Breastfeeding “popularity” has waxed and waned in America since the advent of formula. Doctors actually used to tell moms that their babies would not get sufficient nourishment from breast milk and that if they could afford formula, that was certainly the better food.
Luckily, the truth about the superior, unmatched quality of breast milk has really come to the light in the past couple of decades. Breast-fed babies statistically are healthier in virtually every way.
Have higher IQ’s, require fewer doctor visits, less likely to die before their 3rd birthday, fewer allergies, less asthma, are leaner throughout their lives, lower risk of heart disease and cholesterol, less respiratory infections/gastrointestinal infections/urinary tract infections, lower risk of SIDS, protection against certain cancers, protection against multiple sclerosis/diabetes/rheumatoid arthritis/Crohns/Ulcerative colitis/Hodgkin’s disease/bacterial meningitis/Hib, reduced risk of osteoporosis, fewer ear infections, optimal visual/dental/jaw/speech/social development, less skin problems…to get started…
Always has the perfect proportion of fats/carbohydrates/proteins, always perfect temperature, is practically free, contains protection against many specific diseases, is gentler on stomach, is more digestible than formula, aids in development of babies immune system, produces antibodies to what ever disease is present in the mother’s environment, aids in proper intestinal development, contains natural pain-killers, contains antibacterial properties, causes less spit-up, contains no genetically engineered ingredients or growth hormones…to name a few things…
Moms who breast-feed:
Have lower risk of ovarian, uterine, breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes; promotes bonding between mom and baby; have releases of endorphins (natural pain-killers) into the brain that relieve stress and promote feelings of relaxation as well..(SOURCE)
Yet, formula is still posed as a completely legitimate option to parents who could otherwise breast-feed. Nursing in the hospital is encouraged if the mother is interested, but if she is not, there is no pressure to do so, and she is certainly not deemed neglectful or selfish.
Why is formula offered as an equivalent option?
Why is the issue of choosing whether or not to breastfeed viewed as a personal choice, rather than a public health crisis?
Why are we the only mammals who try to find something better than our milk to give our offspring?
Why are pharmaceutical companies allowed so much power in marketing formula, so as to deceive parents into thinking formula is pretty much as good as breast milk?
Why does the U.S. government spend over $500 million a year to provide formula for its WIC supplemental food program?
“The promotion by multinational corporations of breast milk substitutes to women in poorer countries has been one of the travesties of our times; it is estimated that 1.5 million deaths a year could be prevented by breast-feeding.” (SOURCE)