Breastfeeding Advantages and Disadvantages

Two advantages and three potential disadvantages or concerns about breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is associated with several benefits to both the child and its mother. Breast milk provides immunity advantages to the child because it carried antibodies derived from the mother (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2006). This helps the child fight diseases before their immune system is competent to produce their antibodies.

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  • Concerns related to breastfeeding include the potentiality of breast milk to spread blood-borne viruses to the child. Such viruses include human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis B virus. Therefore, mother-to-child transmission of such infectious diseases is possible, and proper screening is required for the mother (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2006).
  • Secondly, breastfeeding, especially exclusive breastfeeding is cumbersome to a working mother for there is need to arrange for breastfeeding during working hours, an extension of maternity leave, which elicits financial implications in the end.
  • Lastly, intermittent breastfeeding may result in the production of less breast milk than required to satisfy the baby.

Three advantages of bottle-feeding and three disadvantages or concerns of bottle-feeding or formula feeding

  • Bottle-feeding is associated with benefits such as additional nutritional value such as supplemental vitamin K in the formula.
  • With bottle-feeding, the mother may ask another person to feed the baby, thus allowing the mother to work or perform other tasks.
  • The mother and the child can establish a strong bond between them.
  • Several concerns relating to bottle-feeding the following:
  • include increased financial obligation since formula feeding is expensive.
  • Unlike breastfeeding, bottle-feeding is not readily available.
  • Statistics show that there is a higher prevalence of obesity and overweight in formula-fed children than those that received exclusive breastfeeding in their infancy (Guendelman et al., 2009). Thus, it would be important for children to be breastfed so that they could not suffer from some of the health conditions.

The impact of breastfeeding on a working mother

  • A working mother has reduced physical contact with the child. A nursing mother has a chance of about 8 to 18 times of physical contact in a day. This increased physical contact results in an extraordinary bond between the mother and the child, whereby such a bond may not form.
  • Secondly, breastfeeding elicits immediate health benefits to both the nursing mother and her child (Guendelman et al., 2009). Returning to work is one of the primary reasons for discontinuation of breastfeeding.
  • The primary reasons attributed to early discontinuation of breastfeeding include unsupportive working conditions, the inadequate time necessary for milk expression, and privacy inadequacies (Ogbuanu et al., 2011).

The legal issues and recent legislation related to breastfeeding in Florida, USA

  • The need for increased breastfeeding rates is a primary health priority nationally and internationally, from a World Health Organization perspective. Statistically, Florida State is among the leading state with the lowest number of nursing mothers practicing citing the fear of breastfeeding embarrassment in public as the reason.
  • Increasing the number of breastfeeding mothers in Florida could interpret to a decrease in infant mortality and morbidity rates. Current legislation by the Florida House of Representatives includes mandatory breastfeeding of infants from parturition date to one year unless the provisions of contraindication medically, so that there is a maximal healthy beginning (Murtagh & Moulton, 2011).
  • Also, the need for family values and infant health promotion have been addressed with provisions providing mechanisms to avert public embarrassment and ignorance associated with breastfeeding.


Guendelman, S., Kosa, J., Pearl, M., Graham, S., Goodman, J., & Kharrazi, M. (2009). Juggling Work and Breastfeeding: Effects of Maternity Leave and Occupational Characteristics. Pediatrics, 123(1), 38 -46.

Kail, R., & Cavanaugh, J. (2006). Advantage series – Human development- a life-span view. Stamford, CT: Cengage.

Murtagh, L., & Moulton, A. (2011). Working Mothers, Breastfeeding, and the Law. Am J Public Health, 101(2), 217-223.

Ogbuanu, C., Glover, S., Probst, J., Hussey, J., & Liu, J. (2011). Balancing Work and Family: Effect of Employment Characteristics on Breastfeeding. J Hum Lact., 27(3), 225-238.

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