A study was conducted to determine what relation if any of an infant’s diet to childhood health.
The study looked at the relationship between how long infants were breastfed to their childhood health. They looked at various outcomes including respiratory illness, weight, height, and blood pressure among other things.
Here are the results of the study:
After adjustment for the significant confounding variables the estimated probability of ever having respiratory illness in children who received breast milk exclusively for at least 15 weeks was consistently lower (17.0% (95% confidence interval 15.9% to 18.1%) for exclusive breast feeding, 31.0% (26.8% to 35.2%) for partial breast feeding, and 32.2% (30.7% to 33.7%) for bottle feeding. Solid feeding before 15 weeks was associated with an increased probability of wheeze during childhood (21.0% (19.9% to 22.1%) v 9.7% (8.6% to 10.8%)). It was also associated with increased percentage body fat and weight in childhood (mean body fat 18.5% (18.2% to 18.8%) v 16.5% (16.0% to 17.0%); weight standard deviation score 0.02 (−0.02 to 0.06) v −0.09 (−0.16 to 0.02). Systolic blood pressure was raised significantly in children who were exclusively bottle fed compared with children who received breast milk (mean 94.2 (93.5 to 94.9) mm Hg v 90.7 (89.9 to 91.7) mm Hg).
As you can see from the results, there was a direct relationship between the amount of time infants were breast fed to their future childhood health. Babies who were breastfed for at least 15 weeks saw better health all around as they grew up.
The study’s conclusion:
The probability of respiratory illness occurring at any time during childhood is significantly reduced if the child is fed exclusively breast milk for 15 weeks and no solid foods are introduced during this time. Breast feeding and the late introduction of solids may have a beneficial effect on childhood health and subsequent adult disease.
Why is this? It may be no surprise that human milk is better than any formula you can buy. Unfortunately, breast feeding isn’t always an option. But when it is, you shouldn’t think twice about whether to choose breast milk or formula for your child.
So what’s the difference between the two?
Formulas are derived from cow’s milk. Cow’s milk is broken down into curd and whey. It’s this ratio of curd to whey that differs. Breast milk has a higher proportion of whey and therefor makes it easier to digest. But that’s just the beginning of the differences.
Human milk contains colostrum. Colostrum is the first liquid the breasts produce. It contains custom nutrition formulated specifically for your baby. It is high in antibodies that protect the lungs, throat, and intestines.
Breast milk contains over 100 ingredients that formulas do not. It protects against infection, inflammation, cancer, and even obesity. The benefits are numerous and the results have been conclusive. I have yet to see a single study that shows formula’s benefits over breast milk that wasn’t funded by the formula industry. If you know of one, I’d like to see it.
I’m sure that whatever decision you make or have made was in the best interest of your child. I simply just want to point out the differences between formula and breast milk, and show what the academic community has studied. The information is yours to do as you choose.BodyMedia FIT Calorie Tracking Armband
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