Human breast milk is the perfect food for full-term babies. Formula feeding is only a substitute or supplement to breast milk once the necessity arises.
Most commercial formulas are cow-milk based that are already modified to approximate breast milk, though other milks are fortified to offer optimum supplementation of nutrients to the child.
Right here is a table displaying a great comparison between human milk and cow milk.
Constituent—Human Milk—Cow Milk
Calories—20 cal/oz—20 cal/oz
Carbohydrates—7% lactose—4.5% lactose
Protein—1.5% (*whey/casein 78:25)—3.3% (whey/casein 22:78)
Fats—3.5% (maternal diet dependent)—3-4% (pooled)
Vitamins—Low in Vit K (diet dependent)—Low in Vit C, D
Minerals—Better absorption of iron—**Low in iron & copper
Bacterial content—Uncontaminated—Harmless bacteria
Digestability—Easily digested—Same after 45 days
* whey is the liquid part of milk separating from the curd casein is the protein obtained from milk by the action of acids or rennin ** Most formula milk are currently iron fortified.
The following are the benefits of breast milk feeding.
1) Breastmilk is premixed at the right temperature and concentration and is obtainable whenever
2) Breastmilk has immunologic components like IgA, lactoglobulin and maternal macrophages.
Infants begin making their own antibodies as early as of 6 months of age. Just before this age, their immune system is low, making them defenseless against infections. Therefore, they easily get sick. Nonetheless, if the child is breastfed, antibodies from the mother are passively transferred to the infant, that significantly boosts the infant’s immune system, warding him off against infections.
It is one of the advantages of breast milk that helps make it unparalleled and superior compared to formula milk.
3) Breastmilk decreases the incidence of allergic illnesses
4) Breastfeeding also promotes mother-infant bonding
5) A maternal advantage of breastfeeding is that it helps the mother return rapidly to her pre-pregnancy bodyweight with faster uterine regression.
6) Supplementation of various vitamins and nutrients is seldom required in breast-fed infants
7) Breastfeeding is economical.
Due to medical research, many much more vital vitamins and nutrients which can maximize the child’s growth potentials are discovered. One example is the fortification of infant formulation with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the key fatty acid in the brain, which has been observed to be vital for brain growth and better vision. Thus, it is not surprising to see a continuous flow of new infant formulas coming out in the market that are highly fortified with new components, backed by medical studies. But even so, human breast milk is still the ideal milk for babies.
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The benefits of breastfeeding compared to infant formula was studied in 133 babies from 10 months to 4 years of age. Those fed with breast milk had much bett…