A classic dilemma for soon to be mothers: Formula milk or breast milk? Bottle feed or breastfeed? Which would you choose?
The nutrition value of breast milk is a major reason why mothers opt to breastfeed their babies. A mother’s milk contains far more nutrients as compared to formula or cow’s milk. These nutrients are essential for an infant’s optimal growth and immune system.
The Nutritional Value of a Mother’s Milk
As soon as you give birth to a baby, your body begins to produce a substance packed with protein, carbohydrates, essential vitamins, nutrients, and antibodies. This substance known as colostrums is responsible for protecting the gastrointestinal tract and reducing chances of infant diseases like jaundice and dehydration.
➡️ Related Read: Jaundice In Babies
The following are a few indispensable reasons why you should breastfeed your baby:
#1 Intelligent babies
Experts say that breastfed babies have higher intelligence quotient. In a study done in New Zealand, it has been found that infant-formula fed babies have lower academic achievements.
#2 Less Sugar
Formula milk-fed babies are faced with the risk of acquiring diabetes. Breastfed infants have lower risks of being inflicted with the disease.
#3 Reduced risk of SIDS
The risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is reduced due to the nutritional content of breast milk and for the simple fact that more attention is given to infants when they are breastfed.
#4 Uterus size
Aside from losing fat, breastfeeding helps to retain your uterus to its pre-pregnancy size. This process also helps the placenta to contract; reducing the risk of post-partum haemorrhage.
#5 Highly Endorsed
The World Health Organization (WHO), the American Academy of Pediatrics and other international and local health authorities strongly believe that human milk is the best food for newly-born babies.
#6 Deeper Bonds
Breastfeeding broadens the chance for mother and baby to get in touch as often as possible. Once the baby is latched on to her breast, aside from the physical needs of the baby, the emotional and physiological needs are satisfied as well.
Research has also found that babies who are breastfed are closer to their mothers and have a special bonding with them. In an American study, scientists have found that breastfeeding mothers have a stronger sense of confidence and connection with their babies while nursing them, as compared to carrying them in her womb.
#7 Easily Digested
Breast milk is easier to digest as compared to formula milk. Cow’s milk forms bigger curds in the stomach which is more difficult to be assimilated into the infant’s body system. Half of the protein contained in cow’s milk just pass through the body and becomes a waste product.
#8 Mothers are less likely to develop illnesses
Research has proven that breastfeeding mothers are less likely to develop osteoporosis and have a lower risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.
Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and other types of cancer have limited risks for both mother and baby.
#9 Better immunity for babies
Breastmilk is designed to feed, nourish and protect the baby. It contains antibodies, vitamins and nutrients to prevent early childhood infections and illness. Reports have also shown that breastfed babies resist diseases like cancer and diabetes better later on.
In Singapore, an average yearly milk expense per child varies from $500 to $800. You not only will save on formula milk, but also on the milk bottles and accessories.
#11 Hassle and Fuss-free
Most babies get up at night. This is especially frequent among newborns. With breastfeeding, it’s convenient to feed at night, especially if you co-sleep with your baby. There’s no hassle of leaving the bedroom to prepare the bottle in the wee hours.
➡️ Related Read: Co-sleeping vs Bedsharing: Do You Know The Difference?
Bottle-fed babies may also be prone to allergies. Some may have reactions to formula milk and new mothers might have to do test-and-trial methods on the different types of formula brands before finding the most suitable one for their bub.
On the other hand, breastfeeding mothers and their babies don’t have to go through this hassle as the majority of babies do not reject their mothers’ milk.
#12 No milk is wasted
There is no need to worry about preparing the bottle in public or wasting away a bottle of pre-prepared milk that’s gone sour. Each time when our babies are crying for milk, it’s ready for consumption.
#13 Travel Light
Because you don’t have to bring any bottles, milk supplies – packing and travelling are made simpler and lighter.
With all these reasons of breastmilk for your baby, indeed breast is best!
By TNAP and Noreen Yek Boussetta.
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