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101 Reasons to Breastfeed
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101 Reasons to Breastfeed

Over 101 Reasons To Breastfeed

Often parents are told “Breast Is Best”, we don’t believe it is.  We believe breast is just normal; nothing more, nothing less.

We know that in breastmilk there are a myriad of constituents; live cells secrete hormones, growth factors and other substances that regulate the immune response.  These cells mean milk is a living tissue like blood, with the ability to influence the development of other tissues in the body.  In the early weeks of breastfeeding there are as many white cells in milk as there are in blood; engulfing troublesome organisms, viruses, fungi and tumour cells.

Research cannot prove something 100%, this is not it’s function; it can only provide highly probable outcomes when repeat patterns are observed.   What it does show is that not breastfeeding baby has been heavily indicated to cause many different conditions, both in the short term and in later life.

What is the cost of not receiving what is normal?

Based on an original article “100 reasons to breastfeed” by Leslie Burby. Adapted for the UK with extra reasons and references added as new research becomes available.   This material is © Milk Matters. All rights reserved.

Not breastfeeding has been linked to increased risk to baby of:

Some childhood cancers.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Gross motor development delay.
Breast cancer in later life.
Health implications from bottles that contain Bisphenol A.
Reduced IQ.
Sickness and diarrhoea bugs including: Gastroenteritis, E-Coli and E -Sakazakii (which can lead to Meningitis).
Crohns Disease (a chronic inflammatory bowel disease).
Both type 1 and 2 Diabetes.
Adverse outcomes both in the short and long term for premature infants.
Low birth weight babies display reduced cognitive development
Otitis Media (ear infections).
Being hospitalised with Pneumonia or Bronchiolitis.
Respiratory tract infections.
Bacterial Meningitis.
Some vision defects.
Delayed maturation of intestinal development; increasing risks from pathogens and other potentially harmful agents.
Pulmonary distress whilst feeding.
Ulcerative colitis (intestinal disorder).
Suboptimal oral, dental and jaw development.
Tooth decay.
Delayed speech development.
Constipation and digestion problems.
High cholesterol in later life.
Spit up and reflux.
Inguinal hernia.
Urinary tract infections.
Delayed hand-to-eye coordination.
Higher blood pressure in childhood & later life.
Atherosclerosis (plaque build up inside arteries).
Coeliac Disease (gluten intolerance).
Mental health problems in later life.
Not breastfeeding has been linked to increased risk to mother of:

Breast cancer.
Post partum haemorrhage.
Ovarian cancer.
Endometrial cancer.
Rheumatoid arthritis.
Cardiovascular problems.
Postnatal Depression.
Type 2 Diabetes.
Anemia (iron deficiency).
What else?

Breast milk is always ready and does not need strict prep guidelines; powdered formula is NOT sterile and can be contaminated with harmful bacteria.
Breastfeeding satisfies baby’s emotional needs.
Pre-term breastmilk is specially tailored to best suit the needs of premature infants.
The World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend it as ”an unequalled way of providing ideal food for healthy growth and development”.
Breastfeeding baby helps decrease insulin requirements in diabetic mothers.
Breastfeeding may help stabilise the progress of maternal endometriosis.
Breastmilk protects against hemophilus b. bacteria as much as 5-10 years later.
Non breastfed babies require longer pre- and post-surgical fasting, as breastmilk is considered a “clear fluid” like water.
Not breastfeeding has been linked with increased sick days for employed parents.
Breastfed infants show better serum and secretory responses to oral and parenteral vaccines.
Breastfeeding contributes to optimal child spacing, many exclusively breastfeeding women do not ovulate for the 6 months or so following the birth of a baby.
Breastfeeding in the first 6 months can be used as contraception.  Called the LAM contraception method (exclusively breastfeeding with other criteria) it is around 97% effective.
After the early weeks, breastfeeding is easier than making substitutes.
Breastmilk is free; alternatives costs upward of £800 per year in the UK. Not including bottles, teats, sterilisers etc.
Not breastfeeding costs the government (and taxpayers) millions of pounds.  For gastroenteritis ALONE, If all babies were breastfed this would be equivalent to saving almost £300,000 a year for the average district or £35 million for the country as a whole.
Non breastfed babies require more doctor visits.
Breastmilk always has the right proportions of fat, carbohydrates and protein; changing each feed.
Breastmilk acts like a natural tranquiliser for baby.
Breastfeeding acts like a natural tranquiliser for mum.
Breastfeeding releases lots of hormones linked with bonding for both mum and baby.
Not breastfeeding is linked with increased rates of maternal abuse.
Formula smells and tastes unpleasant.
Breastfeeding exposes your baby to different tastes and flavours pre starting solids.
Non breastfed babies are more likely to die before their third birthday.  In 2010 the US reported 900 infant deaths directly due to substitutes.
Breastmilk is always the right temperature; no risk of burning, no waiting with a fussing baby.
Breastmilk substitutes are not environmentally friendly; wrappers, tins, bottle sand transportation.
Breastfeeding means no bottles to wash and carry.
No need to refrigerate;  breastmilk is always fresh.
Breastmilk provides natural pain relief for baby.
Human milk is the perfect food for a sick infant.
Non breastfeeding or supplementing mothers get LESS sleep.
Not breastfeeding means more equipment to maintain and store.
Breastmilk has never been recalled due to manufacturing or contamination problems.
Breastfeeding means no need to worry about which brand is better.
Breastfeeding means no need to worry about adding contaminated water.
Breastfed babies have great skin; scientists are currently studying using a constituent of breastmilk to treat acne.
Lack of breastfeeding may be associated with increased risk of multiple sclerosis in later life.
Breastfed babies display better social development.
Breastfeeding mothers spend less money on menstrual supplies & nappies.
Breastfeeding is a self confidence booster for mum.
Breast milk may help combat eye infections.
Breastfeeding means no worrying about the latest ingredient discovered to be missing from formula; at present approximately 100+ constituents can’t be replicated.
Breastmilk substitutes makes for BAD nappy changes.
Breastfed babies smell fantastic.
It’s what breasts are for – we are mammals because we make milk for our young.
Not breastfeeding may increase risk of schizophrenia.  Although Maternal schizophrenia is the strongest risk factor, no or early cessation (<2 weeks) of breastfeeding is also significantly related to later schizophrenia.
Non breastfed infants are more likely to wet the bed later on.  This may be due to delayed neurodevelopment, strongly linked to bed-wetting.
Not breastfeeding may increase autism risks or severity.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding, stating it should be continued for at least the first year of life.
Breast milk is known to protect against respiratory tract infections and cancers, even years after breastfeeding is done.
Non breastfed infants are at risk of aluminium exposure via breastmilk substitutes
Breastfeeding tied to stronger maternal response to baby’s cry
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8 Comments Post a Comment
1346146 tn?1299364097
Great info!
1330108 tn?1333680904
Thnx I came across this while online
Avatar f tn
You're great, always helping us out with great info!  Thank you!
1330108 tn?1333680904
No prob I'm so glad you all appreciate it :)
171768 tn?1324233699
I love this =) I have read it before. I wanted to but didn't dare post it on the regular pregnancy or maternal/child forum because people would have assumed it was an attack or judgement on those who do not BF. It's a shame, because I feel that if more women were educated on these factors, more would choose to bf instead of relying on the concrete theory of "well, I was formula fed and turned out fine."
1330108 tn?1333680904
I posted one similar to this on a different forum pregnancy related and medhelp deleted it because it was offensive to those who don't breastfeed. I was just trying to share the info. Like you said, the more than know the facts the more that would most likely chose to breastfeed. Yes you will turn out fine if you were formula fed BUT could you have turned out better if you were breastfed?  I hate that the US is so overly sensitive about breastfeeding even trying to breastfeed in public. In other counties it's totally fine and normal to breastfeed in public without covering up but here oh man people freak but considering not many people in the US breastfeed it makes sense, people aren't exposed to it. I wish the CDC or something would make commercials on tv about benefits of breastfeeding and that all OB's and pediatricians told mothers about the benefits and provided support. In the hospitals too!  This info needs to get out to every women but we are too overly sensitive in the US and may offend someone :( but yes you are right you can't post this in other forums, it gets deleted :(
615752 tn?1361871586
Thanks for the info. I am so pro-breast and honestly can't understand women that don't even want to give it a go. It is evident that there are TOO many advantages in comparison to bottle feeding and the bonding - well, no one can ever take it away from you. It was never an inconvenience. I live in Germany, quite breast unfriendly, I got such comments mainly from women who hardly breastfed or didn't: 'Maybe your baby is crying because you don't have enough milk. She should get formula', 'There are formulas which are almost identical to breast milk' 'Your baby should get formula to sleep through the night, it would be better for you'. You know what, just mind your own business! I breastfed for almost 2 years, thankfully never had a problem with my supply, my daughter grew wonderfully, eats everything _ I won't change it with my next child.

I can't understand why people would get offended with these posts. They should support women and offer incentives for breastfeeding. I agree, they should have more commercials in western countries to encourage breastfeeding, all I see are commercials of starting formula at the age of 6 months 'following breastfeeding'.

Good on you guys for posting this. It definately belongs here!!!!
171768 tn?1324233699
People who immediately become defensive instead of engaging in an intellectual discussion feel deep down they have something to be defensive about.

All of this information is hard for me to process just because if I have another child, I may not be able to breastfeed for health reasons :(    I would actually feel guilty, like I was cheating that child out of something important.  
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