Memorial Hermann - A New Beginning



Healthy full-term babies do not need supplementation unless it is for medical treatment and breast milk is not available. Formula supplementation for non-medical reasons has some risks.


• Nipple Confusion/Flow Preference – Your baby refuses your breast or has trouble latching on to your breast after being fed with an artificial nipple. • Breast Engorgement – Your breasts may become painfully swollen causing breastfeeding problems if they are not emptied regularly by breastfeeding or pumping. • Sore Nipples – After being fed with an artificial nipple, your infant has learned to suck differently which causes your nipples to become sore. • Reduced Milk Supply – Little or poor breast emptying will cause a delay in milk coming in. You might never make a full milk supply if your breasts are not emptied well. Health Risks Associated with not Breastfeeding • Formula can decrease the healthy bacteria in the baby’s intestines that protect against infection. • Formula is harder to digest, so baby may not breastfeed as often. This can lead to engorgement, a lower milk supply and mom not reaching her breastfeeding goals. • The risk of acute otitis media (ear infections) is 100% higher during the first 6 months among infants fed only formula compared to infants exclusively breastfed. • In the first 4 months infants fed formula have 250% increased risk of hospitalization for lower respiratory tract infections than exclusively breastfed infants. • The risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is 56% higher for infants who have never breastfed. • Infants that are not breastfed are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, asthma, and childhood obesity. • The risks associated with leukemia are higher in infants fed formula. • Increased rates of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants fed formula instead of breast milk.

• Duration of Breastfeeding Shortened – Starting artificial nipples earlier than 4 weeks may result in breastfeeding problems which cause you to stop nursing sooner than you planned. • Additional Expense and Time – Artificial baby milk (formula) is very expensive and requires special preparation and artificial nipple sanitation. • Increased Risk of Illness/Infection – Commercial formulas are artificial and an incomplete substitute to human milk. They lack the substances that help resist infection and introduce foreign proteins which can cause allergies. Breast milk is the ideal food for most infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that breastfeeding is contraindicated for mothers with HIV, human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 or type 2, active untreated tuberculosis, or herpes simplex lesions on the breast. Infants with galactosemia should not be breastfed. Breastfeeding is contraindicated in mothers taking certain drugs, including illicit drugs, antimetabolites, chemotherapeutic agents, and radioactive isotope therapies.

Source: The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding


Your Guide to Postpartum and Newborn Care

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