Two separate stories from the February 27, 2002 and March 27, 2002 issues of Intelihealth both tout the benefits of breastfeeding. One of the articles starts off by explaining the financial benefits of breastfeeding, where estimates that mothers who breastfeed can save around $3000.00 per year on formula. Additionally, the article states that breast feeding will help a baby to develop maximum intelligence, eyesight, and protection from disease.
One article written by Stacy Kennedy, M.P.H., R.D., L.D.N., C.N.S.D. of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, slams the formula companies with the quip, “One of the top manufacturers of infant formula boasts that it has been developing its products for over 70 years. Human milk has been in development for 65 million years, since the Cenozoic Age, which saw the rapid evolution of mammals. So the oldest formula companies have been doing research and development only for .0001 percent of the time our biology has been perfecting a product all females have in their possession.” She continued by stating, “We have learned that the longer a child is breast-fed, the better he or she will do in school and the higher the child will score on IQ and other standardized tests compared to children who are formula-fed.”
An extensive study on breast feeding recently took place in Norway and Sweden and was conducted by researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The study showed that full-term babies who were small at birth and who were exclusively fed breast milk for the first six months of their lives scored an average of 11 points higher on IQ tests at age 5, compared with similar-sized babies who were fed breast milk and formula, or breast milk and solid food.
The article also notes that breast-feeding can help to ensure that children won’t overeat. Breast fed baby’s immune systems also grow into powerful defense arsenals, equipped to protect him or her from a lifetime of exposure to infections and disease. The first human milk that a woman produces, colostrum, is jam-packed with antibodies and key protective nutrients. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends feeding only human milk to babies for the first six months of life and continuing to breast-feed for the first year.