In communities where breast-feeding is well supported, all mothers breast-feed. The much discussed problems with breast-feeding are products of a cultural context in which mothers are made to feel inadequate, selfish or lewd if they feed their children themselves or where a “professional” completely destroys a mother’s confidence in her own natural ability to feed her own child by trying to impose their breast-feeding method on her. A genuine professional who really wants to promote breast-feeding will recognise that their role is to support, not to impose... The stress that such attitudes cause is the real cause of engorgement, cracked nipples and “insufficiency of supply”.
Sheila Kippley has spent over 40 years supporting Catholic mothers. She writes; “God in his wisdom has ensured the best care for each child through prolonged lactation. Through [breast feeding] the child can..be ensured the presence of his mother during ..those important early years…Simply put, breast-fed babies are healthier than babies who are not breast-fed. Breast-fed babies have fewer illnesses than babies who are not breast-fed. If a breast-fed baby gets sick, his illness is usually not as severe as the same illness in a baby who is not breast-fed. This is common knowledge among well-informed doctors, researchers, and parents. Breast milk is liquid gold for any baby’s health. Formula will never come close to the composition of human milk. There are “thirty regulated components in formula milk and over two hundred components identified in human milk”.
Breast milk is a living food. It changes hour by hour, day by day, month by month. The mother’s body is constantly fine-tuning her milk to meet her baby’s needs. This is most evident during illness, when the breast begins to manufacture specific antibodies to fight the infection the baby has or to prevent the infection from spreading from mother to baby. Formula , of course, remains constant and does not adapt to the baby’s needs as human milk does…many who agree that breast milk is best also have the impression, skilfully developed by the baby food marketers, that formula is just as good.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the APP, and the United States Breast feeding Committee, name many specific health benefits for breast fed children..They have found that breastfeeding tends to reduce incidences of diarrhea, allergies, ear infections, respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, diabetes, asthma, eczema, bacterial meningitis, lymphomas, childhood leukaemia, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, sudden infant death syndrome, botulism, necrotizing enterocoliotis, gastroenteritis, Hodgkins’s disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, autoimmune thyroid disease and many other heath [problems large and small- including obesity in childhood and adolescence. Breast fed babies go on to have fewer cavities and less orthodontic work.
The health benefits of breastfeeding translate into practical lifestyle benefits , to. The same authorities also find that breast fed children, compared to those who are not breastfed, tend to;
· Score higher on cognitive and IQ tests at school
· Score higher on visual acuity tests
· Stay in hospital fewer days as premature infants
· Have a more mature infant intestinal tract
· Have a stronger immune system
· Show a better response to vaccinations
[ Ed; All of these physical benefits are in addition to the psychological , emotional and spiritual benefits which breast-feeding confers on children]
Is formula just as good? No.”
“Breast feeding and Catholic Motherhood” pp7 to 9 by Sheila Kippley