There is breastmilk and there is formula. These are the two substances to choose from when feeding a baby. There are some very distinct differences between the two. In fact, there really is no comparison. Breastmilk has the perfect composition for your baby to digest at whatever stage of development they are at.
Most of the discussion about breastfeeding speaks into the benefits for mother and for baby. Those are numerous. Babies have less respiratory infections, and ear infections. Mothers have lower risk of ovarian and breast cancer. These are just a few.
While these benefits are great to discuss and share with parents, there doesn’t seem to be as much discussion on the hazards or the risks of formula. It is imperative that parents be fully informed of their options so the choice they make is based on all of the facts. It is the responsibility of the parents to be informed. All medical and non-medical birth workers such as doulas and childbirth educators that serve these parents will ideally be able to share this information.
“For infants, not being breastfed is associated with an increased incidence of infectious morbidity, as well as elevated risks of childhood obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, leukemia, and sudden infant death syndrome. For mothers, failure to breastfeed is associated with an increased incidence of premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, retained gestational weight gain, type 2 diabetes, myocardial infarction, and the metabolic syndrome.” -https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812877/ .
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