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What Are Benefits Of Breastfeeding Over Formula Feeding?

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Breastfeeding helps build stronger immunity and reduced exposure to infectious agents. Breast milk contains long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids known to be important for brain growth and development. Mothers who breastfeed tend to be at lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer. It is also easier to digest for the baby.

Curejoy Expert Dipti Mothay Explains:

Breast-feeding is the recommended way to feed a newborn. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for six months to about a year, and the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding along with complementary foods for at least the first two years of life.

The Advantages Of Breastfeeding Over Formula Feeding

According to research the superiority of breastfeeding over alternative feeding methods for all of these outcomes becomes ever clearer. These benefits come with additional economic benefits for the household, the health system, employers, and society.

Morbidity and Mortality

The greatest and most obvious benefits of breastfeeding are for the immediate health and survival of the infant. Rates of diarrhea, respiratory tract infections, otitis media, and other infections, as well as deaths due to these diseases, are all lower in breastfed than in non-breastfed infants. These benefits, resulting from stronger immunity and reduced exposure to infectious agents, are greatest in younger infants and where hygiene and sanitation are poor (1).

Intellectual and Motor Development

Studies confirm that children who are breastfed do better on tests of intellectual and motor development than children who are not breastfed. Unlike breast milk substitutes, breast milk contains long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids known to be important for brain growth and development. The unique physical contact between mother and infant provided by breastfeeding also is thought to provide psychosocial stimulation and bonding that may have developmental benefits (2).

Maternal Health

Initiation of breastfeeding immediately after delivery stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone that helps to contract the uterus, expel the placenta, and reduce postpartum bleeding. Breastfeeding also delays the return of fertility, thus reducing exposure to the maternal health risks associated with short birth intervals. In the longer term, mothers who breastfeed tend to be at lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer (1).

Easier to Digest

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breast milk is easier to digest compared to formula, making it the perfect food for a baby’s immature digestive system. This article on Composition of breast milk and comparison with cows and standard formula milk lists down the following reasons:

  1. Human milk contains a non-specific bile salt stimulated lipase which helps the infant in digesting fats.
  2. Human milk contains a higher whey protein to casein ratio. Whey protein helps in formation of softer gastric curd, reduces gastric emptying time and facilitates lactose synthesis.
  3. Lactose in human milk facilitates easier calcium and iron absorption.
  4. The vitamin and mineral concentrations in human milk are better adapted for infant needs and are therefore absorbed better.

Economics

Apart from being the safest and healthiest infant feeding method, breastfeeding is also the least expensive. For many poor households, the prohibitive cost of breast milk substitutes puts this option completely out of reach. For others, the impact of formula purchases on the household budget can be crippling (3).

Conclusion

Although experts believe breast milk is the best nutritional choice for infants, breastfeeding may not be possible for all women. Depending on the circumstances, various factors might lead you to consider formula-feeding. If you’re considering formula-feeding, do your research so that you can make an informed decision. The focus should be on nourishing and nurturing your baby.

References

  1. Quantifying the Benefits of Breastfeeding: A Summary of the Evidence- Natalia C V et al.1992
  2. Breast-feeding and cognitive development: a meta-analysis- James W Anderson et al.1999
  3. The Economic Benefits of Breastfeeding: A Review and Analysis. By Jon Weimer
CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.

CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.

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Cherry Narissa Mitchell
Cherry Narissa Mitchell 5pts

Thats why there is a push to get breastmilk banks more plentiful in hospitals in the usa

Cherry Narissa Mitchell
Cherry Narissa Mitchell 5pts

Long term effects from chemicals from most formulaa that are not fda approved in europe only fda approved by usa whichvhas much lower standards

Katherine Shuey
Katherine Shuey 5pts

I agree the breast-feeding is natural and ideal. I also think that it's horrible when people shame people that don't breast-feed. There are certain reasons that people cannot do it, and they should not be made to feel bad because of it.And while one may be healthier than the other, it still is a personal choice.

Ali Jatt
Ali Jatt 5pts

Mother milk give you more power and long time may be 40

Ghida Z-Khalil
Ghida Z-Khalil 5pts

Omg so sick of these debates. Let everyone do what is best for them and their family.

Shama Zafar
Shama Zafar 5pts

do u have to show the picture we all know how it is done

Jyoti Kurne
Jyoti Kurne 5pts

Mother milk is good for newborn baby.

Tia Bostic
Tia Bostic 5pts

Its so many benefits to breast feeding compared to formula feeding (too many to list off hand). From the first milk (colustrum) available to baby shortly after birth- building babies immune system against germs & infection. To breast feeding preventing certain cancers in mother. It leads me to question why breast feeding is a stigma/looked at as negative in this country more so than positive. It should be promoted with a marching band, bells, and whistles.

Lisa Clark
Lisa Clark 5pts

Missing is the skeletal and muscular development of the child along with proper swallowing and breathing patterns that only breast feeding creates.

Amanda Peduzzi Nolan
Amanda Peduzzi Nolan 5pts

Breastfeeding. I was very fortunate to have breastfed my babies for almost one year.

Bruce White
Bruce White 5pts

Do you really have to ask? Nestle's baby food causes cancer as most formulas do.. Hmm, should I breastfeed or just dump toxins in my baby's body???

Ahmed Alrbeb
Ahmed Alrbeb 5pts

That's a normal thing should mother do and that's exactly what the child need to grow up with normal health ... This is a question was

Truphosa Atieno
Truphosa Atieno 5pts

Ayurveda just asked question. And question is not stupid. Fat babies from formular milk are likely to grow too fat resulting to obisity.

Truphosa Atieno
Truphosa Atieno 5pts

Benfit of breasting is for both baby and mother also close contact baby to mother. The first necta from mother's milk is very nurishing to baby. Breast feed babies rarely get infection. Come i train u more personally.

Naureen Sharief
Naureen Sharief 5pts

What nonsense ofcoz common sense ki baat hai breast meant to be

Amir Amin
Amir Amin 5pts

But babies more fat fed with formula milk

Linda Davaz
Linda Davaz 5pts

It is ridiculous that you have to ask!

Angelica Renè Flores
Angelica Renè Flores 5pts

Unless you get mastitis rupture a vein, end up in the hospital, then formula is a God send...

Gae Lawree Stimmel Colt
Gae Lawree Stimmel Colt 5pts

Isn't it obvious? We were meant to breast feed our babies just as all mammals were. How can humans think their man made formulas can do better than nature.