View Full Version : Breast feeding and its benefits

March 12th, 2002, 02:26 PM
For echarchans who are planning for kids.. good information

Sunit, I thunks there should be a health forum too.

Breastfeeding is what nature intended for infants and is your baby's perfect first food and immunization against many diseases. There are many risks associated with feeding artificial infant formulas that have been very well documented over many years of research.

When compared to breastfed babies, formula fed babies have higher rates of many illnesses. Bacterial infection is increased ten times in formula fed infants, meningitis is increased by four times, diarrhea is five times more likely and ear infection is three to four times more likely in formula fed infants. (Solveig et al.2000) All of the following illnesses or conditions are also seen in greater frequency in formula fed infants: respiratory infections including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), reflux, allergies, asthma, type I diabetes, obesity, (Hypponen et al 1999), childhood cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia, Crohn's Disease, colitis, multiple-sclerosis, eczema, necrotizing enterocolitis in preemies, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.

Infants who are fed formula also have a diminished protective response to the many vaccinations they receive and produce less antibodies against disease.

Babies tend to suck differently from the breast than from bottles. This is thought to impact the way the jaw develops and may be the reason more bottle fed babies need orthodontic care and are slower to develop clear speech patterns. (Newman 2000)

Formula feeding presents risks for mother as well. Women who formula feed have an increase risk of early postpartum hemorrhage because breastfeeding stimulates hormones that help the mother's uterus contract and return faster to it's pre-pregnancy state. Women who formula feed have a higher risk of premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer as compared to breastfeeding women. (Newman 2000) (Solveig et al. 2000)

Artificial formula is also very expensive when compared to breastfeeding. Currently the cost of the cheapest formula is about $100 to $200 per month and some of the more costly types for allergic babies are as much as $500 to $600 per month. This calculation is based only on the cost of the formula. This does not include the well documented higher costs of health care for formula fed infants, due to the increase rate of illness that requires trips to the pediatrician and frequent prescription medications. (Riordan, 1997)

Employers benefit financially, as well, when mothers breastfeed. One large U.S. city found that medical claims dropped 35 percent when services were provided to encourage employees to breastfeed. Another study in the US showed that breastfeeding mothers accounted for only 25 percent of missed work days, while the formula feeding mothers accounted for 75 percent of the missed days.(Solveig et al.2000)

Formula fed babies, on average, have IQs about ten points lower than their breastfed counterparts. This is most likely related to special fatty acids and other components in breastmilk that are known to promote brain cell growth, development of vision and the nervous system. These components are absent in formula. (Anderson et al 1999) (Newman 2000) (Solveig et al.2000)

Additionally, there have been numerous recalls of artificial infant formulas due to mistakes in the composition, and/or contamination with toxins and bacteria. Some of these mistakes have lead to injuries, including brain damage in babies fed these recalled formulas. (Newman 2000)

Formula is a static substance, meaning it remains the same all the time if prepared under the same conditions. Breastmilk is a dynamic food which changes in fat content, volume, and immune components as the daily needs of the growing baby change.

Formula is more likely to stain clothing when the baby spits up and most people agree the formula fed baby's diapers are more foul smelling. Formula fed babies are often more prone to diaper rash too.

Formula feeding strains our ecology because of the additional land and grain it takes to raise dairy cows. It also requires trucks to transport it, electric or gas to warm it and cool it and overflows our landfills with empty containers and used bottles. 2,050,000 kg of steel and 1,230 tons of paper labels are used each year to make formula cans. (Solveig et al.2000) Breastmilk is a very valuable and economical natural resource that should not be wasted.

Formula feeding is time consuming hard work, requiring purchasing, cleaning of equipment, careful refrigeration to prevent the growth of bacteria and time-consuming warming. Breastmilk is always ready to feed at the appropriate temperature, composition, and amount and requires no preparation, refrigeration, warming or clean up.

With the proper information, and support most women can easily and comfortably breastfeed. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of the baby's life and that breastmilk should continue to be the primary source of the infant's nutrition up to a year and beyond.. If a woman is not able to, or does not want to put the baby to breast, the next best choice would be mother's own milk expressed for her baby. The third choice, though difficult to access, would be banked breast milk from other women, and lastly infant formula. (Newman 2000) (Solveig et al.2000)

Breastfeeding also ensures that babies get lots of loving touch, since it is impossible to breastfeed without holding the baby. Loving human touch is a biological need of the infant and breastfeeding ensures that need is easily met. Many mothers find breastfeeding their baby is one of life's most rewarding experiences and are glad they did not miss the opportunity to lovingly provide natures best food to their infant.


Before anyone asks no I am not pregnant and that came to me in an email sent by someone.

March 12th, 2002, 02:31 PM
My first kid is a 100% formula free kid. And touch wood.. its been 2 and half years of desease/infection free ride for us. And one more benefit they forgot to mention.. my kid never cried!!!! Even now wakes up with a big grin (and no she is not still a milk baby.. she eats regular food like us). Only now she has stared crying cos she learnt if she cries we will givein to whatever she wants.. that is she knows that throwing a tantrum includes crying.

March 12th, 2002, 02:46 PM
:) Pel not being arguementative ... milk has no connection with crying but thanks to your genes you have a :) HAPPY CHILD ...

Yes you are right mothers milk is the best ... Children brought up on mother's milk are healthier, happier and free of many health complications which are almost common among those fed on formula ...

If not for longer then at least for first six months of a child's life ...

March 12th, 2002, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by tantric_yogi
:) Pel not being arguementative ... milk has no connection with crying but thanks to your genes you have a :) HAPPY CHILD ...

Yes you are right mothers milk is the best ... Children brought up on mother's milk are healthier, happier and free of many health complications which are almost common among those fed on formula ...

If not for longer then at least for first six months of a child's life ...

... and I remember those family planning ads on Indian TV that claimed that a nursing mother cannot get pregnant

If they said that on TV, it must be true. Does anyone here remember that?

March 12th, 2002, 02:51 PM
Well no.. it certainly made a difference to our kid. She got a lot of attention from mom and that is the touch part they are discussing. Also, when the kid wakes up in the midnight crying for milk.. she did not have to run to kitchen to get a bottle and so eventually my kid learnt to help herself even if mom was asleep and that decreases crying.. because infants cry only if they want something (hungry/thirsty or attention). So because of that crying does not come naturally to her.. I am surprised that if she gets hurt.. (and some times she has bumped hard and it must have hurt cos her eyes have tears of pain) she does not cry... just runs to me or her mom tells I am hurting here and a massage to the hurting area she is back to her mischief design board..

March 12th, 2002, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by eNRI

... and I remember those family planning ads on Indian TV that claimed that a nursing mother cannot get pregnant

If they said that on TV, it must be true. Does anyone here remember that?

It might be true but it is not a 100%. I know it for fact cos one of my friends got pregnant even though she was nursing her kids.. so it may work like the "cycles method" but relying on it entirely might not be a great idea.

March 12th, 2002, 03:10 PM
eNRI here is more information about LAM.

Fertility with LAM -- Natural Birth Control
There is one form of birth control that is only available to nursing Mothers: lactational amenorrhea method (LAM). In plain English, LAM means that lactation, or the making of milk, results in the absence of menstruation -- Mother Nature's way of preventing a nursing mom from getting pregnant.

To improve your chances of avoiding pregnancy with LAM, you must meet three criteria: you must be exclusively breastfeeding (including night feedings) and offering no supplements, you must not have had a period since giving birth, and you must be less than 6 months postpartum.

"Exclusively breastfeeding" means feeding on demand -- no less than every 4 hours during the day and every 6 hours at night. If your baby has slept through the night since she was 2 weeks Old, don't count on LAM to prevent you from getting pregnant. If you were sick for several days and gave baby formula to allow yourself extra time to rest between feedings, find another method of birth control.

If all these conditions are met, LAM is said to be more than 98 percent effective, according to Alicia Dermer, MD, IBCLC. It's Probably the easiest birth control method around because:

There's nothing you have to remember to do (other than nurse your baby). There are no extra supplies required (the nursing bra is optional). It has no side effects (except a happy and content baby and husband). The most important thing to remember about LAM is that it is not 100 percent effective even if you meet all three of the requirements, and it certainly won't work if you are supplementing at all. Also, although most women will have a "warning period" -- a period without having ovulated -- not everyone does. So your protection may be gone before you know it. Heed the words of Cheryl, who conceived her second child while nursing her first. "Breastfeeding reduces the likelihood of becoming pregnant, but does not prevent it, so get out there and get those pills! Don't walk, run!"

If you're hoping to space your children close together, LAM is a great method. It allows your body to recuperate from the physical stress of childhood, relaxes you emotionally for the task of mothering, and does not have any negative effect on your fertility after the first 6 months.


March 12th, 2002, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by eNRI

... and I remember those family planning ads on Indian TV that claimed that a nursing mother cannot get pregnant

If they said that on TV, it must be true. Does anyone here remember that?
eNRI but it really is true yaar ... as long as mother continues breastfeeding chances of her getting preg are nil ... sort of natures way of seeing to it that each new arrival receives good start ... of course we really are talking about things which are complicated enough to explain in few sentences ... what I mean is it really is true ...

Mothers milk two to three years if possible ... first 6 months otherwise ... due to unavoidable circumstances atleast first one month ... if a mother can not guarantee her child even that much then she should refrain from having a child untill she can ...

March 12th, 2002, 03:25 PM
I totally agree tantric bhai.. Infact, when my wife proposed we have our first kid after 5 years of marriage (this was her way of saying ok enuf fun we had lets have a family now).. I told her if she is ready to nurse our kid for atleast 1 year we will go for it.. and she more than kept her promise.. my kid was 1 and half and we had to slowly stop it cos she started pushing her mom's Tshirt up in public in demand for milk.. it was getting embarassing (but funny though). And on top of it she would not let go her breasts even after having her fill.. she will just hold on to it in her mouth and sometimes bite her hard and then run away.. so we figured ok you had your quota.. we need the breasts for tne next kid and before she ate it off.. we shifted her to bottle milk and then to solid food completely.

March 12th, 2002, 03:42 PM
Well this needs to be polled.

Reason? There are many sites for this but if it is convenient to eCharchans, then I will add it... Lets start with just one health forum and then we can have sub forums later on....

GpeL - Please post a poll whether Health forum should be there or not.



March 12th, 2002, 03:44 PM
Ok will do .

March 13th, 2002, 12:29 AM
Lo ji. Maine bhi ek chipka diya.

Dr Deepak Sehgal, consultant paediatrician, says there are many children between the ages of 2 – 4 years who eat soil, wall scrapings, paper, ashes and even lick shoes. This disorder is called ‘pica’. Worms are not a cause of pica but the child may get worms more easily as a result of eating soil. Earlier this habit was thought to be because of calcium deficiency but now it is an accepted fact that it is seen in children who are either emotionally disturbed, mentally handicapped or anaemic because of parents’ habit of giving excessive milk to the child, in lieu of a normal balanced diet. This leads to reduced absorption of essential nutrients and iron, making the child anaemic. Cutting down on excessive milk and including a nutritious iron-rich diet and vitamins helps reduce this habit effectively within a few weeks.

As a parent, it would be better for you to not react too dramatically when your child puts a lump of earth or something similar in her mouth, as this may only encourage her to do it again to provoke a similar reaction from you. The danger of this habit lies mostly in causing gastric infections and may lead to poisoning in children who tend to lick painted objects.

I feel that apart from treating anaemia by iron fortified vitamin syrups, the child should be kept busy in activities to give less opportunity to put undesirable matter in the mouth and to keep safe toys in her room to play with.

Also is see some colic sysmtoms in some children.
Dr Anupam Sibal, paediatric gastroenterologist and hepatologist, Apollo Hospital, says the classic symptom of colic is its appearance in the first few weeks of life. Typically, some 30 minutes after the evening feed, the infant screams bluefacedly, pulls up the legs and often passes flatus with loud rumblings (borborygmi) in the abdomen and with periods of quiet or sleep between pains. This may merge into a pattern of crying throughout the day and night. Colic is a result of the baby adopting its own ‘diurnal and circadian rhythms’ as opposed to the intrauterine, maternal rhythms enjoyed by the foetus. In this sense a degree of ‘colic’ is to be expected in every baby and the good thing is that it settles with time.

March 13th, 2002, 01:08 PM
Ab yaar in doctor log se kaun jagda mol le ... Krantibhai yaar I am not being arguementative but I think this relates to certain sectors of community where parents do not have access to proper medical or nutritional information ...

Baki yeh sala kaunsa (hutiya doctor hai jo mitti khane ki aadat ko mental disability or emotionaly distrubed se connection karta hai ... most unfair to growing up child ... focking idiot he has to be ... aapki mitti khayee hui hai ... hum ne mitti khayee hui hai ... hamare mohale ke har baachhe ki mitti khayee hui hai ...
yeh sala bolta hai ki aapka aur hamara bi dimag kharab hai???

Ab dekhiye bachhe ke datton main irritation hoti haai to woh crib ke wood ko chhabatta hai ... to woh bachha bi mentally distrurbed ho gaya ... there is nothing wrong with his cheeweing on crib wood as long as paint is not toxic (such as leaded) ...

Either that or I am unable to understand this articvle ... give me another cup of coffee and I will be all right :D ...

March 13th, 2002, 07:35 PM
A not necessarily well-prepared student sat in his life science classroom, staring at a question on the final exam paper. The question directed: "Give four advantages of breast milk."

What to write? He sighed, and began to scribble whatever came into his head, hoping for the best:

1. No need to boil.
2. Never goes sour.
3. Available whenever necessary.

So far so good - maybe. But the exam demanded a fourth answer. Again, what to write? Once more, he sighed. He frowned. He scowled, then sighed again. Suddenly, he brightened. He grabbed his pen, and triumphantly, he scribbled his definitive answer:

4. Available in attractive containers of varying sizes.

He received an A.