Many parents have heard the saying, “Breast is best.” The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends feeding babies only breast milk for the first six months of life; breastfeeding helps in defending against infections and preventing allergies.

Yet, there are some reasons moms may use formula, including not being physically able of breastfeeding due to medical reasons. Formula is a nutritious alternative. On the fence about which option is best for you? Here are some pros and cons of both options, provided by the Family Advocacy Program.

Breastfeeding

Formula

PROS

CONS

PROS

CONS

Nutrition and ease of digestion for baby

Mom’s nutritional needs increase

Any caregiver can feed baby

Lack of antibodies found in breast milk

Free

Time commitment-on call feedings or need to pump frequently

Less frequent feedings, babies digest formula slower

Prep needed

Convenience-no prep needed

Maternal medical issues can affect milk supply

Flexibility for mom-no pumping required

Expensive

 

No matter what you choose, there is no right or wrong answer. Weigh the pros and cons. Do what is best for you, your baby, and your family. Talk to your pediatrician if you have concerns over your baby’s diet.

Support is available if you need more information about breastfeeding, formula feeding, and other parenting topics. The website Breastfeeding in Combat Boots has information that may be helpful if you are or will be a service member who is breastfeeding. The New Parent Support Program is available to answer all of your parenting questions regarding children zero to five. Contact your local installation Family Advocacy Program for more information.