Friday, March 14, 2014

Should I Breastfeed or Use Formula?

How do you decide between breastfeeding and formula? With great prayer! There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to both, and ultimately only you can decide which is best. Here I want to discuss the pros and cons.

Breastfeeding Pros

There are many advantages to breastfeeding that are widely known that include health benefits and also saving money. Some of them include:

  • Giving the baby your immune system
  • Decreases maternal bleeding by clamping down the uterus
  • Cheaper 
  • Decreases infections and constipation in babies
  • Convenient (no warming up or mixing bottles)
  • Decreases the risk of breast cancer in the mom
Even breastfeeding for a month can have these benefits.

Formula Pros

There are some advantages to using formula, though not as many as with breastfeeding.
  • Mom does not have to do all of the feedings allowing for more rest
  • Can help the baby to sleep through the night sooner
  • You are able to leave the baby for longer periods of time
  • Not as much work for the mom, especially if she is working outside of the home
The cons of each of these are the opposite of the pros above. It is also possible to do a mix. Remember that breastfeeding runs on a supply and demand feedback loop, so the more you breastfeed the more milk you have. 

What has been your experience? How did you decide?


  1. I have been blessed to be able to breastfeed all of mine at the beginning. I decided this was best because of the research I'd done and my professional nursing experience. My milk has dried up at 6 months with each child and I have had to switch to formula. The cost of formula is very stretching, but 3 out of the 4 started sleeping 12 hours not long after starting formula, which was a huge blessing.

  2. I was so blessed to enjoy a long nursing relationship with my daughter. I intended to nurse for at least a year, but my daughter wanted to continue the relationship into toddlerhood, and I am so glad that we did. I allowed her to make all the decisions about when she wanted to wean, and so we stopped nursing just a few months before she turned 2. The cost of formula-feeding is a major factor for almost all the families I have known - when I was studying to become a childbirth educator in the early 2000s, the cost estimate was at about $25,000 to feed one child formula for a year from birth to first birthday. Breast milk is truly God's perfect creation - rich in antibodies, free, perfect temperature, no preparation needed, fosters a beautiful relationship between mom and baby... there are so many great things about it. Babies absorb every nutrient and calorie in breast milk. It's a wondrous and perfect provision!

  3. This is always such a heated topic of "what is the right way". I could never produce enough milk to keep Elan full. Not really sure why.. Could have been my high blood pressure that came suddenly on during labor and then last for a month after delivery. It could have been for a number of reasons. I nursed and pumped and took prescription medication and took herbal supplements for 10 weeks. My schdule constisted of me nursing and then supplementing with formula and then between feedings double pumping to make my body think i had twins. Nothing. In a full day of pumping I would only accumulate 3oz of breast milk. It became to much and I had to go back to work in 3 weeks. My baby was screaming and hungry. So we decided to go full time formula. It was what was right decision for our family.
    But I recevied a lot of judgement and criticism about it from other moms and the lactation consultant. It was hard as a new momma to know that you were doing everything you can and your body was still failing you, then to have other mom's judge you on top of that was really hard.
    What I finally came to was this and this is my advice to moms who struggle with this decision. This world is not perfect and because of sin our bodies do not work like they should. BUT God is still good and sovereign. Even over formula.
    Do what is best for your family. Do what is best for your baby. You know your body and your baby better than anyone else. IT IS OK to give your baby formula. If you can nurse your baby until you or they are ready to ween that is awesome! But don't let yourself feel like a failure or that you're not a good mom, because you have to or want to use formula. God made you the perfect momma for that baby. He gave and will give you everything you need to love and care and feed you baby(s).

    1. Amen, Lindsay! Thank you for sharing. There are so many women who struggle to have enough milk and some that make none at all. And God is over all of it.


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