Hmm seeing all of this pic around campus and information booths at the Hub made me want to do some research on breast, but not necessarily breast cancer. I decided to focus on breastfeeding and baby formula.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Dietetic Association (ADA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) all believe breastfeeding is the better option when it comes to the baby health. But why? Well, there are many, many benefits to breastfeeding as opposed to feeding an infant baby formula. For instance, breastfeeding will enhance the baby’s immune system and provide the child with natural antibodies that can help lower the occurrence and risk of many illnesses, such as ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory infections, and meningitis. Also, breast milk usually more easily digested than formula and studies have shown breastfed babies have higher levels of cognitive function, in other words are smarter than the babies who are not breastfed. In addition, the bonding or skin to skin contact between the baby and the mother stimulate an emotional connection between the mother and infant. It many ways breastfeeding is beneficial to the mother. Breastfeeding burns calories and helps shrink the uterus. This effect allows the woman to lose her “baby fat” and get back down to her original size. Also, women who breastfeed have a reduced risk of breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and ovarian cancer. One of the top reasons woman choose to breast feed is because it’s absolutely free and formula quickly adds up. During the babies first year, formula could amount to about $1,500. These benefits seem to be appealing, however there are many benefits to baby formula.
Baby formula is convenient, can be fed to babies at any time because you wont have to fit pumping into your schedule and the baby can be fed anywhere, including in restaurants and parks. Furthermore, because baby formula isn’t as easily digestible as breast milk, babies will not need to eat as much. Some moms love formula because they don’t have to worry about what their diet and what they wouldn’t want to pass onto their babies. Mothers who breast feed have to watch what they eat because babies can’t tolerate all foods and they go straight to the breast milk. Mothers who love their wine and spirits definitely love formula because woman who breast feed pass a small amount of alcohol to their babies through their milk. Another benefit of formula is the mom can relax. She doesn’t have to be present to feed the baby so her significant other, or baby sitter can feed the baby for her.
Although experts believe breast milk is the best nutritional choice for infants, breastfeeding may not be possible for all women. For many women, the decision to breastfeed or formula feed is based on their comfort level, lifestyle, and specific medical considerations that they might have. For mothers who are unable to breastfeed or who decide not to, infant formula is the alternative. Some women feel guilty if they don’t breastfeed, however, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates formula companies to try to ensure they provide all the known necessary nutrients in their formulas. Kidshealth, a website dedicated to the growth and development of babies assures “Commercial formulas try to duplicate the ingredients in breast milk, but haven’t matched their exact combination and composition because milk is a living substance made by each mother for her individual infant, a process that cannot be duplicated in a factory.”
According to the New York Times campaigns to increase the rate of breast-feeding have been highly successful in recent years and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe about 75% of American mothers now breast-feed, an almost 10% jump since 2000. Overall, breastfeeding is considered the best nutritional option for babies by the major medical organizations, but it’s not right for every mother.