Breast is best- most experts agree and a growing number of moms do too. Elyse Pickett is a new mom who believes she’s giving her baby a boost in life.
“From the antibodies that she gets from my breast milk versus formula,” Pickett says.
Many "ingredients" have been identified in breast milk that cannot be duplicated in formula. In fact, the benefits of breastfeeding are so well established that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends women breastfeed their infants for at least one year. Exclusively for the first six months.
“Human babies are supposed to get human milk, so that’s why we promote mother’s milk,” says Juana Rodriguez a certified lactation consultant with Lee Memorial Health System.
“We do try to encourage the mom and give her all the opportunities to put her baby to breast. So she has a few practices before she goes home,” Rodriguez says.
There is no disputing breast milk does a body good. In addition to strengthening a baby’s immune system and protecting it from infections, a slew of studies show it helps prevent diseases and medical conditions.
“To impact a difference in a child having cancer, digestive disorders that can be debilitating. Those issues are decreased significantly with the breast milk,” says Rhonda Harper another certified lactation consultant with Lee Memorial Health System.
“There is evidence to support that infants that are breastfed do not face the issues associated with obesity.”
There is also the cost bonus, compared to the expense of bottle-feeding.
“Conservatively speaking, it costs $3,500-$5,000 dollars for one year of formula-feeding,” Harper says.
”We don’t have to clean bottles, we don’t have to clean a pump. It’s pretty much just her and I,” says Pickett.
For this new mom, it’s an experience that you can’t put a price tag on.