Updated: Oct 20
Any parent will tell you that they only want what is best for their child, but with so much conflicting information out there, it is difficult to figure out what to do. People are often confused as to whether breastfeeding or formula feeding is the best choice. While formula feeds are a suitable alternative to breastfeeding, breast feeding has a number of benefits over formula milk:
Breast milk is a unique composition of water, carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals, which vary according to the age, growth and gender of the child. While you can progress through different types of purchased formula, it can never be as tailored as breast milk, which is continually changing.
Breast milk contains factors that help to protect your baby's newly formed gut.
Breast milk changes in taste and smell according to what the mother has eaten recently. This means the baby is getting more variety and exposure to other flavours that will later become his or her staple diet.
Breastfeeding is associated with a higher IQ.
Healthier weight, as infant formula can be unnecessarily high in energy.
Unfortunately, not breastfeeding, or breastfeeding for a shorter amount of time can increase the babies risk of infections, being overweight and obese, among other complications. It also increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer for the mother. That is not to say these will definitely occur, but it is worth highlighting.
Having said that, we understand that breastfeeding is not always practical or easy. If you are currently having trouble breastfeeding, it is worth discussing this with your child heath nurse, doctor or a lactation specialist. The Australian Breastfeeding Association also offers a lot of support for Mothers, including a breastfeeding helpline, you can find more information at www.breastfeeding.asn.au.
If you would like to know more, please contact us at Habits for Health - https://www.habitsforhealthnutrition.com/contactus
Have a delicious day!