Breast Feed­ing Is Best For Baby

Two sep­a­rate sto­ries from the Feb­ru­ary 27, 2002 and March 27, 2002 issues of Intelihealth both tout the ben­e­fits of breast­feed­ing. Breast Feedin­gOne of the arti­cles starts off by explain­ing the finan­cial ben­e­fits of breast feed­ing, where esti­mates that moth­ers who breast­feed can save around $3000.00 per year on for­mula. Addi­tion­ally, the arti­cle states that breast feed­ing will help a baby to develop max­i­mum intel­li­gence, eye­sight, and pro­tec­tion from disease.

One arti­cle writ­ten by Stacy Kennedy, M.P.H., R.D., L.D.N., C.N.S.D. of Brigham and Women’s Hos­pi­tal, slams the for­mula com­pa­nies with the quip, “One of the top man­u­fac­tur­ers of infant for­mula boasts that it has been devel­op­ing its prod­ucts for over 70 years. Human milk has been in devel­op­ment for 65 mil­lion years, since the Ceno­zoic Age, which saw the rapid evo­lu­tion of mam­mals. So the old­est for­mula com­pa­nies have been doing research and devel­op­ment only for .0001 per­cent of the time our biol­ogy has been per­fect­ing a prod­uct all females have in their pos­ses­sion.” She con­tin­ued by stat­ing, “We have learned that the longer a child is breast-​fed, the bet­ter he or she will do in school and the higher the child will score on IQ and other stan­dard­ized tests com­pared to chil­dren who are formula-​fed.”

An exten­sive study on breast feed­ing recently took place in Nor­way and Swe­den and was con­ducted by researchers at the U.S. National Insti­tute of Child Health and Human Devel­op­ment and the Nor­we­gian Uni­ver­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy. The study showed that full-​term babies who were small at birth and who were exclu­sively fed breast milk for the first six months of their lives scored an aver­age of 11 points higher on IQ tests at age 5, com­pared with similar-​sized babies who were fed breast milk and for­mula, or breast milk and solid food.

The arti­cle also notes that breast-​feeding can help to ensure that chil­dren won’t overeat. Breast fed baby’s immune sys­tems also grow into pow­er­ful defense arse­nals, equipped to pro­tect him or her from a life­time of expo­sure to infec­tions and dis­ease. The first human milk that a woman pro­duces, colostrum, is jam-​packed with anti­bod­ies and key pro­tec­tive nutri­ents. The Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Pedi­atrics rec­om­mends feed­ing only human milk to babies for the first six months of life and con­tin­u­ing to breast-​feed for the first year.

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