Breast is Best
Marisa C. Marcell
Our Lady of the Lake College
Electing to breastfeed or formula feed your infant is one of the primary choices expectant parents will make. This choice is predominantly constituted based upon the mother’s comfort level, her lifestyle, and whether she may face any medical condition(s) that may hinder her ability to nurse; however, there are also an extensive amount of mothers who derive their preference based upon what medical literature, healthcare providers, and public health campaigns claim is most beneficial for their child. By tradition, medical literature, healthcare providers, and public health campaigns such as the American Association of ...view middle of the document...
The colostrum is substituted with mature breast milk. Mature breast milk is more liquid and high in fat and cholesterol, which is essential to a baby’s diet. Their quickly growing bodies require these nutrients for the proper development of the brain, nerve, tissues and cell membranes. Formula contains somewhat of a “duplication” of these nutrients, but it does not contain the identical combination and composition. Some ingredients that formula contains that breast milk absolutely does not have include novel oils such as arachidonic acid (AA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA); these oils have drawn many questions about their safety and efficacy. Powdered infant formula is also contaminated with pathogens, and in order to safely use this product, “boiling the water to be mixed with it and cooling it to no less than 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit)” (Hormann, 2009, p. 352), must be done before mixing it. Only at this temperature or above can the Enterobacter sakazakii, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureus, be demolished. Last of all, Hormann, after reading The Politics of Breastfeeding, concluded that soy-based infant formula (SIF) also has several barely-known drawbacks. She asserts that “Soy contains substances which inhibit nutrient-absorption and, according to a United Kingdom government statement, there is cause for concern about the use of SIF and there is neither substantive medical need, nor health benefit arising from its use” (p. 352). Human milk is a living matter that is produced by each mother for her own child, and this natural process cannot be replicated in formula made by a factory.
Breast milk contains active white blood cells and natural chemicals that fight off infection and protect the baby’s immune system in the first month of his/her life, when the risk of infection is at its ultimate high. By doing so, it decreases the growth of organisms such as bacteria and viruses. Infections that breast milk prevents include ear infections, stomach or intestinal infections, respiratory infections, and meningitis. It also may benefit them with a “decreased risk of asthma, a decreased risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, a decreased risk of cancers, such as Hodgkin’s disease, a lower risk of juvenile onset of diabetes, and a lower risk of obesity” (Hetzner, Razza, Malone, & Brooks-Gunn, 2009, p. 796).
A study performed by DiSantis, Collins, Fisher, and Davey touched on the topic of obesity, which is global issue even in the younger populations. It was concluded that, “Breastfeeding during early infancy is associated with greater appetite regulation” (p. 1), meaning that breastfeeding an infant reduces the chances of that child being obese. Most recent reports, in the United States, show that over ten percent of infants are overweight. In conclusion, if parents continue formula feeding, the statistic of overweight infants will only continue to rise.
Two studies conducted by Hetzner, Razza, Malone, and...