Breastfeeding vs. Pumping: Which Is the Best Option for Your Baby?

16 Nov 2023
Breastfeeding vs. Pumping: Which Is the Best Option for Your Baby?-R for Rabbit

Parenting decisions for infants are undoubtedly a big challenge that every new parent needs to face since your choices directly impact the well-being and growth of the baby in the future. One of the most common topics you would encounter is choosing between breastfeeding and formula.

There was a time when some mothers had to resort to formula feeding since they had some health issues or commitments at work, due to which they were not always available to feed the baby.

However, with the advancements in the baby care category, an alternative that such moms can consider to provide breast milk even in their absence is pumping. This category has become increasingly popular since it helps mommies express breast milk and store it for feeding babies, ensuring the little one gets all the necessary nutrients. However, mothers’ common concern is choosing between breastfeeding vs. pumping.

If you are sailing in the same sea of dilemma, let’s discuss the details of both feeding processes so that you have a clear picture of the best choice for the well-being of your baby.

Breastfeeding vs. Pumping: Quick Summary





Packed with nutrients tailored to baby's needs. Composition changes as baby grows.

Expressed breastmilk has same nutrients as directly breastfed.


Allows bonding and emotional connection. Baby feels mother's touch.

No direct bonding while baby drinks pumped milk.


Baby can feed on demand. May be inconvenient for mom to directly breastfeed at all times.

Allows others to feed baby expressed milk. More convenient if mom working or not always available.

Milk Supply

Supply can be inadequate if mom has breastfeeding challenges or baby has improper latch.

Mom can see amount pumped and adjust to meet baby's needs.

Public Feeding

Can be challenging for moms to breastfeed directly in public places.

Expressed milk can be easily bottle fed in public.


Easily digestible for baby. Less gas and constipation issues.

Same benefits if baby gets expressed breastmilk.


Robust immune system as breastmilk fights illnesses.

Same immune benefits from pumped breastmilk.

Making a Choice

Depends on mom's routine, health, work status and baby's ability to feed directly.

Helps moms who cannot directly breastfeed due to various reasons.


Understanding Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has a crucial role in your child’s physical and mental development, which is why health experts encourage new moms to try and opt for it if there aren’t any hurdles. Human breast milk is rich in protein, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates, and the composition is believed to change over time according to the baby’s age and growth needs.

Below is the detailed composition list you should be aware of when choosing between direct breastfeeding vs pumping.

  • A significant percentage of around 87-88% is water, which fulfills the child’s body water requirements. If you breastfeed your baby till 6 months, you do not need to feed extra water as the breast milk provides plenty.
  • 124-g/L macronutrients as solid components, which also include around 7% carbohydrates. 3.8% fat and 1% protein.

The composition of the breast milk is also believed to depend on the mother’s feeding habits and lifestyle. The most crucial role of breastfeeding is that the milk strengthens the growing child’s immune system and provides all essential growth nutrients.

Apart from the growth benefit, breastfeeding also helps you connect with your baby and let him understand your touch. This emotional bonding is a base for future relationships, one thing every mother longs for.

The Advantages of Breastfeeding

When evaluating breastfeeding vs pumping pros and cons, you should gather all possible information before choosing one. You can read online, consult a specialist, and talk to fellow mommies to know their experience. Below are some significant advantages of breastfeeding that you should be aware of:

  • Human breast milk is packed with all the essential nutrients and energy an infant needs to grow. A reportsuggests that milk helps in the maturation of the intestine, the development of the nervous system, tissue and vascular system development, hormone regulation, and metabolism. Thus, it is the best source for any child until 6 months.
  • If your child is exclusively breastfed, his body has a robust immune system, which makes him fight illnesses without any effort, and hence, your doctor visits are drastically reduced.
  • Breastfed kids tend to have an excellent digestive system since the milk is light and does not cause colic and constipation like formula-fed children.

Also Read: Eating Tips To Increase The Breast Milk Supply

The Challenges of Breastfeeding

As a new mom, you must evaluate breastfeeding vs. pumping: Pros and cons according to your daily routine and baby’s feeding needs since every child is different and the same rule does not apply to all.

Some children are not able to breastfeed correctly since they are not able to latch on to the breast and apply the required sucking pressure, which means that even after long feeding hours, your little one’s tummy will not be full.

This issue is prevalent in preterm babies, and hence, breastfeeding is not the best option for them, no matter what others say. So, you need to understand and decide for yourself and your baby rather than giving up on advice from people around you.

  • Breastfeeding can be a challenge for mothers who are not lactating correctly, so no matter how much pressure the child applies, the milk supply will be inadequate. In such cases, it is recommended to consult an expert and seek advice on increasing lactation. Also, you can consider pumping as an alternative, as here, you can adjust the suction intensity and know if sufficient milk has been expressed for feeding.
  • Another major challenge that makes mommies evaluate the benefits of breastfeeding and pumping for babies is feeding in public places. In a country like India, where breastfeeding in public is still considered taboo, mothers feel uncomfortable, and this is where pumping can help. You can express milk at your place, carry it in a feeding bottle, and feed your child whenever he is hungry.
  • When we talk about breastfeeding, the child becomes exclusively dependent on you since you cannot ask for help from your partner or family member in the process, which can be a real challenge as solo baby care can be tiring. Thus, whatever decision you make, consider all the crucial factors involved in the daily routine and make a wise choice.


Also Read: Tips for Comfortable Public Breastfeeding in Public Places

Understanding Pumping

Expressing milk using a breast pump is a saviour for mothers who are unable to feed the baby due to health issues or have to resume work post-childbirth. This is a great feeding option since your baby gets an uninterrupted supply of breast milk, which supports growth and development.

  • If you are still struggling with how to decide between breastfeeding and pumping, you need to understand that it isn’t a bad thing to choose it. Earlier, there were manual pumps where mothers had to constantly squeeze the pump to express milk, which was indeed tiring and uncomfortable.
  • But with the modern electric breast pumps, the process has become easy and quick. So, if you have any issues in direct breastfeeding, consider pumping rather than switching to formula feeding.

The Advantages of Pumping

You can choose the best quality, feature-loaded electric breast pumps that can pump milk conveniently and comfortably. A good pump massages and expresses milk, which doesn’t hurt you at all, and you can also choose the pumping intensity by selecting the settings. Pumping works wonders, as you can do it while watching TV, reading, or doing other tasks.

Thus, it saves much time and effort if you work and have limited time at home. Pumping lets you share the feeding responsibility with your partner or other members, which gives you a window to rest, rejuvenate, and dedicate time to other tasks.

Hence, it is a boon for working mommies. Considering the benefits of expressing milk using a pump, a survey report suggests that almost 40% of mothers in India are opting for pumps as they are assured of adequate milk for their babies. This percentage is expected to increase in the coming years as awareness amongst new mothers is increasing.

The Challenges of Pumping

Every coin has two sides, and when we talk about the benefits of pumping, it is also crucial to understand the challenges associated with the process.

  • The first major challenge is finding the right pump since there are many options available that you need to assess and choose.
  • Buying from a reputed baby care brand is necessary to get the best combination of utility and quality.

Also, talking about pumping, you must maintain the milk supply according to your baby’s changing needs. Remember that as your child grows, the quantity of milk he consumes in one feed will also increase. Therefore, you need to be vigilant and do the needful. Once you pump the milk, store the breast milk properly so it stays suitable for a few hours.

Consult your doctor and talk about all these concerns to get the best advice. Ensure you take care of yourself and consume good nutrition so that the milk supply is adequate.

Also Read: Breast Milk vs Powdered Milk: Which is Better for Baby?

Conclusion: Making the Decision

You need to stay calm and make the right choice between pumping and breastfeeding so that your child gets the best nutrition and care. If you aren’t always available at home, go for a pump.

Experts recommend that mothers adopt a mix of breastfeeding and pumping for the best results so that the baby feels connected to you and gets adequate feed through pumping. So, choose your approach after assessing all the aspects since you are the best person to decide for your little angel.

The best approach is to consult a healthcare expert and discuss your routine and viewpoint so that he can guide you with the choice. If your doctor suggests using breast pumps, you can check out the fantastic range from R for Rabbit, which consists of manual and electric models. You can also buy accessories like extra feeding bottles and other baby care products that make feeding easy and fun.

Faq's On Breastfeeding vs. Pumping: Which Is the Best Option for Your Baby?


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