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    Home ›› Pros and cons of breastfeeding vs using a pump 

    Home ›› Pros and cons of breastfeeding vs using a pump 

    Pros and cons of breastfeeding vs using a pump


    Reading time: 6 mins.


    Breastfeeding has certain health benefits for both mother and baby – especially the first milk after birth, colostrum, which contains valuable nutrients for your baby.1 But do you have to breastfeed? Breastfeeding doesn’t work for everyone and some mothers decide against it for other personal reasons. And that's perfectly fine! It’s all about what’s right for you and your baby. Here we’ll share some pros and cons of breastfeeding, provide information about breastfeeding vs pumping, and compare milk from breastfeeding vs expressed milk.

    Dauer: 5 Min.

    Pros and cons of breastfeeding


    As with most things in life, there are breastfeeding advantages and disadvantages. With the abundance of information, it’s often tricky to find out which method is right for you. Do you have to breastfeed? Should you breastfeed or not? What if your baby won't latch on properly, breastfeeding is very painful or the mother experiences other physical or mental difficulties that prevent her from breastfeeding? Here you will find an overview of breastfeeding advantages and disadvantages, as well as tips if you want to pump instead of breastfeed.

    Breastfeeding pros


    One of the benefits of breastfeeding is that it helps your baby's palate and jaw develop.2 It also has health benefits for the mother, as breastfeeding produces hormones that help the uterus to shrink back. The benefits of breastfeeding for the baby are that breast milk stimulates the baby's immune system, which can help protect against allergies and infections. It adapts to the baby's needs and development, has many nutrients and is usually easy for the baby to digest, thus preventing flatulence and constipation.

    Besides the health benefits for mother and baby, breastfeeding pros also include practical and financial advantages. For one thing, breast milk is always available and doesn’t have to be heated up, and you only need nursing pads and a nursing bra. And many breastfeeding issues – like pain – can be resolved.

    Breastfeeding cons


    A big disadvantage of breastfeeding is that the mother has to be ready to feed the baby all the time and often doesn't get much rest herself. The mother only has small periods between breastfeeding times, for example to leave the house alone for a walk or to go shopping while her partner or a family member takes care of the baby. For longer outings, the mother has to take the baby with her and find a suitable place to breastfeed when the baby gets hungry.

    Apart from that, breastfeeding is not always easy. Breastfeeding cons include the painful breasts when the mother is producing a lot of milk. Also, under certain circumstances, there can be a blocked milk duct or build-up of milk, which can lead to inflammation of the breast. 

    What you need

    Breastfeeding and pumping


    WIf there’s no time for breastfeeding or the mother needs some rest, breast milk can be pumped and bottle-fed. But how often should you pump breast milk? If you want to alternate between breastfeeding and pumping, you should make sure that you pump regularly, for example with an electric breast pump, so that the amount of milk is not reduced. 

    However, if you want to switch completely from breastfeeding to bottle feeding, but still want to feed breast milk, you should know about the following advantages and disadvantages.

    Breastfeeding vs pumping


    It’s worth comparing the differences between milk from breastfeeding vs expressed milk. While breastfeeding automatically adapts the composition of breast milk to the baby's needs, this is not the case with expressed breast milk and it does not support the baby's immune system to the same extent. On the other hand, pumping and storing breast milk gives the mother back some freedom, because more people than just the mother can feed the baby.

    Many breastfeeding mothers pump when the baby is a little older. However, you can also start pumping right after birth. If you pump instead of breastfeed, how often should you pump breast milk? You should pump at regular intervals so that you can feed the baby breast milk at every meal. If you need to pump quickly when you are out and about, it’s a good idea to use a manual breast pump.

    The Philips Avent breast pump range has electric and manual pumps, with a soft and adaptive cushion that fits 99.98% of mums. They combine easily with the Philips Avent Natural baby bottle, which has a breast-shaped teat and is designed for mums who want to combine breast and bottle feeding – whether with formula or expressed milk. 

    Whether you choose to pump or breastfeed, it’s important that you and your baby are comfortable with the decision. Consult a professional for more advice or join an online community for breastfeeding and pumping too. You can find like-minded people with whom to share your experiences.



    1. NHS: Breastfeeding: the first few days
    2. National Library of Medicine: Breastfeeding is early functional jaw orthopedics

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