Breast feeding not only provides the perfect food and food delivery system for infants, it is also the most family friendly choice a new mother can make.
"Human breast milk contains at least one hundred ingredients not found in cow's milk and that cannot be exactly duplicated in commercial formulas" (Eisenburg 3). As a baby grows and changes, breast milk automatically individualizes itself for each infant. The nutrients in breast milk alter themselves to fit the baby's needs. Breast milk is more easily digested than cow's milk or formula. "The amount of protein in mother's milk (1.5%) is lower than in cow's milk (3.5%) (Brockport 1), making it gentler on the infant's stomach. Soy milk formulas are even further in composition from what nature intended. Brockport also points out that "an infant that has been breast fed is less likely to become overweight and it lowers the chance of obesity later in life" (2).
Virtually no baby is allergic to breast milk, while "beta-lactoglobulin, a
substance contained in cow's milk can trigger an allergic reaction which can be life threatening" (Denmark 1). Some suspect this to be the cause of certain cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Denmark states that "for every eighty-seven artificially fed babies who die from SIDS, only three breast fed babies die from SIDS" (1).
Nursed babies are almost never constipated because of the easier digestibility of breast milk. Breast fed babies are less likely to suffer from colic, gas, and excessive spitting up. They also rarely have diarrhea-since breast milk seems to destroy some diarrhea causing organisms and to encourage the growth of beneficial flora in the digestive tract, which...
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...ome things that Mother Nature does best. As Oliver Wendell Holmes the Elder said over a century ago, "A pair of substantial mammary glands has the advantage over the two hemispheres of the most learned professor's brain in the art of compounding a nutritious fluid for infants" (58).
Brockport. "Advantages of Breast-feeding".
http://www.acs.brockport.edu/~bb1368*. Page 1-3.
Denmark.. "Breast-feeding for Good Health" Advertisement. Department of
Health and Human Services. July 1999.
Dermer, Alicia. "Breast-feeding: Good for Babies Mothers and The Planet".
http://medicalreporter.health.org*. page 1 & 2.
Eisenburg, Heidi E. Murkoff, and Sandee E. Hathaway. What to Expect the
First Year. New York: Workman, 1996.
McGough, Patrick. Telephone interview. 13 July 1999.
Sears, William. "Ensuring Baby's Health." Parenting. January 1998.
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