The question of breastfeeding or formula feeding should be an easy one to solve. Breastfeeding is the right answer. Whether you pump and bottle feed or exclusively nurse, be happy that you are doing the right thing for your child.
The ease of formula as an alternative to breast milk has overshadowed the importance of breastfeeding. Many types of formula are readily available. Free samples are also given away by hospitals, doctors, and formula companies.
My second son had low blood sugar after he was born. The hospital forced me to feed him formula. I asked if they had a breast pump so I could pump and feed my son that, but they said formula was the best option. It still bugs me almost four months later. What I have read and been taught by lactation consultants is that breast milk is always the best choice.
Breastfeeding needs to go back to being number one.
The benefits of breastfeeding will always beat formula feeding.
1. Protection Against Diseases and Illnesses
Breastfed babies are less likely to get colds, viruses, and childhood cancers. Mothers also have a less chance of getting premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Also, children are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol in the future if they were breastfed. When a mother breastfeeds a child, her body creates antibodies to help fight colds and viruses. If an infant does get sick, breastfed babies tend to recover quicker than formula fed babies. (Ask Dr. Sears)
2. Burns Fat and Strengthens Mother’s Bones
Breast milk costs 20 calories per ounce to make. This means one can burn 500 calories a day. When nursing, a mother’s body absorbs calcium better, this decreases the chance of postmenopausal osteoporosis.
3. Adapts to Infant’s Needs
Colostrum, the first milk, is low in fat but high in carbohydrates and protein. This allows it to be easily digested by your newborn while also containing a laxative to help pass first poops. Breastmilk is supply and demand. Your supply of milk will match the request of your nursing baby, and contain all of the vitamins and nutrients they will need.
4. Higher IQ and Lower Chance of Obesity
Studies have shown an increase of up to 7.5 IQ points in elementary age children who were breastfed. Another study showed at five to six years of age, children who were never breastfed had obesity rates of 4.5 percent compared to obesity rates of 0.8 percent for children who were breastfed for more than 12 months.
5. SIDS Decreases
The chance Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) decreases 50% among breastfed babies.
6. Better for Environment and Wallet
The majority of a formula is made out of cow’s milk. Dairy cows are among the millions of livestock animals that deplete the environment. Breastfeeding not only saves the environment but can save you up to 5,000 dollars a year in formula costs.
7. Develops Child’s Tastes
It has been shown that what one eats transfers into their milk. This helps the child develop a taste for the food that the mother eats. It is no wonder my baby loves pickles and veggies just as much as I do.
8. Stem Cell Research
Stem cells have been found in breastmilk. By researching the stem cells in breast milk advancements in regenerative health can be made. (New Science)
Breastmilk is just amazing! Breastfeeding may not be possible for all, but it is worth all the effort. Breastfeeding is hard for me, but I have stuck with it. The power of breast milk is shown in my boy’s health and vitality everyday.