Infant Formula Is Poison: Breast is Best
Over the years, countless studies have shown that when it comes to infant nutrition, breastmilk is best. There is no infant formula product on the market that can match the superior nutrition of mother’s milk. In fact, some infant formulas actually contain ingredients that can be harmful to your baby. Although some formula recipes have improved over time, many products are still loaded with unhealthy ingredients. For those who have the option, breastfeeding is the best.
Babies are not designed to drink formula, or juice or any other liquids besides mother’s milk when they are born. If they do, poor health consequences can result. Have you ever looked at the ingredients label on a container of baby formula? Most often, there are things in there that we as adults, shouldn’t even be eating: hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and cow’s milk and maltodextrin, just to name a few. These are ingredients that promote chronic disease and yet we are feeding them to our very youngest consumers. Why is that?
Contaminants In Formulas
Chemical and bacterial contaminants can come into play when bottle feeding infants. Mixing formula with tap water, or plastic bottled drinking water can open the door to numerous contaminants. These include chlorine byproducts, pesticides, lead, solvents, arsenic or nitrates from fertilizer runoff, pharmaceutical products and the list goes on.
Contaminants are also likely to be found on bottles, rubber nipples and even the formula itself. Microwaving formula in a plastic bag or bottle is just asking for trouble. Some formulas contain excessive amounts of aluminum, cadmium, lead, or worse.
The Natural Resources Defense Council reports the following: In the past, (baby formula) recalls have been ordered because of contamination with substances such as broken glass, fragments of metal and salmonella and other bacteria. The fungal toxin aflatoxin has also been detected in some commercial formulas. Although levels detected are very low, this toxin is known to cause cancer and is not present in breast milk.
Infant formula is very unhealthy for babies. The Natural Resources Defense Council directly blames aggressive marketing of infant formula in underdeveloped countries. Marketing is blamed for “an epidemic of infant death from malnutrition and diarrheal illness, a result of the contaminated water used to dilute or reconstitute formula.”
The first few ingredients in a popular brand of baby formula are: Nonfat milk, lactose, high oleic safflower oil, why protein concentrate, soy oil, coconut oil and the list goes on. Nonfat milk is nothing like breast milk and adding lactose from bovine dairy can potentially be a very allergenic ingredient. Safflower is often GMO and palm oils, vegetable oils, maltodextrin and other ingredients have no place in anybody’s diet, let alone an infant.
Devious Advertising Methods
In Massachusetts, public health authorities have taken steps to encourage breastfeeding by restricting the marketing of baby formula in the state’s hospital maternity wards.
In many hospitals across the country, new mothers are given complimentary gift baskets during their stay that often contain free samples of infant formula. These samples of course are supplied by formula companies. This is a practice Massachusetts health authorities see as a clever marketing trick. It implies that the hospital’s healthcare providers endorse the use of that formula. To combat the practice, the state has decided that while free formula may be made available to mothers who need it, it will no longer be added to gift baskets for all new mothers.
The restrictions are part of a larger state initiative to educate women about the benefits of breastfeeding, The Boston Globe reports.
If we can’t trust the FDA to restrict toxic and unhealthy products, then parents have to step up and make informed choices for their children.
Benefits to Breastfeeding
For starters, there is the special infant-mother bond forged through breastfeeding that may not be achieved when a child is fed formula. Beyond that, there are important health reasons why breast milk is best. Infants are designed to drink their mother’s milk. They are not meant to have cow’s milk or anything other than their mother’s milk in their early lives. Only breast milk contains the nutrients a healthy baby needs, including 160 fatty acids that are not found in baby formula. The nutrition a child is given at infancy makes a lasting impression too. Research shows babies who are breastfed have lower incidences, later in life, of chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes and even cancer. Babies also have a reduced risk for severe communicable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea and ear infections as they grow.
A mother’s own health can benefit from breastfeeding her child as well. In addition to having a happy and healthy baby, moms who breastfeed often have less bleeding after the birth, lose their pregnancy weight faster. Mothers may also experience better bone strength, with fewer hip fractures later in life. They may also have reduced risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Although there is some concern that breast milk itself has become contaminated in our modern world, it is still the superior choice, according to research.
Breastmilk and Immunity
Breastmilk on the other hand transitions to the needs of your baby. The first fluid produced by mothers after deliver is colostrum. This is vital for your baby’s immunity, since babies immune systems don’t mature until about 3-4 months according to Cleveland Clinic. Breastfeeding is the best way to go.
Many mothers are choosing not to breastfeed, simply because they see formula as a more convenient option. Are you really willing to sacrifice the health of your new baby for the sake of convenience? The ingredients in formula often cause a huge array of health issues for babies, including lowered immune function.
If you are medically unable to breastfeed for any reason, do your homework and find a formula you can trust. Most likely an organic formula without fillers, toxic ingredients or sugars. There are many herbs that can help with milk flow and helping the body make more milk, such as Blessed Thistle, Goat’s Rue and Fenugreek. These are cheap and readily available and easy to take in a tea form.
If you can breastfeed, please do. Not only will it forge a special connection between you and your child, but the natural choice is also the best choice for you and your baby’s health.