Why should I breastfeed? Isn’t formula just as good?

Bottle vs Breast

No. As one breastfeeding mother put it, “Using formula because it is “just as good,” when breast milk is free is like turning down a scholarship to Harvard to pay for community college.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that: “The second choice [after breastfeeding] is the mother’s own milk expressed and given to the infant in some way. The third choice is the milk of another human mother. The fourth and last choice is artificial baby milk (formula).”

Why is breast milk so highly preferred over artificial baby milk (ABM)? For many reasons, including:

— Bottle fed infants are fourteen times more likely to be hospitalized than breastfed infants

— Bottle fed infants are three to four times more likely to suffer from diarrheal diseases

— Bottle fed infants are four times more likely to suffer from meningitis

— Breastfeeding reduces the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

— Children who were breastfed as infants have IQ scores which average seven to ten points higher than children who were formula fed.

— There are one million white blood cells contained in each drop of breast milk.

— Breastfeeding reduces the risk of juvenile-onset diabetes.

— Formula fed babies have a higher rate of allergies than breastfed babies.

— A breastfed baby often has smoother, softer skin than a formula baby.

— Breastfed babies have a lower incidence of eczema than formula fed babies.

— The mother who breastfeeds passes on her antibodies to an infant whose immune system is still developing.

— Breast milk contains DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid which is widely considered to be vital for the growth and development of brain tissue. Formula does not contain DHA.

— Breast milk is rich in cholesterol, while formula has none at all. Cholesterol helps build the brain and manufactures hormones and vitamin D.

— Breast milk contains lactose, while formula contains glucose and galactose. Lactose is valuable for brain tissue development and promotes intestinal health.

— Children who are breastfed are less likely to be obese during adolescence.

— Breastfed babies have better jaw alignment than formula fed babies, and are less likely to need orthodontic work when they are older. This is because the suckling action for breastfeeding is more complex and involves more “work” than the suckling action for an artificial nipple.

— Breastfed babies develop a larger nasal space, which can reduce problems of sleep apnea and snoring later in life.

— Breast milk contains the easy-to-digest whey proteins, while formula contains harder-to-digest casein proteins. This means that breast milk is digested quicker and is less likely to be spit up by baby.

— Breastfed babies have diapers which are much more pleasant to change than the formula fed baby. Because formula is harder to digest, their stools are harder and more foul smelling than the breastfed baby’s.

But the advantages aren’t just for baby. There are advantages for the mother too, such as:

— A faster post-partum recovery. The sucking action of the breastfeeding baby stimulates the release of oxytocin, which helps the uterus contract to its pre-pregnancy size.

— Breastfeeding mothers normally have an easier time losing weight than formula feeding mothers.

— There is a reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer in the breastfeeding mother.

— The mother who breastfed her infant is less likely to develop osteoperosis in her older years.

— Breast milk is free. With the costs of formula, bottles, nipples, and additional medical expenses, formula feeding can cost up to $1,200 a year.

— Breastfeeding promotes Mother-Baby bonding.

Source: Modern Muslima ( http://www.modernmuslima.com/bffaq.htm )

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