Breastfeeding v. Formula-feeding

Breastfeeding v. Formula-feeding


The term breastfeeding or nursing in humans refers to feeding newborn children with breast milk from the mother. The action can be direct when the baby mechanically sucks the milk or when pumped from the mother and placed in bottles to feed infants (Williams et al., 2020). The latter approach is most common among mothers with demanding occupations as it allows them to have the freedom needed to complete their duties while ensuring the child is fed. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breastfeeding is a scientifically and medically proven best approach to providing newly-born children with the needed nutrients needed for their healthy development and growth (Williams et al., 2020). Under standard settings, all mothers are virtually capable of breastfeeding. However, the lack of accurate information and support from their healthcare system, society, and family limits the propagation of the practice.

The lack of information and support results in mothers preferring formula feeding, which Almeida et al. (2020) states that lack the needed immunity-boosting elements present in breast milk. Additionally, children who feed on breast milk are able to digest the nutrients easily compared to children on formula feed. It is noteworthy that the purpose of formula-feed is to primarily allow effective development for children if the mother has medical, physical, or mental limitations.

However, unlike breast milk, formula feed primarily allows the child’s dietary needs to be attained. Finally, they also allow children with specific nutritional needs to behave their needs met effectively (Almeida et al., 2020). Thus, it is evident that breastfeeding offers newborn children the needed nutrients and immunity boost to support their growth and development. As medical practitioners, it is their responsibility to train and support mothers of newly born children in understanding the importance and value of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding v. Formula-feeding

According to Williams et al. (2020), when breastfeeding is compared to formula-feeding, numerous differences are presented with only one similarity. The similarity is the ability of formula and breastfeeding to meet the nutritional needs of the child only. All other facets of both infant feeding strategies significantly differ. For the evaluation, the facets included in the comparison include cost, effects on immunity, ease of digestion, flexibility, and medication (Cheshmeh et al., 2021). From a simplistic approach, the cost of formula feed is approximately $2000 or more annually; however, it is noteworthy that it is dependent on the child (Cheshmeh et al., 2021). Breastmilk, on the other hand, is free unless the mother is experiencing a diagnosed medical condition. Nevertheless, when addressing the aspect of immunity, breastmilk contains antibodies from the mother, augmenting the infant’s ability to fight off some diseases.

As previously mentioned, formula feed is harder to digest compared to breast milk, thus resulting in nutritional absorption inefficiency. On the aspect of flexibility, from a social perspective, it is highly inconveniencing as numerous mothers today are significant contributors to the economy, and breastfeeding interrupts their occupational contribution, thus limiting its flexibility (Cheshmeh et al., 2021). Finally, when breastfeeding mothers cannot partake in specific medications due to their direct impact on infant health through breast milk. The issue is not present among mothers using formula feeding, thereby giving them an advantage.

Nursing roles and interventions

It was previously mentioned that women fail to breastfeed their infants due to numerous factors among them is the lack of support from the healthcare system. According to Piro ad Ahmed (2020), prenatal nurses’ role is to inform all mothers on the advantages of breastfeeding for bothering the child and the mother. The nurse can aid the mother with her first contact with the child; by assuring her, who may have delivered prematurely, through Caesarean birth or unwell infant, that she can breastfeed (Piro & Ahmed, 2020). The intervention of nurses is recommended for first-time mothers as postpartum nurses can aid in ensuring breastfeeding continues by frequently providing infant-maternal contact during their hospital stay.

Additionally, nursery nurses support mothers’ breastfeeding by desisting from providing the child with other fluids. The strategy allows for the reinforcement of patterns and actions by both the mother and infant, thereby supporting the appropriateness of the infant feeding strategy (Folker-Maglaya et al., 2018). Overall, in support of the previously mentioned notion, it is critical mothers are aware of the value of breastfeeding compared to the use of formula. Though the nurses’ role is primarily to educate mothers in making knowledgeable choices, they should also help mothers understand the mechanics of breastfeeding (Folker-Maglaya et al., 2018). The objective is to ensure that they find the strategy enjoyable while ensuring the child is nutritionally supported.

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