World Breastfeeding Week
If you look around you, you’ll likely notice at least one pregnant woman at the zoo, the grocery store, your office or maybe within your family. I know at least 3 women expecting babies in August and ironically, August 1st through 7th is world breastfeeding week. While baby formula has come a long way with the addition of omega-3-fatty acids for brain growth and soy formula for lactose intolerance, here’s why breast is still best.
- Babies receive an optimal mix of nutrients and antibodies from breast milk, including calcium, iron, protein and B vitamins. Antibodies protect against disease and allergies and cannot be “added” to infant formula.
- Infants that are breastfed have a 20% reduction in risk of dying in their first year of life than those that were not breast fed. The longer you breast feed, the lower the risk.
- Breastfed infants have lower rates of ear infections, respiratory infections and stomach viruses than formula-fed infants. They also seem to suffer less colic.
- Breast milk is free! While it will take some effort and commitment on the mothers’ part to breastfeed, it will cost significantly less than formula-feeding.
- Breastfed children have lower rates of obesity than formula-fed. This is likely due to self-regulation. Babies eat when they’re hungry. Formula-fed infants may be overfed because they may be given a bottle when they are not hungry. Along with the reduction in obesity risk is a reduction in diabetes, certain cancers and a variety of gastrointestinal issues.
Read more about breastfeeding this month in “Bite this, not that” for best breast milk!