But if you would like more information on the benefits of breastfeeding, you can download a comprehensive, yet simple-to-read pamphlet from WomensHealth.gov.
In a section titled "Breastfeeding Protects Babies," the pamphlet explains why early breast milk is called liquid gold, why breast milk is easier for an infant to digest, and how breast milk fights disease.
"The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breast milk protect babies from illness. This protection is unique; formula cannot match the chemical makeup of human breast milk," the pamphlet says. In addition, it lists several conditions more commonly found in formula-fed infants, including diarrhea and ear infections.
You can download "Your Guide to Breastfeeding" at http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/breastfeeding-guide/
"Breastfeeding Linked to Healthy Infant Gut: Bacterial Colonization Leads to Changes in the Infant's Expression of Genes." ScienceDaily. Web. 2 May 2012. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120429234641.htm
"New Infant Formula Ingredients Boost Babies' Immunity by Feeding Their Gut Bacteria." ScienceDaily. Web. 2 May 2012. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120229155540.htm
"Your Guide to Breastfeeding." (PDF download). WomensHealth.gov. Web. 2 May 2012.
Reviewed May 3, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith