Breast milk vs Formula

The breast milk vs formula argument has been going on for a while now and I was just curious to find out if there is a better solution. My own guess would be that breast milk would be most beneficial, because it only seems natural that would be the best for the  baby, but I have heard arguments otherwise that formula doesn’t have toxins that a mothers milk can have. I found out some facts about both.

 First I went and found the advantages and disadvantages to both to see how they looked compared to eachother. For Breastfeeding  I found that ” The AAP says babies should be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months. Beyond that, the AAP encourages breastfeeding until at least 12 months, and longer if both the mother and baby are willing;” (http://kidshealth.org/parent/food/infants/breast_bottle_feeding.html#). Also breastfeeding is a great way to bond with the baby having skin to skin contact, similar to kangaroo care, the mother passes down antibodies to the baby to help fight off infections and certain illnesses, and babies who are breast fed have less digestion problems then babies who are formula fed. Breastfeeding is also free and convenient,  some studies have shown that breast feeding leads to higher IQ’s. The disadvantages of breastfeeding are that breastfeeding can hurt! Also the frequency of needing to be fed with a busy day can be a stuggle. Some women use a pump so that the baby is still being fed breast milk. Women who breast feed also need to be carful about what they eat. Certain things can be passed to the  breastmilk that could be harmful to the baby. Also any medications being taken can have harmful effects to the breast milk.

What if a mother cannot breastfeed though? That is where the formula is very helpful.  Formula can be very beneficial in providing all the nutrients a mothers breastmilk has if unable to breastfeed. The biggest advantage is anyone can feed the baby with formula. The father can feed the baby, friends or family. It is convenient in that sense. The mothers also doesn’t have to worry as much about what she is eating. The disadvantages are that the baby isn’t getting the antibodies from the mother. Also the expense of formula, constipation for the baby, preparing the formula just right and making sure the bottle is sterile.

The bottom line is that it is the mother’s choice first of all, but also I found it is the best to check with your doctor. It is good to know these facts though but in my opinion it seems that breastfeeding is the overall best for the baby if you are able, If not of course formula. I just think the benefits are much better for breastfeeding but either way whatever needs to be done to make sure the baby gets the right nurtrients and is happy and healthy.

(http://kidshealth.org/parent/food/infants/breast_bottle_feeding.html#) This is also the website I found most the info if you want to see more.

Lisa Tamburrino

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~ by Lisa Tamburrino on September 5, 2009.

3 Responses to “Breast milk vs Formula”

  1. I’ve actually seen mothers who continue breastfeeding for longer than the first year of life. It always made me wonder how that must hurt the mother when the child has teeth, but it also makes me wonder if the breastmilk, at that point, is still beneficial. I am under the impression that breastmilk production starts to occur around the time or after the baby is born. Does milk production continue on forever after that point and is it still as nutrient/antibiotic-rich after a year of birth? I usually hear from my sister-in-law that she “runs out of milk,” so I assumed the milk stops coming out eventually and then we switch to formula.

  2. I also think that breastfeeding is best for baby. Although formula is a fair alternative, there is much more to just ‘feeding’ the baby involved. According to one source, benefits of breastfeeding include lower risk of the following problems:

    * Ear infections
    * Stomach viruses
    * Diarrhea
    * Respiratory infections
    * Atopic dermatitis
    * Asthma
    * Obesity
    * Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
    * Childhood leukemia
    * SIDS
    * Necrotizing enterocolitis, a disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract in pre-term infants

  3. Although formula is a decent alternative, there is much more to breastfeeding than just ‘feeding’ the baby. The bond formed between a mother and child is essential and can certainly be attained through routine breastfeeding. According to one source, benefits of breastfeeding include lower risk for baby to the following problems: stomach viruses, diarrhea, respiratory infections, asthma, type 1 & 2 diabetes and others.

    The mother also benefits from breastfeeding. Among other concerns, a mother is considered lower-risk for postpartum depression due to the bond formed between her and the child. (also.. baby weight can be lost by breastfeeding :)

    So.. if a mother is able to breastfeed, because there are those that do not have that option, it is often most beneficial to both the mother and child to do so. But, if for any reason this cannot be done, formula is a good alternative.

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