I am passionate about breastfeeding, I am also passionate about normalizing breastfeeding in todays society as well as helping to provide correct and scientific based information on the benefits of breastfeeding past the average of 6 months.
This information below shows the benefits of breastmilk vs formula feeding, it is not an attack on anyone who uses formula, it is shared to educate those who do not know the make up and benefits of breastmilk and to inspire those who are on their breastfeeding / exclusive pumping journey.
Many doctors and nurses are not fully knowledgeable on breastfeeding, breastmilk composition or the full benefits of full term breastfeeding and so many moms do not know or understand how breastfeeding and breastmilk “works”. Finding a breastfeeding friendly pediatrician and locating your nearest Le Leche League Leader will be your best bet to continuing with your successful breastfeeding journey.
You always need to keep in mind that breastmilk is continually changing to meet your childs growing needs, milk produced now will be significantly different from milk produced an hour from now, even a simple kiss on your childs forehead gives your body clues as to the germs lurking around your child and starts producing antibodies to fight those bugs.
The FACTS stated here are scientific, its is not an attack on any individuals choice to formula feed.
*be sure to read some of the links at the end of this post, they have fantastic information and resources*
Breastmilk never looses its nutritional value.
FATS – BREAST MILK
Rich in brain-building omega-3s, namely, DHA and AA.
Automatically adjusts to infant’s needs.
Fats increase in the second year.
Rich in cholesterol; nearly completely absorbed.
Contains the fat-digesting enzyme lipase
FATS – FORMULA
Doesn’t adjust to infant’s needs
Not completely absorbed
Cholesterol is the most important nutrient in breastmilk; the absence of cholesterol and DHA may predispose a child to adult heart and CNS diseases. Leftover, unabsorbed fat accounts for unpleasant smelling stools in formula-fed babies.
PROTEIN – BREASTMILK
Soft, easily digestible whey
More completely absorbed; higher in the milk of mothers who deliver preterm
Lactoferrin for intestinal health
Lysozyme, an antimicrobial
Rich in brain and bodybuilding protein components
Rich in growth factors
Contains sleep-inducing proteins
PROTEIN – FORMULA
Harder-to-digest casein curds
Not completely absorbed, so more waste, harder on kidneys
Little or no lactoferrin
Deficient or low in some brain and body-building proteins
Deficient in growth factors
Contains fewer sleep-inducing proteins
Something to note: Infants aren’t allergic to human milk proteins
CARBOHYDRATES – BREAST MILK
Rich in oligosaccharides, which promote intestinal health
CARBOHYDRATES – FORMULA
No lactose in some formulas
Deficient in oligosaccharides
Comments: Lactose is important for brain development.
IMMUNE-BOOSTERS – BREAST MILK
Millions of living white blood cells, in every feeding
Rich in immunoglobulins
IMMUNE-BOOSTERS – FORMULA
No live white blood cells or any other cells.
Has no immune benefit
Breastfeeding provides active and dynamic protection from infections of all kinds Breastmilk can be used to alleviate a range of external health problems such as nappy rash and conjunctivitis.
VITAMINS & MINERALS – BREAST MILK
Iron is 50-75% absorbed
Contains more selenium (an antioxidant)
VITAMINS & MINERALS – FORMULA
Not absorbed as well
Iron is 5-10% absorbed
Contains less selenium (an antioxidant)
Nutrients in formula are poorly absorbed. To compensate, more nutrients are added to formula, making it harder to digest.
ENZYMES & HORMONES – BREAST MILK
Rich in digestive enzymes such as lipase and amylase.
Rich in many hormones such as thyroid, prolactin and oxytocin. Taste varies with mother’s diet, thus helping the child acclimatise to the cultural diet
ENZYMES & HORMONES – FORMULA
Processing kills digestive enzymes
Processing may not kill all hormones, which are not human to begin with
Always tastes the same
Digestive enzymes promote intestinal health; hormones contribute to the biochemical balance and wellbeing of the baby.
COST – BREAST MILK vs FORMULA
Just treating gastroenteritis in bottlefed babies the US, insurance companies pay out $3.6 billion.
*US based study
THERE ARE 171 CALORIES (714KJ) IN ONE CUP (8oz / 236ml) OF BREASTMILK
*please keep in mind that breastmilk changes continuously, this is a broad based average calorie count*
Total Fat 10.7g
Sat. Fat 4.9g
Total Carbs. 16.8g
Dietary Fiber 0g
If you wanted to burn those calories?
You could do any of the following:
47 MINUTES OF WALKING
20 MINUTES OF JOGGING
14 MINUTES OF SWIMMING
26 MINUTES OF CYCLING