Breast Feeding VS. Formula

Laundry is in the washer, baby boy is napping, PJ’s are still on, the Today show is on in the background…time to BLOG!  Today’s blog post comes to you in the form of Versus!  Versus is a blog series in which I tackle the decisions that every family has to make some where along the line.  I list the pros and cons, web resources, helpful products, and my take on the issue!  If you missed the previous ones, here they are:

  1. Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable Diapers
  2. Pacifier vs. Thumb Sucking
  3. Co-Sleeping vs. Crib Sleeping
  4. Homemade Baby Food vs. Store Bought

And my next post…dum da dum….

Breast Feeding VS. Formula Feeding

This decision for mommies is a biggie.  Much of it comes down to logistics and personal preference.  AND many times this choice is the hardest and comes occasionally with guilty feelings.  However, moms will ALWAYS have something to feel guilty about, no?  Here is my take on the pros and cons of breast feeding and formula feeding….read away!

Pros and Cons

Breast Feeding


  • Nutritionally best for babies
  • No food preparation needed
  • Bonding time
  • Lowers risk of breast cancer in mother
  • Cheap!
  • Pumping is necessary if Mom has to be away from baby
  • Not just anyone can feed the baby
  • May be difficult in public
  • Getting started can be hard
Formula Feeding
  • Dad can do middle of the night feedings
  • More ease of “where” a bottle can be fed
  • Mom can be away from baby for a length of time without pumping
  • Others can feed baby
  • Less nutritional benefits
  • Expensive
  • Time consuming (prep)
  • Inconvenient when out with the baby (did I mix enough?)

My Take on Breast Feeding VS. Formula Feeding

Before I give my take, I just want to say “What works for you is best for you”.  I don’t want to be up on my high horse saying that Breast is Best because it worked for me and my son, because there are many cases where things don’t go right at the beginning and it just doesn’t work out.  Formula babies turn out just fine!!  That being said, I found breast feeding to go smoothly and has been great for our son.  I have read the research and we all know that breast milk is made to be perfect for babies (good digestion, right temperature, high nutrients, etc.).  I don’t think that it comes to a suprise to anyone that breast milk is best for babies.

One thing though that I found VERY helpful when making the decision to breastfeed my son was taking a breastfeeding class.  Many hospitals offer one at a charge.  I say TAKE IT!  I learned correct latches (which is often the problem for milk not coming in early on), feeding schedules, remedies for aches and pain (Mom’s aches and pains), etc.  Also, I learned that if you are having issues early on, call someone!  Many hospitals send in a lactation consultant after the baby is born, but you really need them when you get home.  I called I don’t know how many times and they had very good advice.  They will even meet with you to see what could be causing any problems you might be having.  Oh, and I should mention, that it is awesome if your hubby goes to the class with you (bribe him if you have to).  I know it doesn’t sound very important, but it is wonderful to have someone else to remember what was said (my brain was dead while I was preggo!).

Helpful Websites

Helpful Products

Now what is Your Take?

Also…any ideas for future Versus series topics??


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10 comments to Breast Feeding VS. Formula

  • Both my children were formula fed. I couldn’t breastfeed my son so I opted not to with my daughter. I totally agree with your pros and cons

  • Thanks for linking to my post about breastfeeding positions!

  • I might also add that breastfeeding also lowers the risk of breast cancer in daughters who were breastfed. In other words, breastfeeding protects both mom and daughter. :)

  • great post. This was a tough decision for me. Because of latch issues that were worked on quite some time with me and my children along with a lactation consultant I ended up strictly pumping with both of my children for 6 months. I always give a mom who can breast feed two thumbs up and call them “breastfeeding champions!” I often wonder why that something that we are designed to do can be so hard!

  • ashley

    I chose to formula feed my 3rd for many reasons, after many problems with my older two. I am very happy with my decision. I just wanted to thank you for a post that didn’t try to make me feel guilty for what i chose. There is so much controversy out there and I appreciated your stance.

  • Laura

    I tried to bf but couldn’t due to severe tongue tie, I bf for 5 days and in that time dd was taking a proper feed, ie. longer than 2 sucks, twice every day and that was considered normal!!! (they told me that bf was difficult, but that takes the mick) I have never experienced the let down relfex either. My experience is that they are so hung up on how breast is best that they can’t see when it isn’t working and will not work unless medical intervention is performed, they kept telling me that her latch or my positioning wasn’t right and she needed more stimulation, in fact on the last day of bf the mw took a full hour constantly messing about to get her to latch on for a proper feed and I was supposed to do that with every feed? (no amount of help in this area will help with medical issues). They expected my dd to survive on practically thin air for 2 weeks until the cut could be performed, I couldn’t express nearly enough btw. The only reason why she wasn’t dehydrated was because I offered her the breast at least every half hour. Now on formula and they are concerned because she sleeps for about 6 hrs a night and so is missing out on a feed, very contradictory and stupid, she is very contented and has just jumped a percentile, so I am definately ignoring them. Hunger cues do not change when on formual, she will wake up if she’s hungry, which she’s obviously not! Bf is like any other human anatomy, sometimes it just doesn’t work as well as it should, but when it does it’s fantastic.

    • spoonmomma

      I totally agree! Sometimes it just doesn’t work because of forces we can’t control. Your child’s nutrition and best interests are always in mind no matter if you breastfeed or not.

  • Angel

    I BF my twins and currently BFing my baby right now. My twins had severe tongue tie and it was painful but we were able to get it clipped and it made a HUGE difference! I am so ever greatful for the Lactation Consultants at my Primary Care! I love how breastmilk is great in the long run for mom and baby.

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