Top 10 Risks of Formula Feeding for the Baby
WHO estimates that only 35% of infants are getting any breast milk at all
by age four months.
A new study (May 18,2012 ) suggests babies who
are fed milk from their mothers' breasts gain less weight over
their first year compared to babies fed milk - breast or formula- from a bottle.
According to Dr. Ruowei Li, of the United States Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention in Atlanta " "If the babies are fed by the breast, the baby plays a
very active role, because they are the ones who decide when to suckle and when
to stop on the other hand, if the babies are fed with the bottle, they will
gradually lose their self-regulation of their energy intake and the internal
cues of satiety and hunger"
This can become a factor in the management of
obesity in babies and children.
Babies given breast milk become adults with cholesterol levels on average 14% lower than bottle-fed babies.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends mothers exclusively
breastfeed for six months, and continue breastfeeding as
foods are introduced until at least 12 months. Keeping in line with
the recommendation we bring you an account of risks associated with
According to a report,
formula feeding costs U.S. babies more than four additional lives per
thousand. The final relative risk for formula feeding comes to double the
risk of death for U.S. infants who are fed with formula, compared with
babies who are fed naturally. Formula fed babies in the 19th century and
early 20th century had a much higher rate of scurvy and rickets
(malnutrition diseases), and like formula fed babies today, they also died
in greater numbers and were prone to respiratory illnesses and bacterial
infections. Health educator and author Dr. Linda Folden Palmer's report,
based on several decades of research from the U.S. and across the world,
reveals that the use of infant formula costs the lives of an estimated 9,335
U.S. babies each year.
essential for brain development, and amino
central nervous system development, which seem to be lacking in good
proportion in formula milk. Also calcium and iron, are not in the correct
proportions and/or as easily absorbed from formula as breast milk.
Manufacturers often add new ingredients to infant formulas in an attempt to
mimic the composition or performance of human milk. However the addition of
these ingredients is not without risks as a result of a range of complex
issues, such as bioavailability, the potential for toxicity, and the
practice of feeding formula and human milk within the same feeding or on the
same day. Iron is
50 to 75 percent absorbed from breast milk as compared to 5 to 10 percent
from formula milk.
in antibodies: Breast
milk delivers a steady supply of antibodies from the mother to the newborn,
which builds immunity.
This advantage is not available with formula milk. Recent research adds
more: the gut pH of breastfed babies is 5.1 to 5.4 whereas that of formula
babies is 5.9 to 7.3.This could lead to diarrhoea among formula-fed
babies. Formula milk has no live white blood cells-or any other cells.
There are few immunoglobulins and most are the wrong kind.
& Hormones: As
compared to breast milk that is rich in many hormones and
digestive enzyme: thyroid, prolactin, oxytocin, and more than
fifteen others, the formula milk does not possess these hormones
thereby contributing less to the well-being of the baby.
case of baby formula, milk from a cow or buffalo is modified for infant
consumption. First, it is dried at an extremely high temperature, which
generates a toxin called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) associated
with diabetes and cardiovascular
has found that babies who've been fed formula milk have as much AGEs in
their blood as their mothers! Formula may also contain unintentional
contaminants introduced during the manufacturing process. Some may contain
traces of genetically engineered soya and corn.
& Infections: American
baby formula (also imported into India) has been found to contain aluminium,
silicon, cadmium, MSG, genetically engineered soya beans, phosphate,
phthalates and BPA. BPA is bisphenol A which leaches into the powder from
the paint used to coat the inside of the can (also used in Indian cans) to
prevent corrosion. BPA is implicated in cancer and neurobehavioural
disorders. In fact, from the 300,000 infants damaged by the melamine scandal
in China to numerous large-scale recalls in the US and European markets,
formula food has today attained quite a dubious reputation. Studies have
shown that formula fed babies have a greater tendency towards developing
conditions such as childhood inflammatory bowel disease, multiple
dental malocclusion, coronary heart disease, diabetes, hyperactivity,
autoimmune thyroid disease and coeliac disease. Formula feeding increases
risk of baby developing type I (juvenile, insulin-dependent) diabetes. The
results of a study in Finland suggest that young age at introduction of
dairy products and high milk consumption during childhood increase the level
of cow's milk antibodies in the children's systems. This factor is
independently associated with increased risk of insulin dependent diabetes.
(Virtanen et al: "Diet, Cow's milk protein antibodies and the risk of IDDM
in Finnish children." Childhood Diabetes in Finland Study Group.
Diabetologia, Apr 1994, 37(4):381-7)
Mismatched to human needs: Cow's
milk is designed by nature for calves, which must grow into cows in the
short span of two to four years, so the milk is endowed with enough protein
and minerals to promote that kind of growth. Human babies grow to full body
maturity in 16-18 years, so breast milk has lower energy density and
protein. That's where the mismatch begins. No wonder baby formula is heavily
implicated in childhood obesity. Further in formula milk, the
manufacturers add folic
pantothenic acid, calcium, minerals, phosphorous,
iodine, salt, potassium chloride, etc. It could also include rice starch,
dietary fibre, amino acids and nucleotides.
of developing breast cancer in later life: Women
who were formula-fed as infants have higher rates of breast
adults. For both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, women who
were breastfed as children, even if only for a short time, had a 25% lower
risk of developing breast cancer than women who were bottle-fed as infants.
Freudenheim, J. et al. 1994 "Exposure to breast milk in infancy and the risk
of breast cancer". (Epidemiology 5:324-331)
After the initial start up period, breastfeeding is very easy. All you have
to do is lift up your shirt and let the little one latch on. No shopping for
formula, bottles, and other supplies. No mixing, heating, refrigerating and
cleaning up of formula. If you sleep with your baby, or sleep the baby next
to your bed, you can forget about all the disturbing night time rituals
associated with formula use. All you have to do is roll over, let the baby
latch on, and go back to sleep!
to Digest: Formula
fed babies tend to have frequent episodes of gastrointestinal
ailment. In a situation like this they are usually put on an
artificial electrolyte solution because formula is too hard for them
to digest. Breast milk, however, is easily digested, and soothing to
the intestines, so there is no need for artificial and expensive
electrolyte solutions. If a baby gets a respiratory illness, formula
may cause even more mucus. In contrast, breast milk contains
antibodies to these ailments, as well as being highly digestible and
not contributing to excess mucous formation.
Officially, the World Health Organization (WHO) designates formula milk as the
last choice in infant-feeding: Its first choice is breastmilk from the mother;
second choice is the mother own milk given via cup or bottle; third choice is
breast milk from a milk bank or wet nurse and, finally, in fourth place, formula
Despite these concerns, formula is sometimes the best option for certain
infants. Some mothers may not produce enough breast milk to provide adequate
nutrition to their babies. Women
with certain health problems must also use formula rather than their own milk.
Such cases include mothers who are malnourished or have a drug or alcohol
problem. Women infected with HIV/AIDS,
herpes on the breasts, hepatitis or active tuberculosis should give their babies
formula as well, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Dated 30 July 2012