Breastfeeding vs. Bottlefeeding

There are advantages and disadvantages to both breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. Ultimately the decision should be made by the parents. The following table outlines several of the issues that need to be considered when making the decision on whether to breastfeed, bottle-feed, or a combination of the two.

Breastfeeding Bottle-feeding
Perfect balance of nutrients Not as efficiently utilized as breast milk
Contains high levels of nutrients Nutritional content depends on proper preparation
Easily digested and absorbed Some babies have difficulty tolerating certain nutrients
Content varies according to milk production stage, which meets the changing nutritional requirements Pediatrician/care-giver determines amount
Infant determines amount
Free Formula ranges from $54 to $198 per month depending on brand
Nursing pads, nursing bras, etc. Bottles, nipples, etc.
Breast pump (optional)
Always the perfect temperature Anyone can feed the baby
No preparation time
Milk is readily available at any time and any place
Mother must be available for feeding or to provide pumped milk if she is absent Warming formula
Mother must pump if feeding is missed Preparation time varies
Early breastfeeding may be uncomfortable
Certain medications can interrupt breastfeeding

Last updated: 12/2006