Risks of not breastfeeding

Breastfeeding benefits both mom and baby and there are risks associated with NOT breastfeeding. Formula is not equal to and does not provide the same nutrition for your infant that breast milk provides. Breast milk includes living antibodies and immune properties, as well as a perfect ratio of protein, fat, and carbohydrates that changes composition as your baby grows and changes.

Learn about breastfeeding

There are many ways to learn about breastfeeding. Some include finding information in pamphlets and websites (such as this one), talking with a lactation specialist, or taking a class. Check with your local WIC clinic or your hospital/doctor if you are interested in the latter two options.

Formula does not provide your baby with the best

Formula does not provide the same benefits that breast milk provides. Formula does not provide your infant with the best nutrition, and may increase your baby’s risk of ear infections, childhood obesity, respiratory illnesses and other illnesses and problems. Breastfeeding has been associated with decreased risks of many illnesses and other good outcomes such as better tooth alignment (straighter teeth) and reduced risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

As for mom, if she used formula, she would not be able to benefit from what breastfeeding can provide. By breastfeeding, she can expect a reduced risk for ovarian, uterine, and breast cancer, easier and quicker weight loss after birth. Most breastfeeding moms state they enjoy the savings from not needing or preparing bottles, nipples, or formula (especially at night), and enjoy an increased bonding time with baby that will reduce stress. Breastfeeding also sets her apart as a role model for her peers.

New at breastfeeding?

If this is your first time breastfeeding, don’t get discouraged! Give yourself time to get used to the new routine. Your doctor and lactation specialist can help you through!

Common myths about breastfeeding include:

I won’t have enough milk…

Your body will adjust to make as much milk as your baby needs. It is important to start out right the first few days – having baby latching well and transferring milk. The more the baby takes the more your body will make. This simple relationship is natural and normal and if not understood will lead to formula use and early weaning. Women should see their doctor and lactation specialist by day three to make sure all your questions get answered.

I can’t eat spicy foods… and my diet isn't good enough to feed my baby…

You don’t have to be on a special diet to make nutritious milk for your baby; you may eat just as you usually do. After all, most women can eat normally during pregnancy, and most women can eat normally during lactation.

As you learn of all the benefits associated with breastfeeding (Spanish), the risks associated with not breastfeeding, and the answers to commonly asked questions, you will find satisfaction in knowing that breastfeeding truly is the best choice for you and your baby.