As a new mother, you will be faced with a barrage of information. Almost everyone you know will have an opinion about everything, right from what you should eat and what you should do. And, one extremely crucial and controversial topic is breastfeeding. The old school of thought believes that only a baby who is breastfed will develop fully. However, some mothers prefer formula over breastfeeding. They find breastfeeding completely overrated and prefer the control and convenience that baby formula provides. So who is right? And what is at stake for your child? Here are five reasons breastfeeding a baby trumps formula feeding.
1. Breastfeeding Builds Immunity
A baby is most vulnerable to sickness during the first few months of their lives Studies conclude that breastfeeding a baby helps reduce the chances of contracting communicable diseases, which can severely limit your kid's development during this crucial period. Antibodies in the breast milk play a major part. Moreover, breastfeeding increases the potency of the immune system, thus keeping your little child sickness free.
2. Easily Digestible
You wouldn't have your baby to have indigestion or gut problems would you? This is a recurring problem associated with baby formula. It can be hard to digest for an infant. And, breast milk is crammed with nutrients, and is from an environment the baby recognizes, which makes it easily digestible. This means your baby will receive high-quality nutrition and will avoid problems like diarrhea and vomiting.
3. Baby Determined Quantity
Unlike with bottle feeding where you decide the amount that the baby is fed, breastfeeding is child led. Your baby will naturally stop eating when she is full. This prevents overfeeding. Also, because breastfeeding is a natural cycle, the amount of milk being produced coincides with the babies requirements. Meaning as the baby is ready to switch off a liquid diet, the mothers production also reduces. Additionally, breast milk is higher in protein and lowers in sugar than other sources. This means your baby stays fuller for longer and is better nourished than he would be with formula milk.
4. Smarter Children:
One of the biggest arguments that people make for using breast milk over formula is that it produces smarter babies. Studies have shown that your child could potentially become much smarter than his bottle-fed counterparts, just because they were breastfed. A recent survey was conducted with over 17,000 infants that were followed from birth to the 6th year. Researchers, through IQ scores and other intelligence tests, found that there was a significant increase in cognitive development in babies that were exclusively fed on breast milk.
5. Reduced Risk Of SIDs
The risk of SIDs or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome can be reduced through breastfeeding. While SIDs is still a largely unexplained phenomenon, a German study found a link between breastfeeding and SIDs. Babies that were breastfed till at least the first month were 50% safer than those that were bottle fed. The reason behind this could be due to reduced risk of infections and a higher immunity rate. Even the American Center For Disease Control recommends feeding a baby on breast milk for as long as possible to avoid sudden death in infants.
Breastfeeding is said to create a close bond between the mother and child.
It is also cost effective as even the cheapest formula can't match the ease of free, anytime, anywhere breast milk.
Forced bottle feeding:
There are certain times when a mother could be forced to abandon temporarily breastfeeding due to physical issues. Under these circumstances, it's advised to pump breast milk into a bottle and then feed the child. Leave formula as a last resort when there is absolutely no other option.
With all the amazing benefits that breastfeeding offers, why wouldn't want your baby to receive all of them?
Written by: Aradhana Pandey
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.