Breastfeeding: The best choice is no formula.

Two scientific articles promoting breastfeeding were published May 1, 2017 by the European Respiratory Journal.  One article stressed the benefit of longer breastfeeding or exclusive breastfeeding to reduce the risk of wheezing illness.  

The other article, “Formula one: best is no formula,” stressed the importance of breastfeeding in early life for having healthy lung function.  Why?  Because abnormal lung growth patterns are established early in life.  One factor, besides other factors, responsible for poor lungs is “short duration of breastfeeding.”  As the researchers said:  Breast is best; formula is worst.

Is anyone listening?  Interestingly, the absence of formula is the answer for respiratory outcomes.   “The public health implications are stark.  The extent of use of formula feeds described in this study is nothing short of a disgrace.”  In their opinion, there was no reason why many of these mothers did not breastfeed for more than a year.

“Those nurses, midwives, health visitors and primary care paediatricians who are responsible for the care of babies need to take a long hard look at themselves and ask why their promotion of breast feeding is such a failure.”  Regarding formula, “Maybe it should carry a health warning for specific subgroups.  Overall, the message is stark and clear—get it right in little lungs or it will go wrong and stay wrong in big ones.”

Many studies show the benefits of breastfeeding.  This study goes one step further by greatly reducing the cause of poor health:  no formula feeding for little ones.  

Sheila Kippley
Next week:  a medical release form for not breastfeeding

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