Breastfeeding V/S Bottle Formula. What’s The Verdict?
Infant formula is big business. In 2013, it was responsible for $5 billion dollars in sales globally, topping the energy drink and water market.
Statistically, one study estimates that the increased medical costs of diseases developed due to a lack of breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life can go up to $13 billion each year in the United States alone.
The numbers remain as impressive even if we factor in the monetary losses that women in the workforce would incur by taking the time off to breastfeed their children.
There are huge numbers of scientific and medical studies that list the number of benefits breastfeeding has on both the mother and the baby.
We have divided these into 4 main reasons:
Reason #1: Cost of Formula Feeding
According to calculations, the cost of feeding your baby formula or the cost of not breastfeeding, ranges from a little over $800 for a cheap baby formula ($0.08/oz.) to a little over $3,000 for a more expensive formula ($0.31/oz.) per year per baby. This is simply the cost of the formula, not taking into consideration the feeding bottles and the additional products needed.
This might seem like little to some and a lot to others but putting it all in perspective with the additional costs of raising a baby, the numbers can quickly add up!
Reason #2: Health Benefits of Breastfeeding on the Mother
Breastfeeding has a number of benefits on the mother.
During breastfeeding, the body of a new mother releases oxytocin, which helps her uterus contract and reduces post-delivery blood loss.
Nursing also helps her burn more calories on a daily basis. This can go up to 500 calories a day and helps the mother lose the baby weight.
Research also shows that breastfeeding reduces significantly the risk of developing breast cancer. The longer she nurses, the lower her chances of developing breast cancer. When a mother is breastfeeding, the oestrogen levels that stimulate the lining of the uterus and the breast tissue are lower than usual, which plays a significant role in decreasing the risk of these tissues becoming cancerous.
A more widely known benefit of breastfeeding is that it decreases the chances of the mother developing osteoporosis in her post-menopausal years.
Last but not least, breastfeeding also benefits the mind of the mother since it decreases postpartum anxiety and depression.
Reason #3: It is Exactly What Your Baby Needs
From a biological perspective, a mother’s body was meant to nurse the child. It is a moment for both of them to bond and connect on a physical and emotional level.
Naturally, the breast milk adapts to the baby’s changing needs. The milk that comes in after delivery is called Colostrum. It is full of antibodies that give the newborn the immunity it needs to adjust to its new living environment. The Colostrum is also high in protein, which explains why a small amount of milk can be enough for the baby.
After 3 to 4 days, the full milk will come in with a different constitution and volume to adapt to the baby’s needs. It is higher in sugar and will be digested quickly to make sure the baby gets enough milk to help its growth.
Reason #4: Health Benefits of Breastfeeding on the Newborn
As mentioned in reason #3, the breast milk plays an important role in developing the immune system of the newborn. It is important to keep in mind that the gut plays a very important role in the immune system and can help in the fight of chronic disease. Breast-feeding in the first weeks of life plays a crucial role in the balance of good bacteria in a newborn’s gut.
To add to that, research has also shown that the risk of developing colds, viruses and many types of gastrointestinal infections like diarrhoea is significantly reduced in breastfed babies.
Finally, breast milk also enhances the brain development of the child and helps improve the cognitive development in ways that formula cannot. A study has shown that the average IQ of breastfed babies was 10 points higher than babies who were fed formula.
We understand that despite all of these benefits, some mothers make the decision not to breastfeed for their own wellbeing and that of the baby. The aim of this post is to highlight on the strong evidence that supports breastfeeding, instead of baby formula. Our upcoming blog post will cover recipes and techniques to making your own homemade baby formula and help you avoid commercial brands.
In the end, breastfeeding is a personal choice and we support each woman in making the best one for her circumstances.
Have you experienced the beauty of motherhood and would like to share your breastfeeding experience with us? Leave us a comment below!