They say that breast is best and in the vast majority of cases, this is true. Breast milk cannot be replicated and even the best of formulas cannot compete in terms of being the gold standard for a baby's nutrition. Breast milk needs no supplements other than perhaps the Vitamin D that baby cannot get from sun exposure.
EmpowHER article Infant Feeding: Breast or Bottle? reported that in addition to excellent nutrition, nursing can lead to:
"Fewer illnesses—Compared with bottlefed infants, breastfed infants are less likely to develop:
- Ear infections
- Infections of the lower respiratory tract
- Bacterial infections in the blood or brain
Breast milk also offers:
"Possible protection against certain conditions—Breastfed infants may have protection against sudden infant death syndrome, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, and leukemia."
There are many great reasons to nurse. It can lower the risk of certain cancers in women and in some cases, can allow an easier transition to a healthier weight after birth, among other benefits.
However, it's not an option that works for all. Some women with tuberous breasts cannot adequately feed their babies, nor can moms dealing with HIV, other conditions, or surgeries that make nursing either impossible or dangerous.
Some adoptive parents welcome the opportunity to offer breast milk to their babies, as well as families with two dads. And breastfeeding simply doesn't work for some families or the mother simply chooses not to.
In a country where many women have to return to work within weeks of giving birth or face losing their jobs, our society in America doesn't always make breastfeeding easy.
But for mothers who cannot breastfeed or have multiples, buying breast milk has become quite the norm. There are numerous sites on line where women have excess amounts of breast milk that they sell to women who don't want to feed their children formula.