Saturday, April 14, 2012


Are You Ready To Stop Breastfeeding?

To wean from breastfeeding or not to wean yet? This is the question that most mothers want an answer to. Unfortunately, I or any other article you’ve read on weaning or how to wean on breastfeeding can only guide you in deciding. So as a “guide”, I’ve divided breastfeeding pros and cons for every woman who is confused as to what they should do about it.

Let’s start with the pros:

-          Breast milk has a perfect balance of nutrients (with disease fighting antibodies, hormones and enzymes that promote growth and development, offers protection against some diseases and allergies) and is easy to digest – perfect for a newly-developing baby.

-          The infant (not the mother) decides when to stop breastfeeding. If he stops, he’s already full … no worries that he’ll be bloated or obese since (as we said) breast milk is easily digested.

-          Babies who were breastfed for at least 6 months are unaffected by disease and infection in the early stages of life compared to formula-fed kids.

-          A mother doesn’t have to buy plastic/glass bottles or nipples.

-          It doesn’t matter what the temperature is – it’s always perfect.

-          The milk is readily available as long as the mother is too.

-          Economically. Breast milk is free. So the money you should use for milk can be used for other things like diapers.

-          The best part about breastfeeding: It cements a unique bond that only a mother and a child can have.

And here are the cons:

-          Should you decide to bottle-feed, formula is not as effective as breast milk, and oftentimes, nutritional value depends on proper preparation.

-          Some nutrients from formula milk are not easily digestible and therefore, if not mixed properly, may cause babies to have tummy problems ranging from mild to severe.

-          The pediatrician determines the amount of formula milk to be given to the infant – no more, no less even if the baby still cries his lungs out due to hunger pangs.

-          Formula milk is usually costly.

-          Mothers need not buy nursing pads or nursing bras.

-          Formula milk needs to be warm.

-          Bottle-feeding gives everyone the opportunity to feed the baby.

-          If you’re taking medications, then you cannot breastfeed as you might inadvertently transfer the drug (and its effect) to your baby.

-          Extended breastfeeding is not normal when a child of 2 to 3 years of age still does it. It becomes an unhealthy obsession, and both mother and child will have a hard time transitioning.

Should you decide to wean, breastfeeding (especially for babies below 6 months) should still be considered an option. However, if things can’t be helped and you really have to stop due to medical reasons or otherwise, consult your doctor as to the proper formula and diet you need to give your child.