Many articles are written about how good breastfeeding is for your baby (and for you). Perhaps too many are written, often making those who cannot breastfeed (for whatever reason) feel guilty. The bottom line is that if you possibly can, then great. If you really cannot, then don't beat yourself up about it.
We have written about breastfeeding before here, here
But here in black and white are listed all the known advantages of breastfeeding plus a second list of what to do to give your newborn baby the best start if you are unable to breastfeed.
When you make the decision to breast feed, take it step by step so that you breast feed as long as you possibly can without giving yourself a time limit.
- It is the best way for mother and baby to unwind in this modern stressful world.
- Breast feeding is a great way to limit the mother's risk of breast cancer both by having been breast fed yourself as a baby and by breastfeeding your own children for as long as possible while also protecting mother from ovarian cancer, postpartum depression, and type 2 diabetes.
- Breastfeeding strengthens a baby’s immunity and is the best environmentally friendly feeding option, helping newborns feel more warm, secure and comforted. Physical contact is important to newborns. It can boost the mother’s oxytocin, a hormone that helps milk flow and calm the mother.
- Breastfeeding can help save money but may take a little more effort than formula feeding at first.
- Breastfeeding protects babies from the risks of a contaminated water supply, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses.
- Breast milk provides all of the essential nutrients and antibodies a baby needs plus has the right amount of water, fat, protein and more to help babies continue to grow. It is liquid gold and a rich source of nutrients and antibodies to protect newborns.
- Breast milk is readily available without needing other supplies, at the right temperature and it helps to prevent hypothermia.
- Breast milk is easier to digest than formula milk while the hormones, cells and antibodies fight some diseases, protecting babies from illness. It lowers the risk of getting respiratory infections, childhood leukemia, obesity and type 1 diabetes.
- Breastfeeding has been shown to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in babies.
Formula pointers and advice to remember when bottle feeding
You may think that buying formula and bottle feeding your baby is not difficult. However, for the best start try to steer clear of commercial infant formulas as much as possible (as these have been found to be contaminated with toxic chemicals, including melamine, arsenic, BPA, perchlorate, dioxin and genetically engineered ingredients together with high levels of fructose). At the same time, avoid all soy infant formula as they are loaded with toxic elements like high doses of manganese and aluminum.
Instead, here is a recipe for a milk based formula -
it makes 36 ounces - (courtesy of mercola.com
) to make a healthy homemade infant formula. This site will also give you additional information for the ingredients and method. The formula takes into account that breast milk is richer in whey, lactose, vitamin C, niacin, and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to cow's milk but leaner in casein (milk protein). In addition, adding gelatin to this cow's milk formula makes it more digestible. It is important to use only truly expeller-expressed oils in the recipe because they contain valuable vitamin E.
- 2 cups whole milk, preferably unprocessed milk from pasture-fed cows (but if not possible then organic and unhomogenized with added kefir culture to restore enzymes).
- 1/4 cup homemade liquid whey.
- 4 tablespoons lactose.
- 1 teaspoon bifidobacteriuminfntis.
- 2 or more tablespoons good quality cream (not ultrapasteurized).
- 1 teaspoon regular dose cod liver oil or 1/2 teaspoon high-vitamin cod liver oil.
- 1 teaspoon expeller-expressed sunflower oil.
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil.
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil.
- 2 teaspoons Frontier brand nutritional yeast flakes.
- 2 teaspoons gelatin.
- 1 7/8 cups pure filtered water.
- 1/4 teaspoon acerola powder
Add gelatin to water and heat gently until it is dissolved. Place all ingredients in a very clean glass or stainless steel container and mix well. To serve, pour 6 to 8 ounces into a very clean glass bottle, attach nipple and set in a pan of simmering water. Heat until warm but not hot to the touch, shake bottle well and feed baby. (Never heat formula in a microwave oven).
Now to feed your baby...
(With the help of some tips courtesy of the nurtured child site
1. Never prop a bottle as it is a dangerous practice that can cause stress to your baby.
2. Don’t bottle feed your baby while he’s swaddled. You need to be able to see your baby’s hands to watch for stress signs, and your baby needs to have his hands free to participate in feeding.
3. Don’t feed your baby with him facing away from you. Feeding is an important time for the development of social interaction in babies. Make eye contact with your baby, talk to him and enjoy the feeding as a fun interaction with your baby rather than another task to get through as quickly as possible.
4. Don’t force your baby to finish a bottle by twisting it or moving it around in baby’s mouth. Let your baby decide when he’s done. Overfeeding can lead to an uncomfortable and unhappy baby!
And finally that chronic lifelong condition we mentioned...
A landmark study of a quarter of a million babies over 30 years has found that breastfeeding does protect children from asthma
, cutting the risk by 37% in those under the age of three and 17% in those children of 7 and older. The researchers at University Campus, Suffolk, in the UK combined data from 117 scientific papers and their report has been published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Read more here.
With one in 11 children now having asthma, any help in bringing down those numbers is to be welcomed.