Breastfeeding is best for baby’s health
The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breastmilk protect babies from illness. This protection is unique and changes to meet your baby’s needs. Research suggests that breastfed babies have lower risks of:
- Childhood leukemia
- Childhood obesity
- Ear infections
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Lower respiratory infections
- Necrotizing enterocolitis, a disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract in preterm infants
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Type 2 diabetes
Breastfeeding is good for mother’s health too
Breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, certain types of breast cancer, and ovarian cancer in mothers. Additionally, women who breastfeed tend to loose aby weight faster than those who use formula.
Once established, breastfeeding is easier than formula feeding
Breastfeeding may seem like it takes a little more effort than formula feeding at first. But breastfeeding can make your life easier once you and your baby settle into a good routine. When you breastfeed, there are no bottles and nipples to sterilize. You do not have to buy, measure, and mix formula. You won’t need to warm bottles in the middle of the night! When you breastfeed, you can satisfy your baby’s hunger right away.
Breast milk is different from formula
It changes as your baby grows. Colostrum changes into mature milk by the third to fifth day after birth. This mature milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby continue to grow. It looks thinner than colostrum, but it has the nutrients and antibodies your baby needs for healthy growth.
Formula is harder to digest
For most babies, especially premature babies, breastmilk substitutes like formula are harder to digest than breastmilk. Formula is made from cow’s milk, and it often takes time for babies’ stomachs to adjust to digesting it.
Formula feeding is more expensive
Formula and feeding supplies can cost more than $1,500 each year. While some organizations like WIC cover some of the formula costs for those who qualify, they are meant to help with formula supplementation and thus do not cover the entire cost of monthly formula supply. Breastfed babies may also be sick less often, which can help keep your baby’s health costs lower.