Breast Milk: Nature’s Perfect Formula
I recently saw a television program featuring inventors. It was amazing to see all their fantastic ideas manifest. However, there was one invention that seemed incredibly odd. A waiter felt the need to help out new moms trying to sooth their hungry babies while trying to eat. The moms would drop the bottle on the ground or need to wait to eat their own food, which by that time was cold. So, there on the TV was a mom with a blanket draped over her shoulders and a bottle secured to it, allowing mom one hand free to eat. I sat bewildered by this and noticed that the bottle was right over her breast…where the real solution to the problem lay.
Human breast milk is the perfect food for human babies. This is a statement most humans know and agree with. Yet most American babies are fed a strange substance mostly containing starches and fillers. There are over 400 components of breast milk that are left out of infant formula. We see every few months a new formula made that now contains X, which is found in breast milk. How many other X’s are missing from formula and what impact does it have on our smallest citizens?
A mother’s milk is unique to her baby. Even the milk produced by the same woman is different with different babies. And the milk is constantly changing to suit the needs of the infant; in fact the milk can change during one feeding. During a feeding the mother’s body detects what baby needs and the milk changes during that feeding. If baby were ill, mom’s body would pump antibodies into her milk. If baby is premature more fat is made. Amazing…what an invention the human body is.
The benefits of breast milk affect the infant, the mother, the family, and the world. Some benefits for the infant include the following; perfect nutrition, immunity protection, less gas, necessary bonding, lowered risk of developing allergies, lower cases of obesity, and increased IQ. These are benefits that can last a lifetime.
Babies need high amounts of cholesterol, found in human milk, for rapid brain development, which is a precursor for the adult to better handle dietary cholesterol. Benefits for the mother include decreased risk of postpartum hemorrhage, weight loss, decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, decrease in osteoporosis, decrease in postpartum depression, confidence, and mothering her child with more awareness.
In the Clinical Journal of Epidemiology, research shows that a woman who breast feeds lowers her risks of breast cancer by one-third. Protection against breast cancer is related to the duration; the longer a woman breastfeeds the greater the benefit (this includes the number of children and duration for each). The benefits to the family include less smelly diapers, more sleep, more money, convenience, a contented baby, and a confident mom.
The amount of money saved by not purchasing formula is enough to purchase a new washer and dryer in six weeks. And many do not think about the impact breastfeeding has on the world. There is less waste and fewer cans of formula and bottles filling up landfills. The bonding that happens naturally between a mother and her breastfeeding baby helps ensure a world of compassion. More compassionate people help to build a world of peace and understanding. As said by the Dali Lama, “Mothers who are calm and happy bring affection and a sense of caring into the lives of their children, thereby transforming society into something more compassionate and peaceful.”
Formula found its way to our grocery store shelves in 1867; babies didn’t starve before that time. Every woman’s body is capable of nurturing a baby. The design of the female anatomy was made for just that. Women should embrace their abilities to nurture and raise healthy humans for the future. Success does not need to be measured in mountains of things or titles on paper. And the world should support mothers to allow them to be successful.
There are inventions that help us in our daily lives and some save lives. Others are best not invented. I think too often we look at outside sources for answers when most of the time the answers are found within. A new mother can have an enjoyable evening out with confidence. All she needs has already been invented for her.