The Latest Research on Breast Feeding
Why We Should Breast Feed
On yesterday my wife gave birth to our second child and so I decided to do some research on breast feeding.
Kinetics theory of change is "if we knew better, we would do better". I hope this information informs you and helps you make the best decision for you, your family, and our community.
Learn, and Teach
Suck On This
Author: Pat Thomas, EcologistOnline
The human species has been breastfeeding for nearly half a million years. It’s only in the last 60 years that we have begun to give babies the highly processed convenience food called ‘formula’. The health consequences - twice the risk of dying in the first six weeks of life, five times the risk of gastroenteritis, twice the risk of developing eczema and diabetes and up to eight times the risk of developing lymphatic cancer – are staggering. With UK formula manufacturers spending around £20 per baby promoting this ‘baby junk food’, compared to the paltry 14 pence per baby the government spends promoting breastfeeding, can we ever hope to reverse the trend Pat Thomas uncovers a world where predatory baby milk manufacturers, negligent health professionals and an ignorant, unsympathetic public all conspire to keep babies of the breast and on the bottle.
All mammals produce milk for their young, and the human species has been nurturing its babies at the breast for at least 400,000 years. For centuries, when a woman could not feed her baby herself, another lactating woman, or ‘wet nurse’, took over the job. It is only in the last 60 years or so that we have largely abandoned our mammalian instincts and, instead, embraced a bottle feeding culture that not only encourages mothers to give their babies highly processed infant formulas from birth, but also to believe that these breastmilk substitutes are as good as, if not better than, the real thing.
Infant formulas were never intended to be consumed on the widespread basis that they are today. They were conceived in the late 1800s as a means of providing necessary sustenance for foundlings and orphans who would otherwise have starved. In this narrow context – where no other food was available – formula was a lifesaver.
Every Sister Should Know About Breastfeeding!
The art of breastfeeding one’s young is as old as (wo) mankind. For aeons, women from all walks of life have provided their young with nature’s most consummate food, breast milk. Across the board, pediatricians and nutritionists agree that the “breast is best” in providing for all of an infants dietary needs. Research has shown that breastfeeding transcends infant nutrition. Its benefits also include mother/child bonding and the prevention of many early childhood illnesses.
Despite its many benefits, the number of American women who breastfeed has declined since the onslaught of the infant formula revolution in the early part of this century. In fact, in a recent survey by the Ross Formula Company, only 41.3% of African-American women attempted breastfeeding while in the hospital and only 14.5% of them were still breastfeeding at six months postpartum. The caveat is that many African-American women don’t receive any breastfeeding education during prenatal visits.
What Is In Breast Milk?
Breast milk contains just the right amount of vitamins, minerals, fats, sugars, proteins and enzymes that a baby needs for optimal growth and development. Its composition changes with each baby’s needs. Colostrums, a clear, yellowish substance produced during pregnancy, is the first breast milk and best food for newborns. It provides an unmatched level of immunity to disease and viral bacteria, creating a type of newborn armor that protects the baby. Infants who receive this “pre-milk” substance are said to be less inclined to suffer from milk allergies, hypoglycemia, jaundice and constipation. If a child nurses for the first 20 minutes after birth, he will receive more immunities than he’ll ever receive from any other substance in his entire life. If a child is nursed just six weeks, he will receive a superior source of nutrients not found in any formula.
Every Parent Should Know About Infant Formula
by Katie Allison Granj
By now, every doctor and parent in America has heard the news: breastfeeding is best for babies. What's not-so-old news is the growing body of evidence demonstrating that commercial infant formulas are simply not good enough. While commercial infant formulas are commonly perceived to be the medically recommended second-choice infant food after breastfeeding, the World Health Organization (WHO) actually states: "The second choice is the mother's own milk expressed and given to the infant in some way. The third choice is the milk of another human mother. The fourth and last choice is artificial baby milk."
The quality of infant formula is of paramount importance in the United States--where, despite the American Academy of Pediatrics' endorsement of breastfeeding for a minimum of twelve months and WHO's recommendations to breastfeed for at least two years--only slightly more than half of all mothers offer their newborns any breast milk at all. Fewer than twenty-two percent of American babies are still breastfed at five months of age, and this figure drops to under ten percent by twelve months. These statistics mean that the vast majority of American babies rely solely on the synthetic infant nutrition known as infant formula for their critical first year of life.