Which is Better?

Which is Better?

There has been some debate among parents regarding whether breastfeeding or using a formula is best.

Some think breastfeeding is the best for the babies while others don’t think it makes any difference if the parent decides to bottle feed them instead. I understand there are some cases in which milk production can be problematic for some mothers, so in some cases substituting breast milk with infant formula may be needed and doesn’t mean the parent is lazy or unwilling to do what is best for the baby. However, research seems to be telling us that breast milk and formula are not the same, and breast milk is best for babies.

Israeli researchers from the University of Haifa studied the topic of breast feeding and found that breastfeeding reduced the risk of leukemia. There was a 19% decreas in the risk of leukemia in children who were breastfed for six months. But there are still benefits to those who were breastfed for less than that. A study of 28,000 subjects indicated that children who were breastfed for at least some time still had an 11% decreased risk of leukemia than those who never had breast milk at all. (Press, Viva Sarah, 2015). It is not completely understood why breast milk is helpful in preventing leukemia, but it is believed that breast milk may influence the development of the immune system. (Health Editor , 2015) Cancer is not the only reason one should consider breastfeeding though.

“‘Breast-feeding is a highly accessible and low-cost preventive public health measure that has been found in numerous studies to be associated not only with lower risk for childhood leukemia but also with lower risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), gastrointestinal infection, ear infection, type 2 diabetes and obesity later in life,’ said the study’s lead author, Efrat Amitay, of the School of Public Health at the University of Haifa in Israel.” (Health Editor, 2015). This is interesting considering the Jewish Bible says, “Even the jackals present their breasts to nurse their young; but the daughter of my people is cruel, like ostriches in the wilderness.” Lamentations 4:3. If one cannot breastfeed that doesn’t mean one is cruel; however the research suggests women should be aware of the benefits of nursing and provide breast milk to their children when possible.

References:
Health Editor 2015 “Breastfeeding May Reduce the Risk of the Most Common Childhood Cancer” Health.com received 9/17/15 from http://news.health.com/2015/06/01/breast-feeding-may-lower-risk-of-childhood-leukemia-study/

Picture originally found here

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