Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week!

Fertility

By pH health care professionals

Did you know California has the highest rate of breastfeeding in the entire country? This is great news for us here in the Golden State, with 92.8 percent of babies having been breastfed in 2014. But why aren’t all babies being breastfed? Science has shown there are so many benefits to breastfeeding (and downsides to formula) that breast is nearly always best. 

One of the main reasons to breastfeed is for the prevention of infections. One study found that breastfed infants ended up having less than half the number of gastrointestinal infections than formula-fed babies. There are massive decreases in the numbers of respiratory viruses, otitis media (ear infection) and pneumonia in breastfed babies, and they also get less celiac disease, diabetes (both types) and leukemia, suffer fewer allergies, and are less likely to end up obese. Newer research suggests formula-feeding results in lower intelligence in babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics also points out that breast milk can't be contaminated, like formula, and is always at the right temperature when expressed from the breast. 

But you should also know that mothers can benefit from breastfeeding as well. Breastfeeding moms experience decreased postpartum bleeding, decreased menstrual blood loss and increased child spacing. They have an earlier return to their pre-pregnancy weight and decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

So why do we even have baby formula? 

Bottle-feeding animal milk to babies has been practiced for thousands of years. Before formula, there was cow’s milk with sugar. But cow's milk shouldn't be given to babies straight, because there is so much casein protein in it that tiny kidneys cannot filter it out. So formula enters the scene in the 1910s-1920s, created to more closely approximate human milk. And now, baby formula is a huge enterprise, with the government assistance program Women, Infants, and Children as one of the largest customers.

The consequence of so much free formula, though, is that many lower-income mothers aren't breastfeeding. This may be contributing to some of the continued health problems in lower-income communities, as well as difficulties with school.  

Who shouldn't breastfeed? 

The American Academy of Pediatrics lists only HIV in the mother, and galactosemia in the baby, as definite reasons not to breastfeed. Of course, women who have lost their breasts to mastectomy, who are too physically weak to support a baby due to injury or illness, or who have serious skin or nipple infections are unable to breastfeed as well.

If you are (or will soon be) breastfeeding, get your pH Mommy Evaluation to make sure you have the necessary nutrients for healthy breastfeeding for you and baby. Call 855-745-2271.

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.

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