Breast feeding

B A B Y  A N D  C H I L D

Breast or Bottle Feeding.

Most babies are better off being breast fed rather than bottle fed for the simple reason that human milk offers certain advantages over it’s animal counterpart.

Breast milk provides a more balanced nourishment for the baby and better protection against illness due to intestinal and respiratory infections.

The protein, fat and carbohydrate content of breast milk is ideally suited to the baby’s ability to absorb them. Breast milk contains antibodies which protect against infections such as gastroenteritis. The strength or concentration of breast milk is naturally regulated to the baby’s needs, and if the mother’s diet is well balanced, the only dietary supplement required is vitamin C.

Breast feeding also allows the mother do develop a close bond with her baby. It is extremely convenient, since it is a ‘built in system’, although it also means that feeding is solely dependent on the mother.

On the other hand, millions of babies have been bottle fed without problems. About five percent of Australian women have difficulty with breast feeding or cannot breast feed due to certain illnesses or their treatment with certain drugs. For these women, bottle feeding is a safe alternative.

Formula milks are adjusted or ‘humanised’ by drying cows milk and adding vitamins, vegetable oils and iron to make the protein, fat and carbohydrate content as acceptable as possible to the baby’s intestine. Most formulas also have added vitamins, including vitamin C.

It is vital, when bottle feeding, to prepare the milk properly, to keep the bottle and teats sterile, and to follow the mixing instructions on the packet as there is no inherent protection against infection in the formula.

Women can obtain considerable enjoyment from bottle feeding, and the father can share in a way that is not possible with breast feeding. Bottle feeding can be less convenient, however, as a considerable amount of equipment must accompany any trip away from home.

For further information about breast feeding or bottle feeding, contact your local branch of the Nursing Mothers Association, or speak to your family doctor.

- Aspirin and Young Children (Reyes Syndrome).- Autism.
- Bed Wetting or Nocturnal Enuresis. - Breast or Bottle Feeding.
- Chicken Pox (Varicella). - Childhood Immunization/Vaccination
- Convulsions in Childhood. - Croup.
- Cystic Fibrosis (CF). - Deafness in Childhood.
- Diarrhoea and Vomiting. - Downs Syndrome.
- Dyslexia. - Fever in Infants.
- German Measles (Rubella). -Heart Murmurs
-Heat Exhaustion in Children.-Hyperactivity in Childhood.
-Nappy Rash.-Normal Development (Baby Care).
-Speech Development in Children-Spina Bifida.
-Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or Cot Death.-Teething.
-Your Baby Won't Sleep.-Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

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