Breastfeeding Vs Pumping: What’s Best For You and Your Baby?

a mother feeding her baby with a milk bottle

Breastfeeding and Pumping

In breastfeeding, the mother feeds their baby through the direct nipple, which ensures no risk and promotes health.

Breastfeeding is vital for both mother’s and baby’s health, from promoting healthy baby weight to even reducing breast cancer risk.

Whereas pumping is a process where breast milk is extracted through the breast pump, which can be stored and drunk later.

But this may reduce the emotional bond between each other and may increase the risk of several health issues like weakened immunity.

Ensure the baby receives enough milk with the proper nutrients in both feeding techniques.

Breastfeeding and pumping are the best way to feed their baby, but we will discuss both pros and cons.

If you experience any breast-related issues, like Low milk supply and changes in infants then consult your doctor.

a mother feeding her baby with a milk bottle

Pros of Breastfeeding

We already discuss breastfeeding in our previous topic, and why it’s important, here are several benefits (pros) of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a great way to reduce severe illness in both mother and infants which include:

  • Promote healthy baby weight
  • reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome
  • increase mother and infant emotional bond
  • reduce the risk of breast cancer
  • promote relaxation by releasing hormones that reduce stress, and promote health
  • reduce the chance of breast engorgement, and other breast-related issues
  • cheaper or free for feeding in comparison to a bottle
  • always available at any time, and most important an ideal temperature
  • enhance the milk supply
  • environment-friendly means – does not produce waste like plastic bottles, and formula

Overall, breastfeeding provides various health benefits, and generally, doctors recommend you feed through the breast to prevent risk.

Most mothers believe that breastfeeding can increase the sense of control due to the belief that may boost baby milk consumption (2)

Check – Overcoming Breast Pain While Breastfeeding: Strategies That Work

Cons of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding may also have some cons which are not mostly seen cons for the infants but for the mother which include:

Breast issues: If the mother already has breast-related issues then sucking milk may lead to pain in the breast (3)

Intake worries: Breastfeeding may limit the new moms to engage in other things like exercise, and parties, and mothers have to see their infant’s needs

Improperly latching: If the baby has improper latching, then not being able to drink milk properly, and insufficient weight may be seen.

Restrictions: If the mother is already on medication or has some health issue, then it may affect the milk supply and not be considered safe for baby

Lack of sleep: especially in the first few weeks, you have to be frequent in feeding, which also affects your sleep, and leads to insufficient sleep.

Insufficient sleep leads to stress, and even worse the situation, and stress and lack of sleep are associated with each other (4)

If you are still unable to feed your infant and see any other discomfort then talk to your doctor, and consult other mothers (5)

Pros of Pumping

Pumping is an alternative to secreting milk from the breast which also has some advantages (pros) and disadvantages (cons) including:

Backup milk: In any case, if milk is not produced then the back milk bottle or bags are available to fulfill your baby’s milk needs.

You have time: Pumping allows you to engage in activities, as milk is stored in bottles or bags to full fill your baby’s milk needs.

No more breast issues: During breastfeeding infants sucking milk may lead to breast pain but in this no need for improper latching and pain.

Maintain milk supply: Pumping allow you to maintain your milk supply when your baby is not sucking milk from the breast (6)

Pumping can be a useful way to feed their baby, without worries about breast pain, but it’s vital to schedule and make a proper routine of feeding.

Make sure bottles are stored properly and safely.

How Much Milk Should Be Pumping?

It totally depends on your baby’s age and feeding habits, but generally is seen to 30-120 ml of milk every session.

At starting time, infants need more frequent milk, but as the baby gets older baby consumes more milk but less frequently.

Make sure to frequent breastfeeding with proper feeding position to prevent several breast-related issues like swelling, heaviness, etc

In addition, less milk production is also triggered by stress, fatigue, dehydration, and other reasons so make consult the doctor.

Cons of pumping

Pumping has some disadvantages, however, still half of the women in the US use it for 1st few weeks, and 85% use it for the first 4 months.

Here are some cons of pumping which include:

Costly: Buying new bottle, and other setups to maintain proper hygiene and changing the bottle every time, which make it more costly than breastfeeding

Create barrier: The pumping may be allied with a barrier to breastfeeding continuously, which leads to breast-related issues.

May cause pain: Some mother experience pain, especially the first time pumping (7) (8)

Baby issues: Some baby needs only breastfeeding milk not pumping, due to feeling warm and supported, and a mother smells.

Some new moms also experience pain, worries, and frustration while pumping, while others do not, it may vary for different moms (9)

Tips for Successful Breastfeeding and Pumping

A woman breastfeeding a baby during a blocked milk duct condition

Proper Latching

To do proper latching make sure you will follow these guidelines (10) include:

  • Proper body position and baby mouth position should be correct
  • baby’s nose and chin should touch your breast
  • if you feel sucking, then it means the baby consuming milk

To prevent pain, and worries while pumping go with alternative ways in early delivery to secrete milk like hand expression.

Maintaining Milk Supply

Not frequently breastfeeding is one of the main causes of several breast issues like engorgement, low milk supply, redness, etc,

To maintain milk supply try to:

  • Enhance physical activity
  • eat well-balanced or lactation-friendly food
  • do frequent breastfeeding
  • drink enough water to enhance the quality and quantity of milk
  • maintain breast hygiene to prevent infections like mastitis, which enhances the overall nursing experience.
  • take a break, if you think it disturbs your overall well-being

So try to do frequent breastfeeding, which will breast reduce swelling, and sensitivity, and reduce the size of breasts.

Seek Support

Talk to your doctor before buying the ideal pump for you because not proper sucking makes also creates pain and discomfort.

If you have other questions like what is the pumping routine, where should I store it, and is it safe for a long time? etc

If you experience pain while pumping or breastfeeding then you should consult your doctor it may be some other issue.

Which One of Best For You?

It totally depends on personal preference and varies from mother to mother.

Some mothers feel comfort while breastfeeding and some do not, some experience pain, and some do not while pumping

There are many factors that influence you to choose breastfeeding and pumping such as:

Personal Lifestyle and Comfort

If your lifestyle is very busy then pumping is good for you because it saves your time, gives you time, and is easy to store (11)

But if you are a housewife then breastfeeding is a good choice, however, pain and other breast issues may change the choice.

Comfort is also important as we said earlier pain and other breast-related issues may change the choice (12)

And yes, feeling discomfort, and irritation may also disturb milk production hormones, which leads to a low milk supply.

Health Factor

If the mother already has some health issues or is on medicines, then it affects several things which overall disturb you.

Medication or having some health issues trigger milk supply negatively which may increase the pain, and sensation while breastfeeding.

Breast pain while breastfeeding is a common concern, and about 75% of women experience it, especially during the first 2 weeks of postpartum.

So talk to your healthcare provider if you see any abnormal things, whether it is you breastfeeding or during pregnancy (13)

If you are still confused, about which one of better for you, then you should consult your doctor about pumping and breastfeeding style.

Conclusion: It totally your choice and depend on mother-to-mother about pain and other breast issues, baby’s condition, and personal choice

What If We Combine Breastfeeding and Pumping?

Yes, you can combine breastfeeding and pumping, sometimes breastfeeding is a good choice instead of pumping because:

  • It makes a strong emotional bond between mother and baby (14)
  • reduce the risk of risk on both mother and baby
  • as much as needed because it’s come direct from the breast, so no more a particular amount of milk
  • reduce the risk of breast engorgement and even cancer.

But sometimes pumping is a good choice for mothers due to:

  • No worries about the pain
  • if you are a new mom and worry about pain, then pumping becomes a perfect milk secretion for you

Both have some pros and some cons so Yes, you can combine both techniques for milk secretion:

  • For fun or just testing new things
  • prevent pain
  • to make a strong emotional bond
  • reduce the chance of disease
  • to give your baby a quality and quantity of milk
  • if you are busy then you can use pumping which allows moms to store milk

Consult your doctor about your condition, and find which one of best for you, your feeding technique, etc.

Down Line

Breastfeeding Vs pumping both are good choices, some mothers use them for personal preference and some use them for other reasons.

If you are experiencing any discomfort in the secretion of milk, then you should consult your doctor.

Breastfeeding is better than pumping in many ways like reducing the risk of several diseases and making a strong emotional bond.

Sometimes pumping becomes a good choice which reduces the pain, and worries and gives you time to engage in new activities.


Hello, I'm Sahil bisht, I am a Mechanical engineer, As well as, aspiring blogger with an obsession for health. This blog delicate to people who want to learn in health.

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