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Allaitement au sein ou biberon : Les différences - BIICOU

Breast or bottle feeding: The differences

Once you announced your pregnancy, those around you probably asked you if you planned to breastfeed your child or not, even though you hadn't yet asked yourself the question. This decision, which every woman should make for herself and her baby, has been debated. Debate in which the mother who breastfeeds would do so, because she would comply with the role that society gives her, and the mother who chooses the bottle would not be a good mother.
Here is an article that will allow mothers and women to make an informed choice.

1. Breast milk and infant milk: Composition

Whether infant or maternal, milk provides the newborn with the necessary mineral salts, carbohydrates, and vitamins, in greater or lesser quantities, throughout its development. However, even if infant milk is designed to stick as perfectly as possible to breast milk, certain characteristics of breast milk cannot be copied. We can take for example the antibodies transmitted to the baby which protect him from diseases, the hormones which regulate his appetite, the bacteria which protect his digestive system. Breast milk has many specificities, and being alive, it adapts perfectly to your baby, which is why we can say that the most suitable drink for the child is breast milk. During the baby's first days, colostrum (or first milk) in particular is essential to his needs.

However, infant milk has its place alongside breast milk. The production of this milk follows very strict specifications and the European authorities regularly put in place new regulations. It would be unthinkable not to regulate this market when many mothers are turning to this method of nutrition, by choice or by constraint. The ADPA website or this article on the website summarizes a lot of information on childhood foods.

Having fully understood the issue concerning infant milk, manufacturers have therefore designed three types of milk corresponding to each important stage of a child's life. We therefore find 1st age milk (up to 6 months) produced based on cow's or goat's milk proteins, 2nd age milk (up to 12 months) which makes the link with dietary diversification, and finally growth milk. These milks mainly contain carbohydrates (lactose), lipids (vegetable oils, fatty acids), vitamins A, E, C, D and minerals (iron, calcium, zinc).

2. Time

The time you will have to devote to breastfeeding will depend on several things: your milk flow, your baby's sucking. While the time spent giving the bottle will certainly have to remove the milk flow constraint, because the pacifier provides a continuous flow of milk, but it will be necessary to add to this the washing of the bottle, the setbacks to buy milk, the making baby bottles, or even the bag to prepare when you leave the house. Of course all this requires organization. But breastfeeding your baby also requires organization, and we're not just talking about the type of clothing you'll have to wear to easily access your breast. You will also need to be comfortable with sometimes having to breastfeed in public.

There is a common misconception that breastfeeding takes longer. What we can say about this is that it is not validated, bottle feeding takes as much time, if not more, than breastfeeding. However, when you choose the bottle option, if you have the option, you can alternate with the person you live with. One time it's her who wakes up, the next time it's you. This is one of the advantages, in terms of sleep, which is not on the side of breastfeeding.

3. The price

As you will surely have understood, the most economical solution that you can choose will definitely be to breastfeed. No need to pay to feed your child. And it's the only thing you won't have to buy for the arrival of your baby and which, put together, can ultimately add up to quite a budget. In fact, in one year, bottle-feeding your little one will require a budget of just over 1000 euros. Taken over 3 or even 4 years, this becomes quite significant compared to the amount spent on breastfeeding.

But sometimes you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs. So if bottle-feeding is your choice, it is entirely honorable. We can only advise you, even if they are sometimes a little more expensive, to turn to organic infant milks such as Hipp, Good Gout or Babybio brand milks. Brands that are highly ranked according to 60 million consumers. And since it costs less to buy in large quantities, you can buy a little in advance, knowing that baby's tastes are unlikely to change from one day to the next.

4. Food

Have you ever heard that breastfeeding and drinking alcohol don't go well together? And it's true, in reality everything you eat and drink makes up the final milk and can end up altering its taste. Alcohol passes into breast milk which is not good news for the baby, his sleep rhythm can be disrupted as well as his development. This is why it should not be abused. Other foods such as fish such as swordfish, lightly or uncooked animal meat or certain cold meats can transmit infectious agents according to the Medicines Agency (ANSES). Breastfeeding requires the mother to be twice as careful and is therefore more restrictive. You will have that feeling of less freedom that can sometimes be necessary after 9 months of pregnancy and stress.

5. Manage milk surges and express milk

Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, your body only knows one thing: that it needs to produce milk. So in all cases, you will have to manage the milk surges that arrive between the 2nd and 4th day after your delivery. When the milk flow is too strong, especially at the beginning, in the days following delivery, you can use a breast pump before breastfeeding. This method will allow you to relax your breasts, making them less hard. The key to not ending up with too intense milk surges is to breastfeed regularly. If your baby is born prematurely, he may not be able to breastfeed properly. The breast pump could then prove very useful.

Finally, the breast pump solution can be seen as an intermediate solution between breastfeeding and using a bottle. Indeed, if you want to return to a fairly normal life, or enjoy some quiet time, while offering your baby your breast milk, it is possible. For example, you can express your milk at home and take it with you outside, or leave it with your parents, giving them a few bottles in advance. You will just have to respect this for good storage: no more than 4 hours at room temperature, 48 hours in the refrigerator and 4 months in the freezer (like any product, it cannot be frozen after having been thawed).


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