Breast milk vs. formula: What do the studies really tell us?
“Nine percent of breastfed infants had at least one illness with diarrhea vs. 13 percent in formula fed infants… Three percent of breastfed infants had eczema vs. 6 percent formula fed… There were no differences in the number of common colds… This tells us that breastfed babies do suffer less often from diarrhea and eczema, but by a relatively small difference. And…that’s it… ”
“What we know today about breast feeding is based on many studies, but almost all those studies suffer from significant flaws. That is not, in any way, an “anti-breastfeeding” statement. Rather, it’s a statement about supporting those women who choose not to, or can’t breastfeed. Every pediatric practitioner can tell you that nursing can take an emotional and physical toll on some women. When those women forgo nursing, they should be reassured that their babies’ health outcomes and IQ’s will likely be just as positive.”
Everybody Calm Down About Breastfeeding
“[T]he evidence suggests that breastfeeding may slightly decrease your infant’s chance of diarrhea and eczema but will not change the rate at which he gets colds or ear infections and will not prevent death.”
“Many women find breastfeeding to be an enjoyable way to bond with their babies. There is certainly no evidence that breastfeeding is any worse for a baby than formula. And maybe there are some early-life benefits in terms of digestion and rashes, which you may or may not think are important. But what the evidence says is that the popular perception that breast milk is some kind of magical substance that will lead your child to be healthy and brilliant is simply not correct.”
Research On Infant Feeding Favours Having Options: Breast and Bottle
“[The study showed that in the developed world,] the group with significantly more breastfed babies had slightly lower rates of gastrointestinal infections and eczema. Avoiding such conditions during the first year is certainly a boon for any mother, and it’s a benefit which is good for mothers to know about. However, it is hardly something that would give us reason to ostracise mothers less inclined to breastfeed… However, benefits for pre-term infants are profound…”
“It is important to realise, that mother’s circumstances, anything from medical (such as medications, infectious diseases) and mental health (like post-partum depression) issues, to societal circumstances (needing to return to work) and personal preferences (wish to be able to spend time away from childcare, difficulty or inability to use a breast pump), are also important factors that weigh in on the feeding choice and can influence the baby’s health and development. In the developed world, where the evidence-based benefits of breastfeeding are small, a mother’s happiness is easily a larger factor for the child’s overall wellbeing than feeding source, whereas having a choice between feeding options can be highly beneficial for the mother and her personal life situation.”
“It should not be too difficult to find a way of keeping both options open, arriving at a win-win situation for the mental and physical health of both, the parents and their babies…”
Why Choosing to Formula Feed is One of the Best Decisions I’ve Ever Made
“Choosing to stop breastfeeding has allowed both myself, and my husband to bond with our baby. I’m not in constant pain from clogged ducts. My son has gone from being in the 23rd percentile for weight to the 53rd percentile. We no longer have to battle with pumping, supplemental nursing systems, breastfeeding pillows and mastitis. He’s happier, I’m happier and we’re both healthier – physically and mentally.
It’s been 2 months since I made that decision to formula feed my son, and I don’t regret it for one second – it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”