Infant & Mom



Benefits of Breastfeeding

Formula Feeding

The First Six Months

Research and the babies themselves have very clearly shown that infants grow very well on a milk-based diet for the first six months of life - that is breast milk or a carefully prepared infant formula from a reputable manufacturer. Cow's milk, goat's milk or canned, evaporated milk are not appropriate milk based feedings for human infants. Solid foods do not need to be introduced until the infant is about six months of age.

Breastfeeding or bottle feeding?

Breast milk is the most appropriate food for all newborns. It has a very complex nutritional profile which changes over time as an individual feeding progresses and over time as the infant grows and develops. Breastfeeding promotes bonding between mother and baby, reduces the incidence of stomach and intestinal upsets in baby and reduces the incidence of food allergy later in life. However, breastfeeding may not be the most appropriate method for all mothers. Ellyn Satter puts it well:

"Breast feeding is better than infant formula for most babies. But formula feeding, appropriately conducted, is a highly acceptable substitute. Babies fed either way can be appropriately fed - or overfed - or underfed. Breastmilk is undeniably more sophisticated nutritionally, and will continue to be because it is a living substance. Babies appear to have less stomach and intestinal upsets on breastmilk than they do on other kinds of feeding. Other arguments can support either breastmilk or formula - these include considerations of convenience, immunity to disease, working, economy, appearance and sexuality."

Most physicians and nutritionists promote breast feeding for newborns, because it is in fact best for the baby. See breastfeeding section of this home page Don't let any well meaning person make you feel guilty about your choice - just make a well informed decision and use your own best judgment, not that of a friend or relative.