas can avoid such unpleasant effects (Fallon et al., 2016). It is clear that formula-based supplements can be of positive use for mothers as well.
As per the disadvantages of formula feeding, the research shows increased risks of obesity in artificially fed children (Teller et al., 2016). It is essential to note the changes in the intestinal environment, which might lead to various digestive issues in the long-term (Olivares et al., 2018). Some authors state that many mothers who chose formulas obtain feelings of guilt and lack of support during their infant’s growth (Fallon et al., 2016). As a result, artificially created replacements bear much more detrimental long-term use outcomes than natural breastfeeding does.
Impact of Breastfeeding on a Working Mother
Working mothers might often be forced to cope with the impact breastfeeding has on their everyday lives. As such, Spitzmueller et al. (2015) state that women repeatedly receive negative commentary towards their breastfeeding situation in the workspace. In addition to that, they obtain less social support and sustain higher work overload than their colleagues do (Spitzmueller et al., 2015). Evidently, natural feeding can negatively influence a mother’s life and her job environment.
Natural feeding has been shown to be connected to legal issues of several kinds. One of the most concerning problems related to breastfeeding is thought to be its publicity (Brown, 2017). The author states that women can encounter harassment and suffer from derogatory remarks when breastfeeding in communal areas, even if their actions are protected by law (Brown, 2017). Moreover, new legislations and more legal support are needed for the creation of a secure space for mothers and infants (Brown, 2017). Thus, natural feeding can be related to various spheres of a woman’s life, including public relations and legality complications.
Altogether, according to the evidence revised, there are several benefits and risks connected to the phenomenon of breastfeeding. While negative sides to breastfeeding still exist, the abundance of research shows that this type of feeding is far superior for the health of both the mother and the infant. The legal issues and the impact of breastfeeding on a working mother are to be investigated in future studies.
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