Formula milks are often very similar to human milk. The difference is they are based on cow’s or goat’s milk. But dairy alone isn’t enough to provide a nutritious diet for a newborn baby: they risk being left without many important vitamins and minerals unique to mother’s milk.
Risks of not breastfeeding for babies
In addition to its exceptional nutritional value, breast milk promotes both active and passive immunity, creating a bridge from the sterile fetal environment to the non-sterile world in which infants will live, grow and develop.
The nutrients contained in a mother’s milk help to maintain babies’ health during the period of formation of their own independent immune system. Several studies have provided impressive evidence for the protective effects of breast milk.
- Exclusively formula-fed babies are more vulnerable to infections. Compared to breastfed infants, they are twice as likely to get ear infections, 4 times more likely to be hospitalized with an upper respiratory infection, and 3 times more likely to get a gastrointestinal infection.
- Formula-fed infants are twice as likely to get asthma or eczema. They are at greater risk of developing childhood leukemia, a cancer of the immune system. They are more likely to suffer from type 1 diabetes. They are more likely to have appendicitis, tonsillitis, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis in the future.
- A diet based exclusively on infant formulas increases the chances of your baby becoming overweight in the future.
Risk of not breastfeeding for mothers
Lactation is also important for the complex process of reorganization of the mother’s body after pregnancy. The maternal hormones secreted during breastfeeding contribute not only to the production and release of milk but also stimulate a number of other processes. For example, such as the mobilization of nutrients accumulated during pregnancy, which are necessary for milk production and recovery of tissues damaged during childbirth.
- If breastfeeding is stopped prematurely, these nutrients are difficult to remove from the mother’s body and often lead to overweight.
- Several studies suggest that a diet based on mother’s milk may reduce the risk of perimenopausal breast cancer and ovarian epithelial malignancy and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, including the incidence of femoral neck fractures at an older age.
Breastfeeding vs formula feeding: a necessary balance
While there is no doubt that mother’s milk is the best diet for a baby, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that sometimes, it’s simply not an option. It can be due to lack of breast milk, the need to take certain medications, or a multitude of other factors. The fact remains that occasionally, mothers face the need to look for breast milk substitutes.
The most important thing here is to choose products that mimic human milk as much as possible. Many products on the market, such as HiPP formula, cater to babies with sensitive GITs and minimize the risks of allergies and other adverse reactions. Find them at your local stores or online outlets such as organicsbestshop.com but be sure to consult your pediatrician before that.
One can’t help but wonder how finely balanced the content of nutrients, enzymes, hormones, immune factors, and other components in a woman’s milk is. Breastfeeding is crucially important for your baby’s physical, mental, and emotional health and development. However, in cases when it’s not possible, it makes sense to choose the best products from reputable manufacturers, after talking to a medical specialist.