21+ Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding (Explained)

Breast milk is one of the most nutritious and precious food items that you can feed your newborn baby. This entire biological process enhances and strengthens the bond between the mother and her child. A baby learns to walk and his cognition develops only if he receives adequate breast milk from his biological mother.

Our world has progressed significantly and various technological advancements have surfaced in the face of modernity, but nobody has been able to replace a mother’s breast milk. The value of breastfeeding is priceless. One of the most special phases of pregnancy and childbirth is breastfeeding. 

Now let us explore the various advantages and disadvantages of breastfeeding. 

Benefits of BreastfeedingDrawbacks of Breastfeeding
Breast milk is always availableInitial feedings can make the mother feel uncomfortable
Strengthens the bond between the mother and her babyCan possibly be painful
Boosts baby’s immunity system and IQThe baby can get addicted
Healthy for motherNobody can replace the mother
Reduces the risk of suffering from any kind of cancerIn many countries, breastfeeding in public places is still a taboo 
It is extremely relaxingCan be stressful for working mothers
Pumped milk can be fed

Advantages of breastfeeding:

  • Breast milk is always available:

Breast milk is natural, free of cost and always available. You do not have to run to a departmental store nearby, nor do you have to buy formula or synthetic milk powder online to feed your baby. Breast milk is considered to be one of the most nutritious food products for your newborn baby. 

  • Strengthens the bond between the mother and her baby:

Although breastfeeding is completely a personal choice, one of the greatest consequences of breastfeeding is that it strengthens the bond between the mother and her baby. Not only do they become co-dependent of each other, but also they form a sweet friendly bond which improves their relationship in the long run. 

  • Boosts baby’s immunity system and IQ:

Anything that happens naturally is considered to be healthier. Breast milk is natural and hence it can actually enhance the baby’s immunity system. In fact, it is less likely that the baby will suffer from upset stomach or diarrhoea. Breast-fed babies generally have higher IQ levels and are physically fitter than formula-fed babies. In fact a mother’s breast milk protects the baby against all kinds of infections. 

  • Healthy for mother:

Breastfeeding is not only healthy for the baby, but also for the mother. The uterus returns to its previous size, period gets delayed and releases healthy hormones. Breastfeeding burns calories and prevents iron deficiency because after the baby is born, the mother grows remarkably weak and susceptible to infections. This is when breastfeeding makes both the baby and the mother healthier and stronger. 

  • Reduces the risk of suffering from any kind of cancer:

Breastfeeding can actually reduce the risk of suffering from ovarian and breast cancer. On the other hand, if a mother applies injections to suppress lactation, chances are high that she may suffer from breast cancer later. Lactation suppression has other disadvantages as well and one of them is heart disease. 

  • It is extremely relaxing:

Breastfeeding facilitates the release of oxytocin. This is a happy hormone that can relax the mother when she breastfeeds her child. In fact, breastfeeding is one of the happiest stages of pregnancy. 

  • Pumped milk can be fed:

Working mothers often preserve their breast milk for a while and then feed their babies. This does not cause any trouble to the mother or to the baby. But if the pumped milk is preserved for a long time, it may lose its vital nutrients. 

Disadvantages of breastfeeding:

  • Initial feedings can make the mother feel uncomfortable:

Initial feedings can be a bit uncomfortable for the mother. It is a constant learning process and with time the experience gets better. Initially, if the mother cannot feed her baby properly, she may feel discouraged. 

  • Can possibly be painful:

Breastfeeding can be a bit painful for some mothers. Some unavoidable situations may surface during the process which include sore nipples, mastitis, plugged milk ducts and breast engorgement. 

  • The baby can get addicted:

If the baby is breastfed for longer than necessary, then chances are high that it may get addicted to breast milk and may refuse to consume other solid food particles. This can give rise to certain problems which can affect both the mother and the baby. This may significantly cause harm to their bond as well. 

  • Nobody can replace the mother:

Nobody can replace the mother. If one is a working mother, her role cannot be replaced by her partner or any of her family members. She has to be physically present while breastfeeding her baby. Her presence matters the most because that is how her bond with the baby improves and no formula or milk powder can replace that. 

  • In many countries, breastfeeding in public places is still a taboo:

In many socially backward countries, breastfeeding in public places is still a taboo. Hence, many mothers face a lot of difficulties and even harassment in public places when they breastfeed their kids. They do not find a proper and sheltered place where they can breastfeed their kids. 

  • Can be stressful for working mothers:

Breastfeeding can seriously be stressful for working mothers. Their critical office schedule often compels them to keep themselves away from their newborns. Hence a distance develops between the mother and her baby.

If a working woman has her office shift in the evening and if returns home at night, then this whole schedule can jeopardise her relationship with her child. Later, not only certain health issues but also some psychological problems may occur that can create an emotional distance between the two. 

Therefore breastfeeding, even though a personal choice, has myriads of advantages and certain disadvantages. But overall, it is a pleasant experience for both the mother and the baby. It is healthy for their immunity systems and also strengthens their emotional bond. Nothing can replace or damage this beautiful mother-baby bond.  

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