If you've read any books on pregnancy and babies, you've seen the phrase, "Breast is best." Meaning that breast milk is the best food a baby can consume.
If that's true, why has the commercial formula business become so profitable? Besides using clever and deceptive marketing ploys, I believe the main reason is that many mothers-to-be do not understand the wonderful advantages breastfeeding provides over formula-feeding, for both the mother and the baby.
Here is a list of just eleven of the many advantages to choose to breastfeed and avoid commercial formula.
1. Breast milk contains over 100 different nutrients and compounds that formula manufacturers cannot recreate. A breastfed baby gets living cells, enzymes, hormones, amino acids, and many other substances that formula companies can not even come close to replicating.
2. Breast milk protects babies from disease. Formula-fed babies in the U.S. are up to four times likely to develop diarrhea (a potential baby killer), four times more likely to get meningitis, and eighty percent more likely to develop respiratory infections than breastfed babies. Ear infections are also much less common in babies whose diets consist of at least partly breast milk, than babies whose diets include no breast milk.
3. The main ingredients in commercial formulas have been linked to degenerative disease. Dried milk means the cholesterol in it has been oxidized, and oxidized cholesterol is a leading culprit in heart disease. Omega-6 oils, when not properly balanced with Omega-3s, increase the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, and other diseases. Whey protein concentrate-at least the high-temperature dried, non-organic kind found in infant formula-is recognized by the human body as a toxin.
4. To breastfeed is to save money. To feed a baby only infant formula adds up to about $1500 a year. Sheesh! What could you do with that $1500 if you exclusively breastfed instead?
5. Breastfeeding is convenient. Nothing to mix, nothing to heat up, nothing to clean. Your diaper bag is much lighter, and you can feed your baby anytime, anywhere without hassle.
6. Because of #5, a baby can be certain to have food in the event of an emergency when food and water may be in short supply.
7. Breastfeeding promotes bonding. When a mother nurses her baby, the "mothering hormone," oxytocin, is released into her system, bringing on feelings of relaxation and love.
8. It causes the uterus to contract and return to its normal size more quickly after the baby's birth.
9. It reduces the risk of physical problems for the breastfed baby later in life. Older children fed their mother's milk have a much lesser chance of developing Chrohn's disease, juvenile diabetes, and speech problems. Adults who were given breast milk have a lower risk of developing high cholesterol and asthma.
10. When a mother breastfeeds, she is likely to have a much easier time returning to her pre-pregnancy weight than a mother who formula feeds.
11. A woman who has breastfed a baby for over six months has a much lower chance of developing ovarian and breast cancer.
So, why breastfeed? Because breast milk ensures better health all around for both mother and child.
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