Some time ago, on a blog far far away, I wrote a post about visiting an acquaintance and brand-new mom who told me that she was only going to breastfeed her baby for 3 months. I was shocked to hear this, but since I was not very close to this woman I kept my mouth shut. Then I went home and looked up more information on breastfeeding, and typed up the following information on Breast Milk and Formula.
Breastfeeding is amazing; it has so many benefits. Here is what I found:
Here is why Breast Milk is recommended:*
1. The nutritional composition of breast milk is ideal for human infants.
2. As your baby grows and his nutritional needs change, your milk adapts to meet these needs.
3. Breast milk is easily digested
4. Breastfeeding is both economical and convenient.
5. Breastfeeding promotes attachment and a close, nurturing relationship between mother and baby.
6. Breastfeeding reduces the incidence and severity of diseases and infections such as ear infection, respiratory infection, meningitis, and urinary tract infections. It also reduces symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting.
7. Infants exclusively breastfed through three months of age are nine times less likely to be hospitalized for infections compared to formula-fed infants.
8. Breastfed infants have a reduced incidences of some chronic conditions and diseases that occur later in life, such as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and multiple sclerosis. (and celiac desease)
9. Breastfed infants have lower rates of lymphoma than formula-fed infants.
10. Breastfed infants have fewer and less severe allergies compared to formula-fed infants.
11. Breastfeeding enhances the development of the brain and is associated with higher cognitive test scores than feeding formula to a baby.
12. Breastfeeding has been shown to have a protective effect that helps reduce the possibility of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
13. Breastfeeding reduces postpartum bleeding and aids involution (the return of the uterus to its normal size).
14. Reduces the risk of some diseases for the mother, including pre-menopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer
15. Breastfeeding mothers have fewer hip fractures in the postmenopausal period than women who never breastfed.
Some Concerns about the use of Formula:*
1. Formula has no capacity to enhance the development of the baby’s immune system.
2. The earlier the introduction of formula, the greater the risk for the development of severe allergy (asthma and eczema) and infection in the infant.
3. There are over two hundred nutrients and components in breast milk; most of these components are not present in formula.
4. Occasionally, formula is recalled because of manufacturing errors, which put baby at risk.
5. Various issues with certain types of formulas, such as Soy formula and low-iron formula, etc etc.
* from Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn