World Breastfeeding Week: August 1-7
In part one of this article, we built a case in favor of breastfeeding
, and explained that breast is best for a baby’s health – especially in the early stages of development. We then briefly touched on the fact that even though everyone is urged to breastfeed more, the number of breastfeeding mothers continues to dwindle on a global scale.
In this article, we will explore the effects that the giant baby formula companies, which are likely culprits, have on the world’s mothers.The Detriments of Formula
As much as it’s marketed, and apparently utilized, baby formula
isn’t as healthful as we are led to believe. In fact, most commercial baby formulas contain several ingredients known to cause respiratory, digestive, and developmental complications. Many of these formulas contain artificial ingredients, processed vitamins and minerals, man-made compounds, and inorganic matter. For a young baby, these unnatural ingredients are much harder to digest than colostrum, the nutritious milk that only comes from a mother’s breast.
Additionally, a lot of the baby formulas are milk or dairy-based. While some people do not have any allergies to milk or dairy products, almost all of us suffer from varying levels of lactose intolerance . . . even though we may not realize it. By giving baby formula to your infant, you are more likely to have him or her suffer from colic, diarrhea, stomach cramping or gas within just a half hour after feeding.
Even though some baby formulas are free of any dairy products, all of them have a chance of harming your child in some way, especially if you completely replace breastfeeding with formula. One reason? Babies are usually born with enough iron to last them for an entire six months, yet parents seek baby formula that claims to have iron and iron oxide. Having too much iron can hinder a baby’s ability to absorb zinc, which is a key ingredient to healthy brain development. Even though health experts agree that iron supplements should not begin until the baby is at least 18 months old, we continue to ask for more iron supplements. Why? Could it be because the baby formula companies want us to buy into it? Baby’s Big Pharma
These companies are the baby equivalent of our Big Pharma – reaching right into our advertisements and pulling off a massive campaign to shift focus from breastfeeding to their products. It’s no coincidence that doctors and hospitals, which are heavily sponsored by baby formula companies, are quick to recommend a switch to formula after just a few failed attempts at breastfeeding. It wouldn’t be the first time that money has been the motivating factor and health care has taken the back seat.
This isn’t all just paranoia, either. The World Health Organization has recognized the damage that these companies’ advertising blitzkriegs have caused and are working to combat them by banning many baby formula advertisements. Another important step in the right direction is slowly taking place: hospitals used to routinely give away free packs of baby formula for new mothers, but now the practice is voluntarily banned in two states. All 49 birth facilities in Boston, Massachusetts, for example, have realized that giving these baby formula companies a foot in the door is causing more and more mothers to switch to formula early on, and some even opt out of breastfeeding altogether.
As the WHO and other health officials have stated numerous times, countless studies have shown compelling evidence that breastfeeding is an important part of a baby’s life, and mothers are strongly urged to breastfeed exclusively for at least the first six months
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Mercola, Joseph. "Food Toxins Found in Baby Formula." Mercola.com
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