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National Milk Day Debate: Breast Milk vs. Formula

Happy National Milk Day! On January 11, National Milk Day serves as a commemoration of the day that milk was first ​​delivered to man in sterilized glass bottles. Since then, it has evolved into the recognition and celebration of the importance of milk in our lives. If you’re a new parent, then you certainly understand the significance of this life-sustaining beverage. We invite you to celebrate milk today as we settle the age-old debate between parents: is breast milk better than formula? Spoiler: the real answer is that neither is truly “better”. Read on to learn more about the great breast milk vs. formula debate, so that parents can decide which is better for their little one in the long run.

What Is the Difference Between Breast Milk and Formula?

If you’re considering breast milk or formula for a new baby, there’s a range of aspects to keep in mind. Before we delve into the differences between breast milk and formula, it is important to understand that both provide energy, hydration, and nutrients for your baby to grow. The main difference is that formula is created in a lab, and in most cases, is made of processed cow’s milk. Formula is easily accessible and even easier to prepare with products like the Formula Pro Advanced baby formula dispenser. Breastmilk, on the other hand, is designed by the human body, for human babies and even adapts to your baby's ever-changing circumstances.

Can You Mix Breast Milk and Formula?

Yes, technically speaking, this is possible; however, there are a few aspects of mixing breast milk and formula to keep in mind. First and foremost, if you combine breast milk and formula, remember to keep your measurements in mind. You’ll want to gauge the amount of formula powder you’re using in conjunction with the breast milk so as not to waste or overfeed. Secondly, mixing breast milk and formula can often lead to wasting some of both. If your little one doesn’t finish their bottle, then you have to throw out both breast milk and formula, leading to more loss!

Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding Advantages & Disadvantages

When it comes to choosing between formula vs. breast milk, there’s definitely an argument to be made for using formula if parents are leaning in that direction. One of the main advantages of formula feeding for busy moms is how convenient it is. Whether you or a family member is feeding your baby at home or out and about, making a bottle of formula takes only a few minutes. Additionally, you can see and keep track of exactly how much your baby is eating every time. Where it gets tricky is ensuring that the formula is mixed correctly, and at the correct temperature. With Baby Brezza’s Instant Formula Warmer and 1-Step Formula Mixer, you can make the perfect bottle every time! As for its greatest disadvantage, formula does not provide nearly as many essential nutrients as breast milk does.

Breastfeeding can also be convenient as it requires no preparation, always comes out at the right temperature and is free! For busier moms, breast milk can even be frozen for up to 12 months, then defrosted as needed with the Safe + Smart Breast Milk Warmer. Breast milk not only contains powerful antibodies for babies’ health, but also promotes good hormones and even lowers the risk of certain diseases for moms.

Breastfeeding, however, is a privilege as well as a choice. Many mothers experience low milk supply, which may be overcome with the help of a lactation consultant. Even if a mother does produce enough milk to feed their baby, it can still be difficult to keep up with their frequent feeding schedule. Additionally, there is no way to keep track of how much your baby is eating, and you’ll need to watch your medication, caffeine, and alcohol intake to avoid them being passed on to your baby.

Is Breast Milk Better Than Formula?

Human milk has evolved over millions of years to become the perfect food for human babies. It's a living fluid that changes and adapts to your baby’s needs. Experts have long suggested that, if possible, one should choose breastfeeding over formula-feeding for your baby. This is not however the end-all be-all answer for everyone.

What is the Closest Formula to Breast Milk?

If parents are looking to find a formula that feels, tastes, and acts as close to breast milk as possible so that their little one is getting the best nutrients during every feeding time, it’s suggested they find formula mixtures that include lactoferrin. Lactoferrin is a protein found within breast milk that carries important nutrients for your growing little one; luckily, it’s possible for this protein to be implemented into formula mixtures as well. Including lactoferrin is allegedly as close to breast milk as parents can expect to get with store-bought formula.

The Bottom Line: Fed is Best

The Fed is Best Movement takes a different approach at settling this debate. Rather than pinning different feeding methods against one another, the campaign celebrates all baby feeding practices including mixed-feeding, formula-feeding, pumped-milk-feeding, tube-feeding, etc. Choosing what’s best for you and your baby prevents complications that have become too common from the pressure to exclusively feed your baby breast milk at all costs. Breast milk and formula are both perfectly healthy and acceptable feeding methods for all babies. Moreover, formula is not only for mothers with milk production issues, but for those who choose not to breastfeed for a number of reasons, physical or otherwise. Although National Milk Day began as a celebration of cow’s milk, today we celebrate all milk!

Baby Feeding & Formula Prep

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