Sunday, April 17, 2011

Your Baby: Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding

It seems like bottle feeding has been on the rise in the recent decades and now, more than ever, mothers are feeding their baby with pre-made formulas. Mothers come to see me with complaints of poor digestion in their babies; babies who vomit after they eat each meal, constipation, higher incidence of colds/flu and more. Most of these young mothers have not been educated on the benefits of breast milk over formulas.

Breastfeeding Your Baby

Breast milk, by far, is the healthiest and best gift you could ever give your baby. It is full of vitamins, minerals, and nourishment. It is highly digestible and easily absorbed by your baby. You, as a mother, pass on antibodies to your baby so he/she will be able to fight off illness. Babies who have been breastfed have been proven to have higher IQ, lower incidence of diabetes, and a stronger immune system.

All of the above 'pros' have been reported in many different articles and journals. I have seen the effects of breastfeeding first hand... babies are smarter, more alert, maintain health and don't catch illness easily, and generally have stronger immune systems than babies who are bottle fed. Breastfed babies are generally happier and more content. 

'Back in the day' in situations where mothers were not able to breastfeed their babies, they would hire a wet nurse. The wet nurse would provide breast milk for the baby. Over the years the incidence of wet nurses has decreased, although it is a much healthier option for your baby than formula. This trend is again starting to increase as people realize how toxic formula really is.

Formula has been said to be 'easier'. Mothers can go away from their children while the babysitter gives formula. In raising your baby I know that you are doing everything in your power to keep it safe and healthy. This also involves breast feeding for at least 6 months, and even better for a year.  If you are having problems breastfeeding, there are many breastfeeding educators out there (like La Leche groups and midwives).There are also many different nursing teas and herbs that will help you release more milk. If you are heading back to work, start pumping. Breast milk is a SUPERFOOD for your baby and will encourage their growth and development.

I have also seen many changes when babies go from breast milk to formula. The blue eyes in a baby will quickly turn to brown when on formula (in iridology brown indicates liver congestion and digestive disturbances too). The baby will soon become constipated and only poop once per day or every other day. A normal bowel movement schedule is to release after every meal. This also includes your baby. Every time your baby has your milk (or a bottle), it should be having a bowel movement too. I have even seen some mothers whose babies only poop once per week. At this time, toxic matter begins to accumulate in your baby's intestines and is probably being reabsorbed into the blood stream. At this point, your child's immune system is weakened and they may have a constant low form of illness.

You can always work toward better health by adopting healthier lifestyles and principles. Give your baby the right start with breast milk, the wonder food! Did you know that you can even use your breast milk for eye infections? Yup... just squirt it in there and the infection will clear up within a very short period of time. This proves that your milk contains antibodies to help your baby fight disease.

Also, remember that you are feeding your baby through your body. This means that you, as a mother, need to eat a healthy and well balanced diet. If your doctor has told you that your milk is "toxic" for your baby, then your body is probably toxic too. This requires a cleansing diet, full of fresh fruits and vegetables and other cleansing and/or building protocols. First and foremost, you need to take care of yourself so you can take care of your baby!

Keep your eyes open and observe mothers who bottle feed compared to mothers who formula feed. You will quickly see the differences.


Svea is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here. Her Montreal Natural Fertility site can be found here

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