Welcome to “Navigating the Booby Trap: Breastfeeding & Beyond!” To kick off our series, I want to share some of the many benefits of breastfeeding.
It seems only fitting to begin our series by addressing why this is such an important topic. Why is it that we are devoting 35+ posts to breastfeeding here at Intoxicated on Life?
We are committing so much time to developing this library of breastfeeding information because we believe breastfeeding is best for both you and your baby. Maybe you already believe that it really is best. Maybe you think formula is so advanced that it really doesn’t make much difference. Either way, I’m going to present you with results from many different studies, and you can be the judge.
Breast Milk is Nutritionally Superior
There is no way around it: breast milk, for human babies, is nutritionally superior to any man-made formula or milk from any other mammal. Breast milk has higher quality components than man-made formula.
- The protein in breast milk is primarily whey. Whey is easy to digest which makes it a perfect protein for infants with developing digestive system. It is also high in the amino-acid taurine, which is vital for brain development. Formula falls short in the protein category. It is also deficient in a number of different amino-acids that are essential for babies growth.
- Other essential brain-building components for your baby are fats and cholesterol. Breast milk is high in both of these, notably omega-3′s and DHA are particularly important. The enzyme lipase, which helps baby digest the high amount of fats he needs to ingest, is another unique component of breast milk. Formula, on the other hand, lacks cholesterol, and the fats are not completely absorbed in the babies system.
- The vitamins and minerals found in breast milk are “bioavailable.” This means your baby can more easily use and absorb the vitamins and minerals in your breast milk than those found in an artificial alternative. As an example, 50-75% of the iron in breast milk is absorbed by your baby, whereas, only 5-10% of iron in formula is absorbed.
- There are also a number of digestive enzymes and hormones responsible for healthy development of your baby that you can’t find anywhere else besides mama’s milk.
- Breast milk has millions of living white blood cell and immunoglobulins which gives a big boost to babies immune system. Of course, formula can not offer the same immune system enhancing protection that breast milk can.
Benefits of Breastfeeding: More to Come
If you’re a new mom or soon-to-be mom, I urge you to check back here frequently for posts on breastfeeding your babies. We will be publishing 2 posts every Tuesday and 2 posts every Friday. For a sneak peak at the subjects we’ll be covering during this series, be sure to check out the rest of the posts in the Breastfeeding & Beyond Series! You can also see a list of our fabulous authors here.
Next week I’ll be talking about how these nutritional benefits of breastfeeding play out into real health advantages for your baby. And in two weeks I’ll talk about how you, the mama, benefit from breastfeeding.
Please note, I know for some mommas, breastfeeding is an impossibility for various reasons. If you are (or end up being) in this category, I urge you not to beat yourself up. Instead, do some research and give your baby the best thing you can for them.
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We encourage you to submit any question you have about breastfeeding or topics you would like us to cover in this series. Leave a comment on any post in the series or submit your question/topic privately using this form.