Formula was developed to give women who could not nurse a good nutritious option for their newborn. At some point formula manufacturers started aggressively marketing their products to all women. They said that formula was better than breast milk. They guaranteed a baby would get all the nutrients she needed, just add water. They sold women on the convenience of bottle feeding and the freedom a woman would enjoy without having an infant constantly clutching their breast.
As it turned out very few of their sales pitches were right. Breastfeeding is best for both the baby and the mother, both physically and emotionally.
Nursing is Best for the Baby
- A newborn gets 100% of their nutritional and liquid requirements from breast milk.
- A baby digests breast milk much easier than formula made from cow’s milk or soybeans. She won’t have as many little tummy aches while nursing and her incidents of diarrhea are three times less likely when breast fed.
- Breast milk contains antibodies that help develop a child’s immune system. Colostrum, the first milk, is loaded with antibodies.
- Respiratory illness among breast fed babies is much less than formula fed babies
- A breast fed baby isn’t as likely to have an ear infections as a formula fed baby
- There is less of a probability of SIDS (Sudden Infant death Syndrome) is a breast fed baby.
- A breast fed baby is less likely to develop allergies
- Formula fed babies are more likely to become obese.
- Formula fed babies have more dental cavities later in life than babies who were nursed.
- Babies who were breast fed for at least six months are eight times less likely to developed childhood cancer.
- Babies who were breastfed for at least three months were 30% less likely to develop diabetes than formula fed babies.
- As a breast fed baby grows to adulthood they are less likely to have high blood pressure and will have less heart related health problems
- Studies suggest that as breast fed babies grow into children they have fewer psychological problems than formula fed babies
- Studies have suggested that breast fed babies have IQ’s up to ten points higher than formula fed babies.
- The baby bonds with the mother and feels protected and loved. Physical contact is very important to newborns.
Breastfeeding is Best for the Nursing Mother
Breast milk is free. Between bottles and formula it has been estimated to cost approximately $1,500 per year to bottle feed an infant. That is just hard costs. There are other costs also. The time it takes to prepare formula, sterilize bottles and the cost in time and gasoline to go to the store and buy the formula. In addition it has been proven that formula fed babies are more likely to get sick and spend time at the doctor’s office than babies who are nursed.
- Breastfeeding is more convenient than formula. Breast milk does not need to be heated up. It is always the right temperature. In the middle of the night when the baby wants to eat the process can be started immediately.
- The uterus heals faster from childbirth when a mother nurses her child
- Women who have nursed their babies have less of a chance of getting reproductive or breast cancer.
- Mothers who breastfeed their newborns are less likely to suffer from postpartum depression.
- Breast feeding can feel good. The feeing of closeness is not just important to the newborn, but to the mother as well. It also gives the mother a chance to relax and have some quiet bonding time with the child.