Breast or Not

I’m sure by now all of us have heard the argument that breast feeding your child is better.  Some critiques say that maybe breast is not indeed the best option for your new infant. In this specific argument I believe that the pros outweigh the cons and if you are on the fence about breast feeding, you should really look into it for the sake of your child.

Biologically breast milk is definitely the best option when choosing what to feed your child. Breast milk helps protect your child from infections and germs that can be so harmful to a newborn. Mothers are very protective of their child when they are new to the world because they know how easily they can get sick. They have not had the time to be able to build up immunities to all of the viruses and bacteria that the world has to offer. So it would only make sense to feed your child breast milk that contains antibodies (cells created in the body to void away infectious disease).

Mother nursing son

image found here

These antibodies correlate directly to why breastfeed children are healthier than babies who are not. Breastfeed children are less likely to get infections, asthma, and have a great opportunity of not getting diabetes. The maternal instinct to protect your child can be easily fulfilled by breastfeeding your child.  Not only will your child be healthier, but studies show that your child will be more intelligent as well.

Higher IQ’s can be found in children that are breastfed. An observational study that followed babies into their 30’s found an increase of 7.5 IQ points in children that were breastfed opposed to children who are not.  They also found that older people who were breastfed during infancy had a higher verbal performance. Lessa Horta suggests that this is due to a molecule called long-chained polyunsaturated fatty acids or FCPUFA for short. Brain growth is linked to this molecule which is found in breast milk.  This was a study of 5,914 babies and they found that these specific babies who were breast feed had better grades and higher incomes. Because of the large number of participants you can conclude that this was a fairly well done study.

Some critiques of breastfeeding say that this study doesn’t address any other possibility which is known as a third variable causation. Wolf suggests that the fact that parents are dedicated enough to breast feed their child distinguishes themselves from parents who bottle-feed their children which may correlate to higher intelligence. While this may be true it just seems like the best option to breastfeed your child.  Breastfeeding is FREE and formula is expensive. It also helps the mother of the child. Breastfeeding helps you burn calories to help you lose weight from being pregnant. It also increases Oxytocin in your body which helps the womb return to its normal size, and finally strengthens your bond between you and your child.  To me breastfeeding seems like the obvious choice. At the end of the day what do you have to loose from it? The choice to breast feed is so beneficial to your baby that the simple choice to do so outweighs the cons of not doing so.

“Is Breast Best?” NYU Press Books Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

“Breastfeeding Is Best.” Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

“Study: Breastfed Babies Have a Higher IQ.” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

4 thoughts on “Breast or Not

  1. Christina Rae Locurto

    Really interesting blog post! I think this is a pretty hot topic, and definitely one that deserves more research. I’d really like to know more of the overall affects of breastfeeding with children. Are children that were breastfed as a baby overall smarter than children who were not breastfed? An interesting way of coming to this conclusion could be to observe GPAs in college students, and asking if they were breastfed as babies. Here is an article that goes more into depth on the debate of breastfeeding vs. formula.

  2. Imaani Allen

    This has been going on for decades to breastfeed or not to breastfeed . I personally think that breastfeeding is the better option of the two as stated in your blog. There have been numerous studies done by doctors proving that breastfeeding has numerous benefits for both mother and child. However we also have to think about the women that are unable to breastfeed due to medical reasons. At the end of the day its up to women to decide how she wants to feed her baby. Great job on the article it is a very interesting topic.

  3. Cassandra N Kearns

    I agree that breastfeeding is very beneficial to the child. Although, in your blog, I wish you investigated more of the opposing side. Why do so many mothers decide not to breastfeed their children and why do some critiques believe it is not the best option for a newborn? Here is an article describing some of the opposing viewpoints against breastfeeding: https://www.ntnu.edu/news/breastfeeding

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