Breastfeeding vs. bottle-feeding

Choosing whether to breast-feed or bottle-feed is a difficult and personal decision. It’s one of the first important parenting decisions you make as a mum and both options have pros and cons. The controversial nature of this issue often leads to new mums feeling judged for choosing bottle-feeding over breast milk. Find below some of the positive and negative aspects of the feeding methods allowing you to make your own informed decision. After all, there is no right or wrong choice, just the healthiest choice for you and your baby.



Health organisations like the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend breast milk as the optimal nutrition for new-born infants. The current guidelines are to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months of life followed by a combination of solid foods and breast milk up to the age of one(1).



Breastfeeding can have physical benefits for both you and your baby in addition to being an emotionally bonding experience.

  • Availability
    Breastfeeding is free, whereas bottles and formula can be costly, it also does not require any preparation, it’s ready when your baby needs it.
  • Nutrition
    Breast milk has all the nutrients your baby needs to grow and stay healthy. A mother's breast milk is produced in order to optimise the health of her child, so it contains proteins, fats, carbohydrates as well as nutrients, and various immune cells. We also now know that the mother's milk contains bacteria; the composition of which appears to change throughout the duration of lactation and varies between mothers2. Through its complex composition it is able to promote a healthy digestive system, with breastfed babies being less likely to have diarrhoea and upset stomach3. It also strengthens the baby’s immune system and development through the mix of beneficial bacteria and nutrients it contains(2,4).
  • Good for mum
    Breastfeeding allows your body to release hormones which help you bond with your baby. It is also associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers(5).



may feel discomfort, particularly during the first few feedings. Also, new-borns eat frequently and keeping a feeding schedule may be difficult if you need to return to work or run errands. Furthermore, you will have to watch your medication and alcohol consumption since some things that you consume are passed to the baby through your milk(2).



Bottle-feeding can mean either feeding your baby breast milk from a bottle or using a formula. Breast milk from a bottle still has the same nutrients but gives you more flexibility since your baby is not relying on your body for food. On the other hand, formula is manufactured, whilst it does contain a lot of nutrients, it is not a perfect match for the breast milk made by woman’s body(6).



Breastfeeding can have physical benefits for both you and your baby in addition to being an emotionally bonding experience.

  • Flexibility
    A family member or nanny can feed your baby when you are not able to be there. Mothers using formula also do not worry about how what they are eating may affect the baby.
  • Feeding frequency
    Due to formula being less digestible than breast milk, formula fed infants often need to eat less frequently than those being breast fed. Furthermore, parents are also able to see how much the baby is eating and ensure it is getting enough food, something which is challenging when breastfeeding(7).
  • Shared responsibility
    Bottle feeding allows partners to be involved in the feeding routine, this may help them bond with the new-born.



Although formula feeding may allow you flexibility in your life as a new parent, bottles and formula can be expensive. Furthermore, you also need to mix and prepare the formula, making sure it is the correct temperature. Moreover, it does not provide the same influx of friendly bacteria and protection from infections as breast milk does(2).



    1. World health organisation’s breastfeeding recommendation-
    2. Olmstead et al (2007) Micrometabolic Imprinting in Infancy: Microflora, Probiotics & Chronic disease. Klaire Labs
    3. M. N-Ohayon et al (2016) Microbial changes during pregnancy, birth and infancy. Review. Frontiers in microbiology. Vol 7.
    4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Breastfeeding – Why It Matters.
    5. Breast- feeding vs bottle- feeding
    6. Bottle feeding-
    7. Breastfeeding vs formula feeding-



Shopping Cart

Your shopping cart is empty

Continue Shopping