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When it comes to our children, we strive for perfection in everything. Choosing a nutrition source for our newborn is one of the first and most important decisions we must make.
All health organisations, including the World Health Organization, encourage breastfeeding. Moreover, tons of studies were conducted to prove how breastfeeding benefits both the infant and the mother.
There’s also the debate – if formula fed babies grow to be adults who are ‘perfectly fine’ then why bother with the breastmilk at all? After all, breastfeeding is arguably much harder that formula feeding (in some ways).
So, in brief – why is breast milk better than baby formula? Let’s find out!
7 Reasons Why Breast Milk Is Better Than Baby Formula
Manufactured formulas might attempt to mimic the complexity of breast milk, but they almost always fall short. Here are six reasons why breast milk is unmatched:
Unrivalled Source of Nutrients
Breast milk contains all of the nutrients your baby needs to grow up healthy. It contains the ideal balance of sugar, fat, protein, and water. Formula milk does not contain everything breastmilk has.
As a plus, this balance shifts to better serve the baby at various stages of development. This is one of the reasons it’s regarded as the best nutritional source for infants.
Formula milk does not change and adapt, it is the same for every child.
How it changes is mind-boggling because your infant’s saliva is what transfers signals to your body. These signals are chemicals that cause breast milk to adjust based on his current needs. In short, breastmilk is personal to the baby and has exactly what they need.
Breast milk is easier for a newborn to digest than formula. That’s because it contains enzymes such as amylase and lipase, which help an infant’s bowel movement. This, in turn, reduces the likelihood of digestive issues such as diarrhoea and constipation.
On the other hand, digestive problems are very common among formula-fed babies. Aside from the lack of natural enzymes, dairy and soy in baby formula cause stomach upset.
Reduces the Risk of Disease
When you breastfeed your baby, you’re transferring antibodies and bacteria to strengthen his immune system. In fact, this bacteria is crucial in the formation of the intestinal microbiome. This microbiome has proved to lower the chances of:
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) – reduces the risk by 73%.
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Ear infections
In short, breastmilk reduces the risk of death. Even if given in conjunction with formula milk.
The list goes on since breast milk helps the baby’s body fight a variety of diseases. Whereas, according to studies, formula-fed newborns have no such bacteria in their gut. Furthermore, infant formula changes your baby’s natural gut bacteria, making him more prone to obesity.
Introducing Different Flavours
A lighthearted benefit here, breast milk tastes different depending on your diet and what you eat. So, by eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you’re familiarizing your baby with these flavours. Thus, breastfed babies are more likely to accept solid foods.
Breastfeeding helps mothers a lot in losing the weight they gained during pregnancy. You see, breastfeeding burns, on average, 500 to 700 calories per day.
Additionally, even after giving birth, you’ll notice that your tummy is bigger than it was before. That’s totally normal; after all, you were hosting a small human being in your womb. Now, scientifically speaking, this is primarily due to the expansion of your uterus.
Thankfully, breastfeeding helps in shrinking your uterus, allowing you to get back in shape faster.
Protection Against Disease
Breastfeeding protects mothers from illness in the same way that breast milk does for babies. It could reduce the risk of diseases like:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Breast and ovarian cancer
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
Creates a Magical Bond
Breastfeeding is a fantastic way to maintain skin-to-skin contact. A mother and her baby form an emotional bond as a result of this contact.
What’s more intriguing is a study that compared breastfed babies to non-breastfed babies. The purpose of this study was to see if there were any differences in internalizing behavioural problems between them.
Results showed that children who weren’t breastfed are more likely to develop behavioural problems, anxiety, and depression in particular.
What Vitamins Does Breast Milk Lack?
Breast milk contains all of the nutrients and minerals that a newborn requires, except for vitamin D. That’s a fact that shouldn’t be overlooked. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of nutrients necessary for bone development in infants.
You should give your breastfed baby daily supplements containing 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D. This dosage should be given from birth until the child reaches the age of one.
Breastfeeding is the most natural form of protection you can provide for your baby. Stick to breastfeeding unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
Why is breast milk better than baby formula?
Simply, breast milk helps your baby live a healthier life, it will benefit them for their entire lives, not just the early months. As a plus, skin-to-skin contact allows you to form an exceptional bond with your newborn.
Anyway, anything that’ll help you shed the baby weight is worth a shot!