Why do health groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) say to nurse for at least a year? And why is it that so few women are doing it? We keep hearing it over and over. Breast is best… breast is best. Sometimes I think this message of “breast is best” is kind of lame and doesn’t really tell the whole story. When it comes to our health, do we always do what’s best? Is everyone eating their recommended daily allowance of vegetables? Are we all eating organic? Are we exercising ½ hour every day? Let’s see, while typing this I just scarfed down a small package of cookies. Why aren’t we doing the best thing for our nutrition and health? Because, we’re not perfect. I feel like new mothers are thinking… well, breastmilk is the BEST, but formula is good enough. This, I believe, is one of the reasons moms don’t nurse or stop early.
What if we change the way we’re sending the message? Try this on for size. There is NO benefit to breastfeeding, but actual risks of formula feeding. Breastmilk is what is designed for the human body to give it a natural protection. Each mammal’s milk is specifically designed for their young. If you breastfeed will your child never get sick? NO! If you breastfeed will your child never have an ear infection? NO! If you nurse for over a year does it guarantee that you’ll never get breast cancer? NO! So, we need to start looking at how formula affects the babies. If you look at all the babies that are exclusively formula fed, they have a 100% greater chance of ear infections, a 178% greater chance of a GI infection, a 64% greater chance of diabetes and 56% greater chance of dying from SIDS. Do those statistics change your perspective? I’m not making this stuff up. This is in the research and is well documented. These exact stats and more were quoted by the US Surgeon General earlier this year.
These are the statistics that need to be out in public and we need to change our breast is best mantra so everyone starts seeing the real picture! New mantra… breastfeeding is normal.