Is Breast Best For My Baby?

Madeline: Posted 03/02/2015

There is quite the debate about the pros and cons of breastfeeding, and many women are choosing to forego breastfeeding in favor of baby formula for various reasons. Scientific research shows that breast milk is best for a baby, and this article is going to look closely at the reasons you should choose breast milk over formula whenever possible.

Mother and Baby Bonding

One benefit of breastfeeding is the closeness that is developed between mother and baby. The skin-to-skin physical contact is a natural way to spend time with your child and it allows the bond to be formed from birth. This bond can help to strengthen the relationship through the rest of the child’s life.

Optimal Nutrition

Breast milk is easier for a baby to digest, and it is loaded with all of the fluids, calories, and nutrients that are needed to maintain optimal health. The mother’s body produces breast milk that is specially designed for the baby in a natural way. On the other hand, formula doesn’t have the same synergistic blend of natural nutrients because it is manufactured in a warehouse and loaded with various synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organisms that can disrupt and eliminate beneficial bacteria in a baby’s intestines.

In addition to optimal nutrition, the milk also contains growth factors that aren’t available in formula. These growth factors support healthy development of the baby’s major organs. A mother’s diet is extremely important and it will make a difference in a woman’s overall state. If a mother’s eating habits are poor,  it will affect lactose, fats, minerals and other key nutrients.  When a mother chooses to breast milk, she must be on a nutrient-dense diet in good quality animal fats.

Protective Benefits

A unique aspect about mother’s milk is the fact that it contains special substances to protect the baby from infections and diseases. It has been found that breastfeeding babies are less likely to have bronchitis, wheezing, pneumonia, diarrhea, ear infections, and other viral and bacterial diseases. The breast milk contains antibodies from the mother, which are used to supplement the baby’s immune system.

The main immune benefits come from the first few days of breastfeeding, because the baby is receiving colostrum during this time. This first production of milk contains a substance known as secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA), which plays a big part in the immune protection. When IgA is present, it helps the baby by forming a mucous membrane protective layer on the throat, nose, and intestines.

Because the breast milk is continuously being produced, it is tailored to your baby based on the bacteria or virus pathogens that you are exposed to on an ongoing basis. Studies have shown that breastfeeding can protect the child even after they are no longer drinking breast milk, because breastfeeding is associated with lower rates of childhood cancer.

Breastfeeding is Convenient and Easy

Breastfeeding is readily available whenever the baby is hungry, and you don’t have to worry about packing a bottle and formula before you leave the house. You can also avoid the expensive costs of formula, especially when these costs increase when the baby starts to eat more. Additionally, it doesn’t need to be prepared and you don’t have to dedicate the time that is needed to wash baby bottles and heat water to mix into the formula.

Breastfeeding Benefits for the Mother

Most mothers choose to breastfeed because they want to provide their baby with the best nutrition possible. But, there are also benefits that the mother can receive as well. When a baby is breastfeeding, natural hormones are released within the body that promote natural mothering instincts.

These hormones also help your body to quickly recover and return to the pre-pregnancy state by quickly shrinking the uterus back to the normal size. Your body burns calories faster if you are breastfeeding, which helps you to lose the excess weight that was gained during pregnancy.

Another reason that breastfeeding is beneficial for the mother is because it delays the menstrual cycle, which maintains higher iron levels within the body. The delayed menstrual cycle also acts as a natural form of contraception within the first 6 months after birth. This natural contraception is only available if you are exclusively breastfeeding without giving the baby any other source of food or nutrition, and your period hasn’t returned.

What if You Can’t Breastfeed?

Some women see the merits of breastfeeding, but they are unable to produce enough milk or they are suffering from health problems that prevent breastfeeding. If breastfeeding is not an option,  the best thing you can do for your baby is make him/her a homemade baby formula from grass-fed cows.

Sarah Pope, a nutrition blogger from the Healthy Home Economist, clearly shows you step by step how to make the formula from scratch in the video below. It will consist of 14 ingredients. Once you have made it a few times and become more comfortable with the process, it will take you about 10 minutes to make. It is best to make your babies milk fresh each day. Sarah is also a board member for the Weston A. Price Foundation.

If you are unable to get access to raw milk, you can look for a milk bank in your area, where you can buy breast milk that that has been produced from other local women. Sometimes, women with an abundance of milk will even donate their extra milk to support the health of other babies. However, I would ask questions, such as the diet the mother had when producing the milk.

As a last resort, if you are unable to make your own formula or get access to breast milk for your baby, then it is important that you are very selective about the types of formula that you buy. An option and brand to start with is Baby’s Only Organic Formula which has natural DHA & ARA. However, I must note that some mothers have found their babies to be constipated on this formula and have had to change it to something else.

Thrive Marketis a great place to get all of your supplies for your homemade baby formula at a discounted price or organic formula. Check them out today!



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