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Why Breastfeeding is Probably The Best Option For Your Infant’s Health

by Sonal Shukla

Taking care of the newest member of your family is one of the most important aspects of parenthood. Yes, it can be stressful and frustrating at times, but a baby brings joy to your family like few things can. As a mom, you probably are in the middle of a battlefield right now. Your family gives you child-rearing tips, your friends give you conflicting advice, and the internet tells you they are both wrong.

It can also be tough to know the best course of action when it comes to important aspects like nutrition. The debate between breastfeeding vs. formula feeding is something that you might be struggling with as well. Today, we are going to explore both sides and understand how breastfeeding does have a number of advantages over formula feeding. 

Comparing The Core Aspects of Each Feeding Method

Choosing either option as a means to feed your baby is a decision that balances convenience and innate, natural benefits. There is no doubt that breastfeeding does have some innate benefits that simply do not exist with formula feeding. However, there are still a number of other factors that can affect your decision. Let us look at the most important ones. 

1. Nutritional Aspects 

Breastfeeding has a clear advantage when it comes to providing your infant with the right balance of nutrition. Breast milk contains a number of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins, as well as other essential components like hormones and antibodies. 

When we look at the formula, the picture is a little different. The protein content is typically higher than that of breast milk. Formula protein is derived from cow’s milk, which can often be more difficult for infants to digest. The carbohydrate content of formula and breast milk is similar, but the types of carbohydrates are different.

Breast milk contains lactose, which is easily digestible and provides energy for the brain and body. Formula may contain lactose but often contains other types of carbohydrates such as corn syrup or sucrose. Breast milk contains immune factors such as antibodies and white blood cells, which can help protect infants from infections. 

Formula does not contain these immune factors, and as a result, infants might have a higher risk for infections.

2. Dynamically Changing Composition and Consistency

According to the John Hopkins Medicine website, exclusively breastfeeding is the best option. They state that the exceptions are when either you or your baby have certain health issues. This refers to certain infections that can be passed through breast milk from you to your child.

The composition of breast milk changes over time to meet changing nutritional needs of your infant. For example, after birth, the first milk that a mother generates is called colostrum. This type of breast milk is rich in antibodies that help protect the newborn from infection.

The composition of the milk changes and adapts as breastfeeding continues to provide the most appropriate balance of nutrients for the growing infant. 

While formulas also include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, they do not dynamically change. The only area you can usually adjust is how diluted or concentrated the formula is. Even this aspect often falls under certain rules, and you don’t want to be diluting or concentrating the formula without getting advice from your neonatologist.

3. Safety and Risks

While baby formula is designed to provide a similar balance of nutrients to breast milk, it may not contain all of the bioactive components found in breast milk, such as antibodies and enzymes.

Infants who are formula-fed may be at increased risk of infections, particularly respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. This is because breast milk contains antibodies and other immune-boosting factors that help protect infants against infection and severe diseases.

The toxic baby formula NEC lawsuit cases are probably the best example of this today. The term “NEC” refers to a disease known as “Necrotizing Enterocolitis”. NEC is a condition where portions of the intestine become inflamed and can eventually die, leading to complications such as intestinal perforation, sepsis, and even death. 

NEC is believed to be a combination of factors, but studies have now shown that formula feeding increases the likelihood of NEC. TorHoerman, Law, LLC, is a firm that has been helping parents file for damages against companies like Similac and Enfamil. According to them, estimated settlements from baby formula companies like Abbott Laboratories may range from $5,000 to $500,000 for those affected.

This is going to be helpful to parents of those affected because treatment for NEC is not cheap. A five-year treatment plan can be as expensive as $1.5 million.

4. Formula Does Beat Breast Milk in Convenience

While breast milk is the optimal source of nutrition for infants, formula feeding can also provide adequate nutrition for infants who cannot or do not breastfeed. It is also highly convenient as mothers cannot always breastfeed in public or in other situations where it is difficult or impractical. 

Here are some of the many ways that formula has the edge over breastfeeding when it comes to convenience.

1. Flexibility: With formula feeding, you have more flexibility in terms of when and how you feed your baby. You do not need to be present for every feeding and can leave your baby with a caregiver or family member if necessary.


2. Ease of preparation: Formula feeding is relatively easy to prepare and does not require the mother to be present for every feeding. Formula can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge for later use. This makes it particularly convenient if you live a busy life.


3. Quantifiable feedings: With formula feeding, you can easily measure the amount of milk your baby is consuming. This can be reassuring for some parents. Such information can be especially important for infants who have difficulty latching or transferring milk properly.


Deciding between breastfeeding and formula feeding is an important decision that requires careful consideration of the benefits and risks of each option. 

Breast milk is very much the optimal source of nutrition for infants due to its numerous extra benefits. As we saw, this covers aspects like immune-boosting factors and reduced risk of infections. Formula feeding can also provide adequate nutrition but is more situations-specific. However, it is a highly convenient feeding option

Ultimately, your decision will need to be based on your lifestyle, values, and tolerance for extra risks. 

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