Breastfeeding vs. Formula

Tonight we enjoyed a nice meal with some friends. At the end of the meal we got to discussing breast feeding. Theyhad many questions about it because they did not breast feed their kids and had not known anyone who has breastfed. I explained the basics, how you know if the baby has had enough, how often you have to feed him and so on.

The question then came up, “Why do it?”. I explained the benefits of breastfeeding for the infant and the mother. A majority of the table scoffed at the idea that breast feeding has any benefits and the only difference is the parent’s choice and what they want to do. I tried to explain that research has shown that there are many obvious and proven benefits but they became very defensive on this point.

The majority wanted me to agree that it is simply a choice and I should not suggest that one is better than the other. I made my opinion known; which is that breast feeding is inherently better because of the health benefits conveyed to both mother and child.

I do believe that either a breast fed baby or formula fed baby are both likely to grow into healthy children. However if you ask which is better for the baby, in my opinion, and popular medical opinion as well, the answer is breast feeding.

Again I do not condem parents that formula feed, I simply believe that it is a simple answer to which is better for the baby and the mother. Some mothers are made to feel inadequate after failing to successfully breast feed which is not right and some mothers are made to feel guilty for choosing to formula feed which is also not right.

However, when the question is simply which is better for mother and child the answer is breastfeeding.

This comment is not meant to offend it is simply a statement of fact. Breast feeding is a pain in the butt, it is difficult for baby and mom to learn to do effectively, and is also extremely time consuming. So I fully understand why parents would choose not to breast feed. But it is better for the baby and mother.

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