While many mothers prefer not to breastfeed their babies and use formula milk instead, some of them feed their kids with breast milk but using a baby bottle. A recent study, however, claims that neither of those methods is right for newborns’ health. This research concluded that breastfeeding is the best for baby’s weight.
Breastfeeding is much healthier than pumped breast milk and milk-formula
According to the study’s leading author, Meghan Azad, a researcher in pediatrics and child health at the University of Manitoba, in Canada, breastfeeding is helping babies gain healthy weight in the first months of life, while those newborns fed exclusively with milk formula aren’t developing correctly. Also, Azad stated that feeding your baby with breast milk but with a baby bottle is also not much healthier than milk formula.
“The message here is not that pumping is ‘bad’ or ‘wrong. It’s better than formula-feeding,” said Meghan Azad.
Also, Dr. Joan Meek, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life. But, “the lack of paid maternity leave policies in the US can be a barrier for mothers who work outside the home,” Meek pointed out. “Certainly for those mothers, their pumped breast milk is still the next best thing to direct breastfeeding,” the doctor added.
Scientists surveyed more than 2,500 mother-baby pairs
To reach the conclusion that breastfeeding is the best for baby’s weight gain after birth, the researchers surveyed more than 2,500 mother-baby pairs. The study’s results were recently published in the Science journal.
According to the study, those babies who were exclusively breastfed at six months of age presented much healthier weights at 1 year of age in comparison with those infants who got milk formula or pumped breast milk. Also, introducing solid foods is healthy.
“Introducing solid foods sometime after the 5-month mark, but before the 7-month mark is healthiest in terms of balancing the benefits of healthy weight gain, allergy prevention, and infectious disease prevention,” Azad said. “This is saying, you can’t just give moms a breast pump and think you’ve solved the problem,” she added.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.