I mentioned in the First 25 Reasons Why Breast is Best that I started this series to point out the many benefits of breastfeeding aside from it being a food.
There’s been a lot of stir in the whole food community about breastfeeding maybe not being the best option out there.
Here is where this is all coming from….
in the words of the Weston A. Price Foundation–
Our interpretation is the following: the diet of modern American women is so appalling, and their preparation for successful breastfeeding so lacking, that their breast milk provides no better nourishment for their infants than factory-made formula. (Source)
Now, I love the nutritional focus of WAPF, but I don’t care for some of the wording and recommendations regarding breastfeeding on their site.
So again, here I am today to share with you the many many ways that breastfeeding is much, much more than a source of nutrition. I’d love to hear what you think.
And again–this is not meant to be a judgement against anyone who has stopped breastfeeding or finds it difficult or impossible. It’s an encouragement to those wanting to do the best for themselves and for their baby to press ahead and try to breastfeed as long as possible and to get support. I highly recommend La Leche League International.
Oh–and if you’re a blogger, there’s a blog hop at the end of this post where you can share your posts on breastfeeding.
26. Breastmilk is a great pink eye remedy. Really! (Source)
27. Breastmilk is a great remedy for ear infections. Again–really! Ditch the antibiotics and use nature’s antibiotic! (Source)
28. Breastmilk is thought to prevent autism (See Japanese study cited here)
30. Breastmilk protect infants from infections since breastmilk contains antibodies against pathogens in the baby’s surroundings. (Source)
31. UNICEF and WHO (The World Health Organization) recommend breastfeeding to age two and beyond (I don’t agree with these groups on all things, for sure, but I like their thinking on this issue. (Source) The UNICEF statement is really fascinating.
32. Formula is not an acceptable substitute for breastmilk – Breastmilk is more than food–it is a combination of anti-bodies, enzymes, long chain fatty acids and hormones, many of which cannot be included in formula. (Source)
33. Breastmilk can heal scrapes, cuts and scratches. (Source) (And it’s a little cheaper than essential oils and such :)!)
34. Breastmilk is linked to reduced cases of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) (Source)
35. Breastmilk reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections in children. (Source)
36. Breastfed babies may have more fibronectin than non breastfed babies. Fibronectin is an important glycoprotein that has many beneficial functions in the human body. (Source)
37. Breastfeeding has a role in proper palate development. (Source)
38. Breastfeeding keeps money out of the pockets of companies that are heavily involved in the push to bring more GMOs into our food supply (Boo GMOs).
39. Breastfeeding might prevent near-sightedness (Source)
40. Breastfeeding encourages a health digestive system since it is more easily digested than other formulas.
41. Breastfeeding reduces pain and stress. (Source) (This is a personal experience source, but I concur.)
42. Breastmilk seems to contribute towards heart health. (Source)
43. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of obstructive sleep apnea (Source)
44. Breastfeeding demonstrates how special a woman is. Yes, a dad can feed his little one a bottle, but God made women special. Only they can give birth, and only they can nurse at the breast.
45. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces the risk of HIV transmission and increases HIV-free survival (Source)
46. Breastmilk is custom nutrition for your child. Formula doesn’t change. Breastmilk continually changes to meet your child’s needs at every age (Source)
47. Breastfed children show greater motor activity than non breastfed babies. (Source)
48. Breastfeeding is associated with enhanced stereoscopic vision at age 3.5 years (Source) (stereoacuity is the ability to distinguish distance between two objects)
49. Breastfeeding is better for your wardrobe. Since breastmilk is easier for babies to digest, you are less likely to get covered with spit up :).
50. Breastmilk is not subject to recalls (ever seen those flyers up at your local store recalling formula? Not a problem for the breastfeeding mom :).)
What benefits of breastfeeding can you think of?
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/myllissa/2655516570/
This gathering of breastfeeding support comes in response to the Weston A. Price Foundation’s (WAPF) continued stance on breastfeeding, which we all have a great concern with. While the WAPF does support breastfeeding as the best option for feeding babies, it does so with a caveat. Breastfeeding mothers must follow the strict tenants of the WAPF diet and mothers who are not following their nutrient dense diet recommendations would be better off feeding their babies homemade formula (based on the WAPF recipe). In addition, they are outspoken against using donor milk.
The bloggers sharing posts today are concerned with the confusion this may cause breastfeeding mothers. Not only does research support the myriad of health benefits of breast milk for babies regardless of the mother’s diet, it also outlines additional benefits of breastfeeding such as better bonding, deeper trust, and a long list of other emotional benefits. Let’s not forget the health benefits for moms!