Parenting

Ten Reasons Breastfeeding is Better than Formula

 
 
 
Let me start with the usual disclaimer: I am fully aware that many women are unable to breastfeed, or choose to feed their babies formula for whatever reasons. That’s fine, and they’re perfectly within their rights. By all means, make your own choice – but for goodness sake, make an informed choice on it.
 
  1. Your breasts know when it’s hot out and baby is likely to be more thirsty than hungry; your milk dilutes itself to quench baby’s thirst. There’s no need to feed baby cooled boiled water or anything else; your boobs have got it covered.
  2. Your breasts provide exactly the right amount of milk, with exactly the right nutrients for your baby. When baby is having a growth spurt, they will feed more often for a while, during which time your breasts think, hang on, we need to up the ante on this – and they start producing more milk for each feed – so that after the growth spurt is over, your baby is receiving the right amount of milk in each feed again.
  3. Breast milk is designed by nature exactly for your baby. This means it is very efficient, and there is very little waste from it. It’s not unusual for a breast fed baby to go a week or more without a poo because every single bit of the milk your baby drinks is used to help baby grow and develop.
  4. Breast milk has higher amounts of lactose than formula. Research shows that animals whose milk contains  higher amounts of lactose experience larger brain development.
  5. Formula packs may boast that they contain vitamins and omega oils, but your breasts produce all of that any way – and not from synthetic sources, but in the most easily assimilated format for your baby. The vitamins and minerals in breast milk are more completely absorbed than those in formula.
  6. While your baby is breast feeding, you pass on your immunities to her. This doesn’t guarantee your baby will never get ill, but it’s less likely. It lowers the risk of SIDS, childhood obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Breast fed babies have fewer chest and ear infections, less chance of being constipated, less likelihood of becoming obese or developing eczema.
  7. Breastfeeding creates a strong physical and emotional bond between you and your child. I’m not saying you can’t have that if you bottle feed, but with breastfeeding there is a closeness you just don’t get with a bottle, in my opinion. It also gives you a huge sense of achievement; if you can get over that initial hurdle – and it can be a fairly massive hurdle for some women – it feels pretty amazing to look at your baby growing strong and healthy and thinking your body not only produced the child, but nourished it to help it grow too.
  8. Breastfeeding uses up 500 calories a day. You can lose weight by sitting on the couch, watching dvd box sets with your feet up. And if you’re super-lazy like me and feed laying down at night, you can literally burn calories as you sleep.
  9. No sterilising, no mixing, no measuring, no running out of formula and having to go to the shop in the rain. No getting up in the middle of the night to warm a bottle. No carrying bottles with you whenever you go out of the house.
  10. Breastfeeding is better for you too: it lowers the risk of mothers getting breast cancer, ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.

3 Comments
  • azure-dragon

      REPLY

    11. Breastfeeding is for lazy people. No washing, preparing, boiling and sterilizing required! One less thing to think about when you&#39;re heading out with your baby.<br /><br />12. Breastfeeding saves money. Formula, bottles, teats and sterilizers aren&#39;t cheap!<br /><br />13. Breastfeeding can delay the return of a woman&#39;s period. The average time for return of fertility for mothers

  • Firefly Phil

      REPLY

    15. Another thing: Unlike formula, the iron in breast milk is coupled to proteins which only the baby can digest. Bacteria cannot use this iron, so &#39;tummy bugs&#39; are less likely. Also the absorption factor of iron in breast milk is very much higher.

    1. Vicky Charles

        REPLY

      I did not know this! When I left hospital with S they gave me an iron supplement because she&#39;d been prem, and told me that there&#39;s less iron in breastmilk and she wouldn&#39;t have the reserves other babies are born with so I had to supplement her.<br />I suppose if the absorption rate is that much higher, it doesn&#39;t matter that there&#39;s less of it!

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