breastmilk vs formulaShould mothers breastfeed baby with breastmilk or ask confinement nanny to feed baby with formula milk better? Research says if baby is latching and sucking well on the breast with clear urine output and weight gain, it is not necessary to supplement with formula. A healthy baby instead of fat baby is more ideal. Moreover, if formula milk is given, it may affect mother’s milk supply.

  1. Breastmilk contains easily absorbable fat, such as Omega 3 fatty acids, which enhances baby’s brain and eye development. Some high-end formula manufacturers claim that their products contain Omega 3 fatty acids and multivitamins. However, these supplements may not be easily broken down in the babies’ digestive system and may be passed out as waste.
  2. Nucleotides naturally occur in human milk. They play central roles in metabolism and make up the structural units of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Many vital bodily functions depend on nucleotides. Formula manufacturers may have found a way to produce chemical imitations of nucleotides but there are no studies to prove babies’ receptivity to this supplement.
  3. The amount of water in breastmilk is just right to satisfy baby’s thirst and breastfed babies suffer less from constipation. Contrary to old wives’ tales, breastfed babies do not need to take supplementary water. However, the amount of water in a formula feed is dictated by the manufacturer’s instructions and caregivers may need to give extra water in cases of constipation.
  4. Breastfed babies’ stools are soft and mustard-yellow in color, without unpleasant odours. The undigested excess supplements in formula feeds, however, cause babies to pass stools that are harder and more foul-smelling. Formula-fed babies are more prone to constipation.
  5. Direct breastfeeding is the cleanest and freshest way to feed babies. You avoid the hassle of sterilising bottles and teats, and minimize the risk of bacterial infection. Breastmilk is also always at the right temperature, whereas formula mixtures need to be measured for the right amount of hot and cool water to ensure that baby’s mouth is not scalded.
  6. Breastmilk contains antibodies that protect baby from infections and allergies and the health benefits last into adulthood. All things being equal, adults who were fed breastmilk as children are more protected against eczema, obesity and heart disease.
  7. Antibodies are absent in formula milk, thus formula-fed babies are more likely to suffer from ear, urinary, respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Hospital records show more cases of formula-fed babies being admitted for such conditions.
  8. Breastmilk contains all the vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates that a baby needs in the first six months of life. Its composition changes in response to the changing needs of a growing child. In contrast, formula milk remains the same at all times. Although different brands will have different mixes of ingredients, they may not be in the exact proportion that your baby requires.
  9. The taste of breastmilk varies according to the mother’s diet whereas formula milk always tastes the same. Thus, breastfed babies will be more open to new foods during weaning compared to formula-fed infants.
  10. Breastfeeding cultivates a special bond between mother and child. A mother’s breasts secrete odorants unique to herself and this promotes the bonding process.
  11. Human milk contains living cells, hormones, active enzymes, immunoglobulins and anti-inflammatory agents that cannot be replicated in formula milk.
  12. Research has proven that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support baby’s growth and energy needs for the first six months of life and should be continued for at least the first two years.