Written by Suzanne Arms   
Monday, 27 April 2009 12:02
A mother's milk is specifically designed to meet the changing needs of her own baby as it grows. The makeup of her milk changes from day to day—even feed to feed—in a way that has yet to be understood. Breast milk is the only appropriate food for infants through six months of age. To give women the notion that breastfeeding is a matter of personal choice is to undermine breastfeeding and women's desire to do what is best for their babies.

Health safeguards

Nature designs breast milk to provide continuous immune protection for the newborn until the baby's own immune system can get started, which does not begin until approximately 6 months after birth. While the baby's gut is being bathed in this continuous protection and the components of breast milk and the comfort of suckling are calming the baby, the mother is also receiving benefits. Her body is releasing dozens of different hormones that are designed to keep her calm and focused on her baby. They also increase her feeling of "falling in love," which is a crucial part of strong bonding.

No perfect substitute

Pediatricians in America for decades actively undermined breastfeeding. It is still common for a mother who takes her baby to the pediatrician because she is having difficulty breastfeeding or because her baby has a cold to be told that she needs to consider switching to formula. How is a woman to know the truth when an entire industry advertises that infant formula is "just as good" or "almost as good" as mother's milk and implies that most mothers will have to turn to formula sooner or later?