Many moms are aware that breastfeeding provides short and long term benefits for both baby and mom. But how does it compare to formula feeding? Let’s do a brief comparison, including components of both breast milk and infant formula.
Studies have shown that breastfed babies fall asleep faster than formula fed babies. This is due to hormones released in breast milk during a feeding. Breastfed babies are also less gassy and constipated due to the unique makeup of breast milk. It is “predigested”!
Breastfeeding provides a mother more time to connect with her baby. She has the freedom and convenience to feed anywhere, anytime baby needs. Breast milk is always available, and always the right temperature, no need to worry about buying and mixing formula, washing bottles frequently, and gathering formula supplies for your diaper bag every time you need to go out. With breastfeeding you have all the necessary tools on hand anytime, anyplace to feed your baby.
It is also important to think about the financial aspect of breastfeeding. A can of formula can cost on average $25-$30 dollars. If your baby requires a special type of formula due to allergies or other special needs costs can be even higher. In this aspect, spending a few hundred dollars on a breast pump and supplies ends up costing significantly less than formula. As of today many health insurances provide coverage for a breast pump. For more information on cost saving benefits of breastfeeding please refer to the Surgeon General’s website at: https://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/breastfeeding/index.html
So what does breast milk contain that formula does not? Standard infant formulas contain: minerals, vitamins, fat, DHA/ARA, carbohydrates, protein, and water. These are the same no matter what the age of your infant. Breast milk components include: antibodies, hormones, anti viruses, anti allergens, anti parasites, growth factors, enzymes, minerals, vitamins, fat, DHA/ARA, carbohydrates, protein, and water. These important growth factors change, hourly, daily, monthly depending on how old your growing infant is and what growth factors are needed for each organ (brain, bones) at each particular age.
By breastfeeding, your baby is getting the essential nutrients that he or she needs from you. This is something that formula cannot do. Stay tuned for further tips on learning to breastfeed and all of its tremendous benefits for you and your baby! To learn more contact The Care Connection at 716-725-6370 to schedule a prenatal breastfeeding class.