Difference between breastmilk and formula milk

pregnancy and baby care


Breast Milk Formula Milk
1. Contains whey and casein protein in large amounts. These proteins are easily digestible and act as antibodies to fight off infections from many diseases. 1. Does not contain any protein. Some branded and costly formula milk powders like NAN Pro contain a small amount of whey protein as whey protein is more easily digestible than casein protein.
2. Contains many antibodies that help the baby fight infections, bacteria, and viruses more easily. All these antibodies come from the mother’s blood. This does not mean that breastfed babies will never fall sick. They will also get infections but they recover faster. 2. Does not contain any antibodies and that is why formula-fed babies are more prone to viruses and infections than breast-fed babies. They will recover slowly.
3. Contains milk components like lactose and fats. 3. Contains carbohydrates and fats.
4. Contains many vitamins like Vitamin A, D, B1, B2, B6, B12 and minerals like iron, zinc, copper, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and C1. It all comes from the mother’s diet and lifestyle. 4. Contains only minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. You have to give vitamin D drops regularly to the baby as the formula doesn’t contain it.
5. It can be painful initially but will get used to it slowly and you will not feel any pain later. You have to take your time out to feed your baby leaving all other work. You can also pump your breastmilk in a feeding bottle and give it to others to feed your baby. 5. No pain at all and anyone can feed your baby through feeding bottles. Others will have a chance to build a bond with your baby. But you have to wake up in the middle of the night, go to the kitchen, wash the bottle, make milk, and then feed your baby which is time-consuming.
6. It’s free of cost and you don’t need to buy anything to feed your baby. You may need to buy some breastpads or breast pumps to avoid overflow of the breastmilk when you are outside, 6. You have to buy so many feeding essentials like feeding bottles, nipples, cleaning brushes, sterilizers, milk powder, etc to feed your baby.
7. It is naturally sweet, warm, and fresh at every feed. Mothers diet plays a very important role in the nutrition of the breastmilk. The more healthy the mother eats, the more healthy her breastmilk becomes. This doesn’t mean u can’t eat junk or snacks at all. You can have them once in a while. 7. It has added sugars and other preservatives. Every mineral and vitamin is already added to the formula powder. The baby gets the same energy every day. Babies in less than one year cannot enjoy the taste, protein, vitamins, and minerals of many nonveg foods, dairy products, and other foods.
8. Breastmilk protects your baby from many infections like respiratory tract infections, ear infections, and urinary tract infections, as it has mother antibodies in it. 8. Does not protect your baby from infections as formula milk does not have any antibodies that come from the mother’s blood.
9. You will need a private place to breastfeed your baby which is very challenging when you are outside the home. 9. You don’t need a private place to feed your baby and you can feed anywhere you want with feeding bottles.
10. Helps breastfeeding mothers in losing pregnancy weight, shrinks the uterus faster after delivery, and prevents breast cancer. Lowers the risk of uterine cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes. 10. Does not help mother regarding her health in any way. Her stress may lower a bit as she gives the task of feeding her baby at midnight or in the daytime to others.
11. It is very easily digestible by the baby’s stomach as there are many easily digestible proteins in it. 11. It is not very easily digestible to many babies. It can form gas in the stomach or lead to constipation.
12. Breastmilk is very essential for premature babies as their immune system is very weak. 12. Formula milk can also be given to premature babies but that doesn’t help the baby recover fast as breastmilk does.
13. You can pump and store your breastmilk in the fridge and also donate it to milk banks to help other babies who are in need of nutritious milk. 13. You cannot store formula milk. It should be consumed within one hour after it is made.
14. We all know the importance of colostrum ( the first form of breastmilk that comes soon after your delivery as first breastmilk), which is very necessary for your baby to build better immunity. It is light yellow and watery. It is nothing but an abundance of many types of proteins that are easily digestible by the baby’s small tummy. 14. No chance of colostrum in the formula. Nowadays as soon as the baby is born, their first milk has become formula as the mother is kept in ICU after a c-section or they are taken away by the doctors to have a complete health checkup.
According to my personal experience with my two kids, feeding breastmilk and formula is almost the same for the first 2 years of your baby’s life. It just depends on your lifestyle and your everyday diet and routine. During my first pregnancy, I had a healthy diet, but due to low breastmilk, I gave formula along with breastmilk to my baby for 5 months. He was very healthy. He got colds, fever, and coughs sometimes. After stopping breastmilk at 2 years of age, his immunity went down, and felt ill very often. After 2 years I had to give him a special diet that had protein and fiber in high amounts every day to build up his immunity much stronger. But still, kids fall sick very often till they reach 8 to 10 years of age. It takes time and as the age grows immunity becomes more strong.

During my second pregnancy, I had a healthy and unhealthy diet. My daughter was born healthy and I also had a very good supply of breastmilk this time. The formula was given to my second baby only for 2 days as I had a C-section and initially, I didn’t get any milk. On the second day, as my baby started sucking, watery liquid came out and slowly it turned to breastmilk. Though she didn’t have formula at all, she used to fall sick more often than my first baby who had formula for the first 5 months. Her physical development like weight gain, teething, crawling, and walking was very slow. The doctor gave her iron and vitamin D drops even after one year of age. This can also be due to my unhealthy diet, low blood in my body, vitamin D deficiency, etc. I don’t know the exact reason. Thatswhy I prefer giving both breastmilk and formula to maintain a well-balanced diet. Because, we never take care of ourselves, which may affect our children’s health too. But if you take of yourself and eat a healthy well-balanced diet for 2 years or until you breastfeed your baby, I promise your child will be healthier than the babies who are formula-fed.





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