Why Breastmilk is Not Just Food

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Why Breastmilk is Not Just Food
17
Wed, 01-30-2013 - 11:04am

Found this on Pinterest:

A Composite of "Why Breastmilk is Not Just Food" posts on Lakeshore Medical Clinic's Facebook Page.

These are a MUST read, though sometimes technical.

http://www.drjen4kids.com/soap box/notjustfood.htm

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Wed, 02-06-2013 - 6:05pm

Breastmilk isn't even a food, it's a liquid.

Breastmilk may not be a solid food but I still think it qualifies as a food. It really just a liquid food but food none-the-less. Food is defined as "any nutritious substance that people eat or DRINK" so it fits the definition of food. The fact that a baby can survive on it alone for as long as a year or more proves that it is a food.

At 4 months and at 6 months, my solely BF babies (all 3) were waking every 2 to 3 hours out of hunger.  Not good for them nor me.  It simply can't be good to awaken every 2 to 3 hours.  A body needs continuous, uninterrupted sleep to grow.  I did everything to encourage exclusive breastfeeding and to this day, 11 years later, am still unemployed and at-home with my babes.

Actually, while I understand why you would feel that way, I think that your making some assumptions about infant sleep and feeding that are not necessarily true.  Adults are used to sleeping long stretches and thus we tend to assume that that should be what is best for babies. Thus their is a rush to get the baby to sleep for the night, not just because it's seen as easier for the parents, by because it's assumed it's best for the baby. The reality is that it may not be normal for babies to sleep through the night as early as parents often want them too or as expert claim they should be sleeping through the night. I know of know of know studies that support the claim that babies need continues uninterrupted sleep a young age in order to properly grow.

So I know that breastmilk is not a food, it's a liquid which travels quickly through baby's body.  I breastfed each baby for 1 year ~ but darned if I was going to have them CIO or go hungry at 6 months.  Solid food during the daytime is the answer.

The fact that BM is easier to digest as apposed to formula may actually be a benefit. IT has been demonstrated that FF babies are at greater risk for SIDS compared to BF babies babies and one theory is that it may have something to do with the fact that formula is so mud harder to digest for the baby.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Sat, 02-09-2013 - 10:25am

Not sleep thru the night entirely.  But it was not optimal for my children at 6 months old to be awaking every 2 to 3 hours still. Some children even sleep through the night at 6 months.  Is that unhealthy?  Should they be awakened every 2 hours and forcefed?  It's a question of interrupted sleep.  So not healthy by 6 months or so.

I never heard this theory that formula was a rumored cause of SIDS.  That should certainly be a warning on the formula cans but it's not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Mon, 02-11-2013 - 6:35pm

That should certainly be a warning on the formula cans but it's not.

Good.  Then you are wrong.  Formula does NOT increase the risk of SIDS.

Baby sleeping a little better a little earlier with formula.

No, I never mentioned my sleep.  I frequently went without decent sleep for 11 years during my education and postbaccalaureate degrees.  I even popped NoDoz.  So I'm no stranger to lack of sleep.  As you know, I only discussed baby sleep.

Now will you address my points about baby sleep and how the body grows, heals during sleep, the need for deep slumber and dreams, etc.?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Tue, 02-12-2013 - 12:18am

thardy2001 wrote:
Formula does NOT increase the risk of SIDS.

I do not think that is accurate. Formula feeding is associated with an increase in SIDS. Formula may not be the primary cause of SIDS, but it does increase the risk. I think it doubles the risk? Is that what the research shows?

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Wed, 02-13-2013 - 12:04am

A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, (May 2004), titled "Breastfeeding and the Risk of Postneonatal Death in the United States," reports a 21% reduction in infant death for having EVER breastfed, meaning 27% more infant deaths occur when no breastmilk is provided. The impact is underreported for two reasons. First, deaths in the first month, the greatest amount of deaths, were not counted. Second, the exclusiveness of breastfeeding is a huge factor and is not part of this measurement.

When they compare 3 months of any breastfeeding to less or no breastfeeding, the reported reduction is 36%. That translates actually to 56% more infant deaths for those receiving mostly formula! If they were to compare 3 months of exclusive breastfeeding to no breastmilk, the reduction would have been closer to 50% — meaning Double the deaths for withholding of breastmilk: The same number as in my prior analysis BELOW:

(ADDED April 2006): This study and my below article are about industrialized nations. A more-recent large-scale study taking place in poor areas of Ghana, India, and Peru found a shocking 10.5 times the number of deaths for those not breastfed versus those exclusively breastfed. Partially breastfed infants had 2.5 times the risk of death as those exclusively breastfed. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2005

Source: http://www.thebabybond.com/InfantDeaths.html

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Wed, 02-13-2013 - 12:12am

From:

Baby Behavior Basics Part 1 - Three Reasons Why Babies Don't Sleep Through the Night

No matter what you've heard, there is no one age when all babies will sleep through the night and babies can vary how many times they wake. There's no getting around it; young babies need to wake up at night for some very good reasons and their physiology ensures that's exactly what they do.

Reason 1. Young Babies Wake to Eat
Newborn tummies are very tiny. They can't take in very much at each feeding. No matter how they are being fed, by breast or bottle, babies' rapid growth requires that they are fed frequently. While there is a lot of variability in how much babies can drink at one time, all babies need to eat during the night ...

Reason 2. Young Babies Wake Because They Dream
Babies don't sleep like adults. When adults first fall asleep, they fall into a deeper sleep without dreaming, then dream for short periods of time (off and on) throughout the night. Babies fall asleep dreaming (in "rapid eye movement" or REM sleep) and move more slowly to "deeper" forms of sleep, without dreams. For infants, dreaming is vital for normal brain development. While infants dream, blood flows to their brains and neural connections are made. Because it is so important for their development, newborns may dream 30 minutes before they fall into deeper sleep. Premature infants dream even longer and more often than term infants.

Babies, like adults, are more likely to wake up when they are dreaming than if they are in deeper forms of sleep. So, if something happens while they are dreaming, like the phone rings or they are put down into a bassinet, babies are likely to wake. When babies are dreaming, their eyelids will flutter and their faces and bodies will twitch, so it is easy for parents to see when babies stop dreaming and enter deeper forms of sleep. By waiting to put newborns down until after signs of dreaming stop, parents can help their babies stay asleep...

Reason 3. Young Babies Wake to Stay Comfortable and Safe
Babies are born with brand new lungs, muscles, and brains. Sometimes, their little bodies need a little time to get into synch. If babies sleep too deeply, they may get too hot or too cold or they may not wake when they need move their muscles or to get a little more air.

Source: http://www.secretsofbabybehavior.com/2009/06/baby-behavior-basics-part-1-3-reasons.html

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Wed, 02-13-2013 - 9:20pm

Not sleep thru the night entirely.  But it was not optimal for my children at 6 months old to be awaking every 2 to 3 hours still. Some children even sleep through the night at 6 months.  Is that unhealthy?  Should they be awakened every 2 hours and forcefed?  It's a question of interrupted sleep.  So not healthy by 6 months or so.

Not optimal for whom? You or the baby? I can uderstand why you would prefer they sleep long streches at night and not wake every 2-3 hours. That does not neccesarilly make it subiptiomal for the baby though. I don't believe nature would have the child wake every 2-3 hours if that was bad for the child. I don;t generally buy into the idea that children are born as porn suboptimal sleepers who need to be "trained" to sleep properly. So far I have not seen any evidence to support that sort of theory abotu infant sleep. I'll be happy to endorse "sleep training" if someone can provide realiable evidence to support the need for and the a benefit to the infant (not just the parents). Even at 6 montsh, I am not convinced that nature intentende for all babis to be sleeping long streches (say 5 or more hourse). Again, this is basically what parents would prefer but that does not mean it unhealthy for the baby not be doing so at six months. No one who is against sleeo training or the idea that all 6 months old babies shoud be sleeping through the night believes that you shoudl be waking a baby every 2-3 hours to feed/nurse them if they are not doing so on their own, except in certain special medical situations. If one's child sleeps through the night on their own then generally you can just let them. It is the idea of trying to force them to do so earlier then they would naturally that we critics of sleep trainign take issue with. That being said, I'll admit that special circumstances could make sleep training a better solution then the alternative but in general I am against it.

I never heard this theory that formula was a rumored cause of SIDS.  That should certainly be a warning on the formula cans but it's not.

The theory is not that formula cuases SIDS, only that indidences of SIDS are higher in formula-fed babies. We don;t know what causes SIDS at this time. What we do know is the moms/parents who follow certiain practices (babies sleeping on their back, sleeping in the same room as mom for at least 6 months, not having pillows and stuffed animals in their crib, etc.) all have lower incidences of SIDS with their babies then tose that don't. We don't yet know what it is tha babies who sleep on their backs, room-share with the moms, and so so forth have lower rates of SIDS only that there appears to a corrolation. Untill sich time as we know why SIDS occurs and how to prevent it 100% (if possible) then the best we can do is reccomend certain practices that appear to result in lower incidences of SIDS. Even if some SIDS prevention practives later turned out ot have no real preventive effect, if it's not harmful then it certainly does not hurt. A baby sleeping on their backs or in the same room as mom for at least 6 months do not harm the baby in any way, though some might argue that the latter is incovenient for some moms, though not enough IMO enough to justifynot doing it if it has any chance of reducing SIDS rates.

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