Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - Health Library

Infant Feeding: Breast or Bottle?

breastfeeding and travel image You are a new mother or are anticipating the birth of your child. As you prepare for your baby's arrival, there may be many questions you may have. One might be: Should I breastfeed?

Here are some points to consider when deciding to breastfeed or bottle-feed.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Baby ^

Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Mom ^

Women who breastfeed their babies experience the following health benefits:

Both parents will likely appreciate the convenience of breastfeeding, including:

Drawbacks of Breastfeeding ^

If you are unsure as to whether you want to breastfeed, you can try it for a few weeks and switch if it does not work out. Any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial for the baby. Once bottlefeeding is started, though, it is difficult to switch back to the breast.

The Benefits of Bottlefeeding ^

The Drawbacks of Bottlefeeding ^

RESOURCES:

Office on Women's Health
https://www.womenshealth.gov

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
http://www.acog.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Womens Health Matters
http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca

REFERENCES:

Breastfeeding. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115517/Breastfeeding. Updated November 7, 2016. Accessed December 13, 2016.

Breastfeeding vs. bottlefeeding. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/firstyearoflife/breastfeedingandbottle.html. Updated August 2015. Accessed December 13, 2016.

Casey CF, Slawson DC, Neal LR. Vitamin D supplementation in infants, children, and adolescents. Am Fam Physician. 2010;81(6):745-748.

Nutrition (pediatric preventive care). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115435/Nutrition-pediatric-preventive-care. Updated November 21, 2016. Accessed December 13, 2016.

Section on breastfeeding. Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics. 2012;129(3):827-841.

Why breastfeeding is important. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: https://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-benefits.html. Updated July 21, 2014. Accessed December 13, 2016.

10/12/2010 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T435307/Iron-deficiency-in-children-infancy-through-adolescence: Baker R, Greer F, the Committee on Nutrition. Clinical report—diagnosis and prevention of iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia in infants and young children (0-3 years of age). Pediatrics. 2010;126(5):1040-1050.

2/1/2013 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115517/Breastfeeding: Kramer MS, Kakuma R. Optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding. Cochrane Database System Rev. 2012;8:CD003517.

3/18/2013 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115517/Breastfeeding: Martin RM, Patel R, Kramer MS, et al. Effects of promoting longer-term and exclusive breastfeeding on adiposity and insulin-like growth factor-I at age 11.5 years: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2013;309(10):1005-1013.

Last reviewed December 2016 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP  Last Updated: 12/14/2016