What are the differences?
- Breastmilk contains lactose, protein and fat, all of which can be easily digested. This helps when you are feeding a newborn who is still developing a good digestive system and their immune system is still adjusting and maturing
- The antibodies found in breastmilk can lower the risk of your baby getting acute infections later in life
- Exclusively breastfed babies are exposed to a number of different tastes in the breastmilk, depending on the diet of the mother. Studies have shown breastfed infants go on to be more receptive with solid foods and have generally higher IQs
For the mother, skin-to-skin contact with your baby straight from birth helps to seal a strong emotional bond between you and your baby, which you can enjoy each time you nurse. Other benefits include;
- Breastfeeding has been found to lower the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and diabetes in the mother
- It’s also inexpensive – the only investment you will need is a breast pump if you decide to express milk, but even this can be done by hand
Though you might not think there are any cons to breastfeeding. There have been accounts where babies have suffered because of the mother’s diet. One baby that was exclusively fed breastmilk by his vegan mum passed away after just 11 months. Doctors put this down to the lack of nutrients contained in his mother’s vegan diet.
RELATED: Vegan breastfeeding kills infant
It is essential that you maintain a healthy diet when breastfeeding as what you put in, tends to come out trough your milk. Balance anything you are missing in your diet with vitamin supplements that are safe while breastfeeding.
What about formula milk?
- Formula milk does contain many of the essential nutrients necessary for baby’s development. Companies have spent years refining the formula to get it as close to breastmilk as possible
- Formula-fed babies tend to consume less milk because it contains lower enzyme levels than breastmilk, and fills baby up quicker
- Feeding from a bottle means that all your family can be involved. Daddy can take it in turns with you and share the feeding schedule. This is bound to speed up a stronger bond between newborn and father and give mum a rest just when she needs it
Find out about the cons of formula milk on the next page…